The Retreat of Western Liberalism: A Fireside Chat with Edward Luce

In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of Western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy—of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a deeply alarming symptom. Luce argues that the erosion of middle-class incomes has eaten away at liberal democratic consensus, resulting in today’s crisis. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. 

On June 14, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative (FSR) hosted a fireside chat with Mr. Luce. The chat was moderated by FSR’s director, Dr. Mathew Burrows, and featured opening remarks from Dr. Paula Stern, former chairwoman of the US International Trade Commission in the Reagan administration and Atlantic Council board member. Expanding on many of the arguments made in his book, Luce offered a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years. 

Click here for the full event recap.

Related Experts: Mathew Burrows

Image: Edward Luce discusses the challenges facing Western liberal democracies with Mat Burrows at the Atlantic Council on June 14, 2017. (left to right) Dr. Mathew J. Burrows and Mr. Edward Luce.