February 7, 2017 Can history save us from ourselves? Reflections on the decline of liberal democracy.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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We seem to be poised between two moments: one of optimism about globalization and its economic and political benefits, and one of pessimism, populism, and, at the extreme, opposition to the liberal democratic consensus. Must we slip from one to the other? After a survey of the history of horrors and achievements of the West, broadly understood, in the twentieth century, Professor Timothy Snyder will offer a few lessons from its darkest moments that might be applicable today.

Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Among his publications are several award-winning books, all of which have been translated: Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998, revised edition 2016); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015). Snyder is also the co-editor of Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (2001) and Stalin and Europe: Terror, War, Domination (2013).