An Agenda of Discussion Amongst European Liberals

Liberals, what is our long term agenda? What is part of it? My take here:

1. Liberal institutions gave birth to nations. Now we need to adapt, develop & secure a globalized liberal institutional order. Some say cooperation of nation states is enough (think Mark Rutte); others advance a supra-national institutional order (think Emmanuel Macron). I think we’re already way beyond nation states cooperating, especially in Europe. What does liberal global governance look like for Europe and beyond? And where are the transnational liberal parties?

2. 100% commitment to “policies of opportunity for everyone”. Just protecting freedom rights is a defense of the status quo, never enough – liberals ought to invest to provide infrastructure, promote substantial opportunities for self-determination, and pursue emancipative equality beyond bourgeois interest. Think capability approach (Amartya Sen), Lebenschancen-approach (Ralf Dahrendorf), or qualitative freedom as a cosmopolitan responsibility (Claus Dierksmeier).

3. Nurse a culture of responsibility. Open civil societies in liberal republics rely on liberal virtues and an idea of the common good. Our answer to identity politics and narrow moralism must be a better conception of an inclusive liberal civic ethos. We should always insist on & embody dialogic competence!

4. Let’s reclaim all traditions within liberalism – beyond the (diversity of) economic traditions also ethical, social, human & civil rights, democratic, national and cosmopolitan traditions. Above all, our fundamental idea of human progress is driven by the productive diversity of claims from different traditions!

Photo by slon_dot_pics on