How to Save Liberalism in the U.S. and Europe

A Washington Monthly symposium.

Pro-Brexit Conservatives win a landslide victory in the U.K. Donald Trump is laughed out of a NATO summit after French President Emmanuel Macron declared the organization “brain dead.” Poland’s far-right government attempts to purge its judiciary, while Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán tightens his grip on the country’s media. Russia funds radical, anti-Europe, right-wing parties and floods U.S. elections with fake news. Every month, it seems, brings new evidence that the Transatlantic Alliance that has kept the peace and promoted democracy for seven decades is slowly cracking up.

Last summer, the Washington Monthly published a proposal by editor Daniel Block to revitalize the alliance and reverse the slide toward authoritarianism with a truly progressive U.S.-EU trade deal (“Free Trade for Liberals,” July/August 2019). This new “Atlantic Alliance,” Block argued, would cut tariffs between the United States and Europe in exchange for binding commitments to raise labor, environmental, and antitrust standards. The aim would be to boost incomes for average citizens, reversing the devastating income inequality that is one of the main causes of Europe and America’s current slide toward illiberalism.

For this issue, the Monthly asked five foreign-policy and economics experts to weigh in with their own proposals for revitalizing the U.S.-Europe relationship and promoting democracy in both places. They came back with proposals that detail everything from the rhetoric the next president can use immediately to stabilize deteriorating relations to what substantive new security arrangements both blocs should forge together for the long term.

— The Editors

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation