Keynote Lecture

Keynote Lecture: Governing the Global Society: Challenges to Open Societies” by Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

When: Friday, March 31, 2017 – 4pm

Where: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum 600 S Gregory St, Urbana




The rise of a global society, defined by the ever-enlarging interdependence of the world’s diverse and divided populations, poses the overriding question of its governance.

In response to the imperatives of governance — Order, Welfare, and Legitimacy — the democracies erected the global state for Order, reforming the Westphalian-Hobbesean-Weberian security state; created a global market system for Welfare, facilitating the free movement of people, goods and services, ideas and values, technology, and best practices across borders; and affirmed that the Legitimacy of right rule be founded on the universal moral principle that all humans are free and equal.

The democratic solution to OWL imperatives, fleetingly ascendant with the implosion of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, is now under siege. On the one hand, open societies undermine their solution to OWL imperatives in failing to fulfill, collectively, the democratic promise.

On the other hand, formidable adversaries reject the democratization of global governance — authoritarian states, notably Russia and China; religiously informed regimes opposed to the Western secular state; trans-regional terrorist social movements; and vast transcontinental criminal networks, corrupting and preying on open societies.

QED: Either the democracies hang together to deter and defeat their adversaries or they will hang separately.