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Saturday, May 14, 2022
1:00 PM


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Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Francis Fukuyama will discuss "Liberalism and Its Discontents." He will be joined in conversation by Nathan Tarcov.

Presented in parternship with the Chicago Humanities Festival
This is a ticketed in-person event. It will be held at the Venue SIX10. Masks and proof of vaccination are required. Find more details on health and safety measures here.

About the book: Classical liberalism is in a state of crisis. Developed in the wake of Europe’s wars over religion and nationalism, liberalism is a system for governing diverse societies, which is grounded in fundamental principles of equality and the rule of law. It emphasizes the rights of individuals to pursue their own forms of happiness free from encroachment by government. It's no secret that liberalism didn't always live up to its own ideals. In America, many people were denied equality before the law. Who counted as full human beings worthy of universal rights was contested for centuries, and only recently has this circle expanded to include women, African Americans, LGBTQ+ people, and others. Conservatives complain that liberalism empties the common life of meaning. As the renowned political philosopher Francis Fukuyama shows in "Liberalism and Its Discontents," the principles of liberalism have also, in recent decades, been pushed to new extremes by both the right and the left: neoliberals made a cult of economic freedom, and progressives focused on identity over human universality as central to their political vision. The result, Fukuyama argues, has been a fracturing of our civil society and an increasing peril to our democracy. In this short, clear account of our current political discontents, Fukuyama offers an essential defense of a revitalized liberalism for the twenty-first century.

About the author: Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy. He was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director in the State Department's policy planning staff. He is the author of "Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment"; "Political Order and Political Decay"; "The Origins of Political Order"; "The End of History and the Last Man"; "Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity"; and "America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy"; and most recently, "Liberalism and Its Discontents."

About the interlocutor: University of Chicago professor Nathan Tarcov's scholarly interests include history of political theory, education and family in political theory, and principles of U.S. foreign policy. He has published "Locke's Education for Liberty," "Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy," and "The Legacy of Rousseau," and numerous articles.