In May 1996, more than 300 leaders of intellectual and political opinion met in the glittering chambers of the Cernin Palace in the Czech capital to convene the Congress of Prague. Welcomed by Vaclav Havel, the Czech president, their purpose was to celebrate the achievements of Western civilization and to affirm the values on which that civilization is based. This event, held under the auspices of the New Atlantic Initiative, concluded with a declaration of common principles: an eloquent and unapologetic statement of belief in individual liberty, the market economy, and democratic pluralism.
The chapters in this volume derive from the addresses and policy discussions at the congress, the first stage of the initiative that has the practical aim of bringing about a renewal of the Western Alliance and a reshaping of its institutions to meet new conditions. Contributors include Christoph Bertram, Alun Chalfont, Pete du Pont, Vaclav Havel, Paul Johnson, Max M. Kampelman, Adrian Karatnycky, Lane Kirkland, Vaclav Klaus, Jon Kyl, William Luers, David McCurdy, Antonio Martino, and Margaret Thatcher.
Gerald Frost is the research director of the New Atlantic Initiative. William E. Odom is director of National Security Studies for the Hudson Institute and an adjunct professor at Yale University.