Łukasz Pawłowski

In ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, Francis Fukuyama famously argued that the global spread of liberal democracy signalled the conclusion of humanity’s sociocultural evolution. In view of populism, inequality, Islamism and mass migration, how has Fukuyama’s thought developed in the intervening twenty-five years?

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In a frank discussion with Kultura Liberalna’s managing editor, the post-Yugoslav writer Dubravka Ugresic considers the state of European values a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A lack of serious public forums, says Ugresic, has resulted in a lack of democratic thought.

In societies with colonial histories and that are traditionally open to the world, there is widespread tolerance of diversity at a fundamental level. So says Aleksander Smolar; who is afraid that, for Poland, the smallest step towards adaptation will be a dramatic struggle.

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Just because something can’t work or doesn’t work, doesn’t mean people aren’t going to try it, says US journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum: just because it’s a bad idea to break up Europe doesn’t mean people won’t want to try that too.

The European integration project urgently needs reconstructing from the bottom up, argues Wolfgang Streeck. This means taking into account the crucial importance of nations and nation-states as the principal sites of democratic self-government.