A New Free World—How the West Can Find its Way Out of Crisis
Editor’s Note: This essay by Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff was published on September 23, 2019 in the weekly national newspaper DIE ZEIT prior the publication of his book ,“The World Needs the West – A Fresh Start for a Liberal Order.”
A new determinism has taken hold in Western democracies. Many are convinced that the West is dead and that the liberal international order is disintegrating. Contrary to this fatalism, it is argued in the book that the West is not dead yet and that we should instead keep fighting for it. The same fatalism concerns the future of the liberal international order and the role of the United States in that order, but we should neither give up on the current order nor on the United States as a like-minded partner after the Trump presidency. Trump does not have to be followed by Trumpism and he will likely not be the end of American history. In view of these assumptions, the friends of liberal democracy should renew the liberal order by resorting to robust liberalism. This interpretation of democratic liberalism is more in tune with the times: true to principle and rules, more modest and more aware of its limitations, yet ready to defend itself. Robust liberalism can therefore lead to a renewed order of freedom.