Please join us for a “big-topic” lunch discussion with Adrian Wooldridge and Roland Freudenstein.
The rise of populism and extremism is shaking the liberal order – and the response from liberals (broadly defined) aren’t reassuring. The paradox of populism, writes Adrian Wooldridge in a thought-provocative essay in The Economist, is well-known: the more the policies of populists fail, the more they fuel extremism. But there is a liberal paradox as well: the more people turn against liberalism, the more tempting it has become to shield liberal elite projects from popular interference. The EU has for long been labelled an “elite project”, and is now a magnet for every European populist party that thrives on simplistic notions about a conflict between people and the elite. How should liberals respond to these charges – and defend the post-war order of liberalism?
Adrian Wooldridge is the Political Editor of the Economist and writes the magazine’s Bagehot column. He is the author of many books on politics, economics and management, and this autumn will feature the release of his new book (written together with Alan Greenspan) on Capitalism in America.
Roland Freudenstein is Deputy Director and Head of Research at the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies.