Pluralism and Civil Exchange


In recent years, authoritarianism, identitarianism, statism, nativism, and a host of other populist movements have been on the rise in our nation and around the world. Whether on the right or the left, these manifestations of illiberalism make it difficult to exchange ideas and coexist with our fellow citizens across deep ideological divides—and we are the poorer for it. To defend the freedom of expression, tolerance, and mutual forbearance that are essential to a free, open, peaceful, and thriving society, the Mercatus Center launched its Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange.

The program is reengaging the ideas at the root of a liberal society and inspiring a fresh generation of thinkers and doers. For, as F. A. Hayek put it, “If old truths are to retain their hold on men’s minds, they must be restated in the language and concepts of successive generations.”

Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding of pluralism and its role as a core attribute of a liberal society through research and communication; the practice of civil discourse and mutual forbearance; and the development and dissemination of tools for audiences across philosophical divides to model pluralism.