Studium Generale | Tans Lecture
The Russia-Ukraine war is just one aspect of the twenty-first century contest between authoritarian and liberal-democratic forms of politics. Regardless of which side wins that conflict, it is also being fought out across technology, innovation and culture, and through the challenge of climate change - and it is centred on the rivalry between the US and China. This lecture explores whether the twentieth-century advantages that liberal democracy enjoyed are being eroded in these different areas. Has authoritarianism developed a new adaptability? Is democracy still the best system for responding to crisis? And if it isn’t, what can we do about it?
David Runciman is Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge and the author of many books, including, most recently, How Democracy Ends (2018), Where Power Stops (2019) and Confronting Leviathan (2021). He is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books and was the founder and host of the popular podcast Talking Politics. His next book - States, Corporations and Robots: A History of Humanity’s Future - will be published later next year.
The Tans Lecture is organised every year to honour Dr. J. Tans (1912-1993), the founding father of Maastricht University.