The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty

Featuring Daron Acemoglu, John V. C. Nye, and Ian Vásquez

What does it take for liberty to emerge and to flourish? Daron Acemoglu will explain how, from antiquity to the modern age, the strong have tended to dominate the weak because states are too strong and despotic or because violence and lawlessness arise in their absence. Achieving liberty requires a constant struggle between the state and society that strikes a balance between the elite and citizens, and between institutions and norms. Acemoglu will draw from history to discuss how and under what conditions societies have gained freedoms, maintained them, or lost them. John Nye will critique Acemoglu’s views on the emergence and continuance of liberty.