As a fellow with the Human Freedom Initiative, Peter Wehner is helping lead an effort to reaffirm core values of freedom, free markets, and liberal democracy. One of the goals of the Human Freedom Initiative is to foster a new bipartisan consensus that it is in the American interest to advance these principles at home and around the world.
Mr. Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he writes widely on political, national security, cultural, and religious issues. He has written for numerous publications—including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, National Affairs, National Review, Christianity Today and Time magazine. In 2015 he was named a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He also appears regularly as a commentator on television and talk radio.
Mr. Wehner served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations prior to becoming deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush. In 2002, he was asked to head the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, where he generated policy ideas, reached out to public intellectuals, published op-eds and essays, and provided counsel on a range of domestic and international issues.
Mr. Wehner is author of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (co-authored with Michael J. Gerson) and Wealth and Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism (co-authored with Arthur C. Brooks).
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The liberal democratic world order is under assault from those who never fully democratized or embraced free markets. To counter this trend, the Bush Institute is launching an effort to reaffirm core American principles of political democracy and free markets.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Is the global liberal democratic order in danger? Purposefully constructed in the aftermath of World War II, this order -- and the American leadership that is central to its success --has contributed to securing peace and expanding prosperity in the United States and around the world. Today, that order appears to be dissolving. This crisis is not new or sudden; it has been mounting for several years. Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline. Fraying traditional alliances united by core values of freedom are increasingly weak to respond. It is alarming that the downdraft in democratic resilience over the past decade or more includes countries that have long been part of the consolidated democratic West. This is democratic deconsolidation. In much of the Western world, we see a rise in demagogic populism, illiberalism, nationalism, protectionism, and waning conf