Please save the date for the 2018 Annual Nicolai Rubinstein Lecture in Intellectual History and the History of Political Thought, which will be delivered by Samuel Moyn (Yale). The lecture, titled ‘Judith Shklar’s Critique of Cold War Liberalism’, will be followed by a drinks reception, to which all are welcome. Registration for this event is essential.
Political liberalism is today in dire straits. Cold War legacies have made it a dubious theory of individual liberty against the expansive state rather than a doctrine that promotes social freedom and material equality. This lecture will focus on the leading post-War American political thinker, Judith Shklar – returning, decades before she propounded her famous “liberalism of fear,” to her earliest writings. These in effect mounted an argument against her future self. Shklar’s first book, After Utopia, offered a critique of the limits of Cold War liberalism, before she herself came to adopt a version of it. The lecture will assess this early perspective, claiming that it represents a more attractive option in the face of the crisis of liberalism today.