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The Light that Failed. A Reckoning

Book Launch
The Light that Failed
Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

The President and Rector of Central European University and the Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) cordially invite you to a book launch and panel discussion

WELCOME REMARKS / Michael Ignatieff / President and Rector, CEU
DISCUSSION / Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes, co-authors  of the book
in discussion with Michael Ignatieff. 

Q&A and reception to follow

BIOS / Ivan Krastev: political scientist, chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Permanent Fellow at the IWM (Institute of Human Sciences), Vienna, founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, member of the board of trustees the International Crisis Group, contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. 

Stephen Holmes: Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law at New York University. Stephen Holmes’s research centers on the history and recent evolution of liberalism and antiliberalism in Europe, the 1787 Constitution as a blueprint for continental expansion, the near-impossibility of imposing rules of democratic accountability on the deep state, the traumatic legacy of 1989, and the difficulty of combating jihadist terrorism within the bounds of the Constitution and the international laws of war.

ABOUT THE BOOK / Why did the West, after winning the Cold War, lose its political balance? In the early 1990s, hopes for the eastward spread of liberal democracy were high. And yet the transformation of Eastern European countries gave rise to a bitter repudiation of liberalism itself, not only in the East but also back in the heartland of the West. Krastev and Holmes argue that the supposed end of history turned out to be only the beginning of an Age of Imitation. Reckoning with the history of the last thirty years, they show that the most powerful force behind the wave of populist xenophobia that began in Eastern Europe stems from resentment at the post-1989 imperative to become Westernized.