The Economist interviewed Non-Resident Fellow James Traubabout his new book What Was Liberalism? The Past, Present and Promise of a Noble Idea.
In the interview, Traub offers an account of liberalism "as an intellectual tradition rather than a text," one that should live "in tension, usually healthy, with democratic majoritarianism." Traub discusses past and present challenges to liberalism, and offers a perspective on how proponents of liberal values can push back against the rise of illiberal populism today.
The Rwandan genocide of 1994 killed 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsi, in the space of three months and triggered two successive civil wars in neighbouring Congo. Although these more or less ended in 2003, the genocide’s fallout can still incite violence and rouse armies. This month the UN Security Council authorised a military attack by a 3,000-strong multinational intervention force against a militia in eastern Congo that was formed two decades ago by Rwandan genocidaires who fled to the region’s remote forests after losing power.
SO MANY remarkable things have sprung from the Arab Spring that it's possible to overlook that, in addition to toppling aged tyrants and now menacing a more youthful one, it has accomplished something that decades of communism could not: warmth between China and Russia.