Freedom and Democracy -

19 November 2004
9.00 – 20.00
Library of Congress, Washington

Civilization and Power

America has become the leader of the world, and Thomas Mann’s dream, a federation of European states, is coming true. At the same time, there are many, both inside and outside of the West, who feel today that Western culture is untrue to its own ideal of civilisation, and that its universalism has degenerated into mere globalism. To these critics, the notion of freedom, which was central to Western democracy and which has become increasingly arbitrary, is no longer the fullest expression of human dignity. The question is: what is it that Europe can learn from America, and vice versa?


France, 1956

Gilles Andréani

French diplomat

United Kingdom, 1954

Kwame Anthony Appiah

cultural philosopher

United States, 1964

Anne Applebaum

historian and author Gulag: A History

United States, 1959 - 2011

Ronald Asmus

diplomat and political analyst

Austria, 1947 - 2011

Michael André Bernstein

literary scholar and writer

Germany, 1937

Christoph Bertram

journalist and political advisor

United States, 1958

Mark Danner

journalist, specialized in international relations

United States, 1941 - 2013

Jean Bethke Elshtain

Catholic political philosopher

United States, 1947

Hillel Fradkin

scholar of Islam

United States, 1952

Francis Fukuyama

political theorist

Uruquay, 1958

Moshe Halbertal

professor of Jewish thought

The Netherlands, 1949 - 2014

Willem van Hasselt

philosopher, policy maker in international relations

Hungary, 1929 - 2019

Ágnes Heller

political philosopher

United States, 1940

Mark Juergensmeyer

expert on religious violence

Greece, 1958

Robert Kagan

political commentator

United States

Charles Kupchan

international relations expert

France, 1963

Farid Laroussi

French literature specialist

United Kingdom, 1960

Anatol Lieven

journalist and policy analyst

United States, 1944

Thomas L. Pangle

Plato translator and political philosopher

Canada, 1947

John Ralston Saul

writer and President of PEN International

Germany, 1948

Karl Schlögel

Eastern Europe expert

Germany, 1940

Peter Schneider

cultural critic and novelist

Poland, 1940

Aleksander Smolar

political theorist

Syria, 1944

Bassam Tibi

philosopher and political theorist

United States, 1940

John Vinocur


United States, 1952

Richard Wolin

historian of ideas

Austria, 1956

Klaus Wölfer

Austrian ambassador