Liberales Institut
Freedom Fellow: Alexander Görlach

Alexander Görlach
© David Elmes

Alexander Görlach is a "Freedom Fellow” of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation for Freedom. He is an academic, book author, journalist and entrepreneur who focuses on narratives of identity, liberal democracy, politics and religion, secularism, pluralism and cosmopolitanism. In his publication for the Naumann foundation he will be working on “Ethics of Cosmopolitanism” ("Ethik des Weltbürgers”), discussing the values that underlie liberal democratic societies. 


Today many democracies are struggling over a paradigmatic shift that is described along the axis of “anywheres” and “somewheres”: the “somewheres" are believed to be those rooted in a specific place and customs, mostly outside the metropolitan areas, whereas the “anywheres" are those living in these cities. The “anywheres” are often labelled (and ridiculed) by populists as cosmopolitan elite. Populists do so with the aim to disrupt societal peace. The publication by Alexander Görlach will make the counter-case,  showing the overlap of the values within those groups, highlighted  by the so called "in betweeners,” who sympathise with and live by the values of both sides. It will also make the case for open, tolerant societies

Alexander has served in different capacities at both, Harvard University in the US and Cambridge University in England. Currently he is a senior research associate at the Center for Religion and International Studies (CIRIS) at Clare College at Cambridge University, and an affiliate advisor to the F. D. Roosevelt Foundation, in their “In Defense of Democracy” program, at Adams House, Harvard University. He serves as senior fellow to the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and as senior advisor to the Berggruen Institute. Alex is also a honorary professor of ethics and theology at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany and a "Future World Fellow” at the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University in Madrid

Dr Görlach is known as the founder of the debate magazine The European, which he ran as its editor-in-chief from 2009 to 2015. Today he is an op-ed contributor to the New York Times and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a columnist for Wirtschaftswoche, a German business weekly, and a columnist for Deutsche Welle, writing about the global development in democracy and liberal society. Alex is the editor in chief of, a magazine on technology, AI and ethics and the founder of the initiative

His latest book, “Homo Empathicus: On Scapegoats, Populists, and How to Save Democracy," hits the shelves in the German speaking world on May 20th. Alexander Görlach lives in Berlin and New York. 

Tune into Alex’ conversation about the global state of democracy and liberal values at the “Ethics Studio” by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs: Alex’ TEDxTalk on how to Save liberal Democracy.