02 OCTOBER 2019 / Sweet Land of Liberty… Βut Why?

Is political liberty a default setting or a hard-won construct? As basic assumptions about democracy face challenge around the world, the essential premises underpinning it deserve examination.

James Robinson, co-author of a recent book on the origins of political liberty, joins a Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute event to discuss the book’s conclusions.

The event, free and open to the public with advance registration, will take place on Thursday, October 3 on the campus of Johns Hopkins University.

Robinson, a University of Chicago political scientist and economist, recently authored The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty with MIT economist Daron Acemoglu. The two concluded that political liberty, where it exists, is the tenuous product of continual tension between opposing impulses. Moderating the discussion with Robinson will be SNF Agora senior fellow Yashca Mounk.

Drawing inspiration from the Agora of ancient Athens, which was a hub of conversation and debate and the center of the city-state’s democratic governance, SNF committed $150 million to a joint effort with Johns Hopkins University to create the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute in 2018. The SNF Agora Institute brings together experts from fields such as political science psychology, and philosophy, to foster open and inclusive discourse.