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Liberty and Security

"Liberty and Security" is the general topic of the European Alpbach Forum 2019. The bouncing back of liberalism post 1945 in Western and post 1989 in Eastern Europe led many to believe that liberal democracy and market economy had become the only game in town. And that on the wings of globalisation it would pervade the whole world. But this is not the case. Who or what is the midwife of current new waves of political illiberalism, economic protectionism and the obsession with security, often at the detriment of liberty? When and why did we give up on striking a fair balance between liberty and security?

The Forum not only aims at analysing current developments, causes and driving forces, but also at delivering new perspectives and orientations. It also pays tribute to Karl Popper as a regular guest and to his constant plea for the open society in the aftermath of the great catastrophe of the 20th century, i.e. totalitarianism, the Shoah and WW II. Thus, the Forum will give equal attention to pertinent topics from a philosophical, political, socio-economic, ecological and cultural perspective.

Opening Ceremony

In front and even on top of the installation „Under Construction: Conditio Humana“ by Lois Anvidalfarei, the R.E.T. Brass Band will premiere the commissioned work “Framework” by Christof Dienz.

Briefly before her sudden death, Ágnes Heller wrote the opening speech, which will be delivered by the philosopher Josef Mitterer.

Sunday, August 18, 10.30-12.00 am in front of and inside the Congress Centrum Alpbach
Free admission to the Opening Ceremony, we are looking forward to welcoming you!