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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

Our guest speaker for 2019 is the Hungarian philosopher Ágnes Heller: Having narrowly escaped the Holocaust, forced into exile by the Communists, fiercely critical of recent political developments in Europe, she is among the best suited to speak about “Liberty and Security”.

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

Sunday, August 18, 10.30-12.00 am in front of and inside the Congress Centrum Alpbach

Free admission, we are looking forward to welcoming you!