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Can Liberalism Save Itself?

Liberalism, the set of ideas that has underpinned Western political and economic systems since the Enlightenment, now appears to be in crisis. This has prompted a welcome debate among well-meaning liberals, but it has also opened the door to opportunists who would impose their deeply anti-liberal – and anti-democratic – vision on society.

PRINCETON – The causes and consequences of what is often described as “the rise of populism” are matters of deep dispute. But if there is one thing everyone can agree on, it is that populism is primarily an attack on liberalism. As such, a number of avowed liberals have authored books in which they take a long, hard look at their own values and institutions, even as other critics call for liberalism to be rolled back.