Populist movements are on the rise in almost all liberal democracies, which are also afflicted by economic and demographic crises and collective insecurity. Should these signs of societal malaise be interpreted as a bleak forewarning of the West’s decline? What if, instead of a process of inevitable decay, we’re only experiencing a transitional phase? Two different but complementary visions – one more focused on geopolitical dynamics, the other on religious and cultural processes – face off against one another in this dialogue that explores Europe’s destiny. The two authors believe that the tradition of European civilization will provide the cultural, political, and institutional resources we need to face the future with confidence.
Angelo Panebianco formerly taught Political Science at the University of Bologna and writes editorials for the major Italian daily newspaper “Corriere della Sera”.
Sergio Belardinelli teaches Sociology of Cultural Processes at the University of Bologna.