• Timothy Snyder: can history save us from ourselves?
Podium / 26 jan 2017 / 20:00

Timothy Snyder: can history save us from ourselves?

Reflections on the decline of liberal democracy

Video On Demand: De Balie TV + De Balie Vimeo.

A week after the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States, American author and professor Timothy Snyder, one of the greatest historians of our time, will shed light on this new era. What can we expect from the Trump-era and do we want to learn from our past? What will happen to Europe in 2017 after the Pax Americana and the Russian-supported advance of the New Right in the US?

“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?” – Timothy Snyder 

After a survey of the history of horrors and achievements of the West in the twentieth century, professor Snyder will offer a few lessons from its darkest moments, which might still be applicable today. To what extend will populism pose a threat to the liberal democratic system? And will Russian interference in Western media influence Western values? What can we learn from history? During this program, Snyder will reflect on these and other questions.

“The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.” – Timothy Snyder in On Tyranny

About the author
Timothy D. Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which received the literature award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hannah Arendt Prize, and the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. He also wrote Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Snyder is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement and a former contributing editor at The New Republic. He is a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences, serves as the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and sits on the advisory council of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.

Moderator: Caspar van Gemund

     

Een week na de inauguratie van Donald Trump als president van de Verenigde Staten zal Amerikaanse schrijver en professor Timothy Snyder, een van de grootste historici van onze tijd, zijn licht schijnen op dit nieuwe tijdsgewricht. Wat staat ons te wachten in het Trump-tijdperk en willen we nog leren van ons verleden? En wat zal er met Europa in 2017 gebeuren na het Pax Americana en de door Rusland gesteunde opkomst van het Nieuwe Rechts?

"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?” – Timothy Snyder

Na onderzoek naar de geschiedenis van de gruwelijkheden en successen van het Westen in de 20e eeuw zal professor Snyder een aantal lessen van de donkerste momenten van deze eeuw met ons delen, die misschien nog altijd wel toepasbaar zijn. In hoeverre zal het populisme een bedreiging vormen voor ons liberaal-democratische systeem? En zal actieve Russische inmenging met Westerse media de westerse waarden beïnvloeden? Wat kunnen wij leren van de geschiedenis?

“The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.” - Timothy Snyder in On Tyranny

Over de auteur
Timothy D. Snyder is Housum Professor of History aan Yale University en lid van de Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Hij is de auteur van het book Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, wat bekroond werd met de literatuurprijs van de American Academy of Arts and Letters, met de Hannah Arendt Prijs en met de Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. Hij publiceerde tevens het boek Black Earth: the holocaust as history and warning. Snyder publiceert op frequente basis in The New York Review of Books en in The Times Literary Supplement en schreef voorheen voor The New Republic. Hij is een permanent onderzoeks-lid van het Institute for Human Sciences, is adviseur voor de Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies and neemt plaats in de adviesraad van het Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.

Moderator: Caspar van Gemund


 

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