A review of The Anglo-American Tradition of Liberty: A View from Europe by João Carlos Espada.
What some had thought would be the “end of history” has instead turned out to be the “new world disorder.” Democratic liberalism may have no new ideological rival, but older identities are powerfully reasserting themselves.
Is democracy in East-Central Europe suffering because of a lack of liberal zeal among elites, as Dawson and Hanley contend, or is it because
liberal policies have failed to deliver on their promises?
Across East-Central Europe, the political center ground has long been characterized by the uneasy cohabitation of liberal and illiberal norms, but the latter have been gradually overpowering the former.
A close look at secular parties in the Middle East today raises doubts about whether they are ready for prime time.
It is fine to acknowledge the importance of law-based rule to the eventual rise of modern democracy, but we must not overlook the even greater contribution of the idea of equality.
Europe in the Middle Ages was hardly democratic, but it did have law-based institutions that could and did stay the hands of kings, laying a crucial basis for future state-building and democracy-building alike.
Liberalism as a governing order is barely two centuries old. A response to the great alternatives presented by Europe’s political history, it represents a unique synthesis of the ancient and the modern. But globalization has cast a deep shadow across liberalism’s future.
Egypt’s liberals, though they do not dominate political life and perhapsnever will, remain a crucial force in shaping the country’s politics.