Skip to main content

Populism as a challenge and a threat to media in liberal democracies

Dr Alexander Görlach, senior fellow, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
5:00pm, Friday 4 May 2018
Butler Room, Nuffield College

Alexander Görlach is a senior fellow at Carnegie Council. He is an F. D. Roosevelt Foundation In Defense of Democracy Affiliate Professor at Harvard University College; an affiliate to the Government Department at Harvard; and a fellow to the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Cambridge, UK. In his work, Görlach looks into narratives of identity, liberal democracy, secularism, and pluralism. His focus is on identities of the West.

Görlach is also a senior advisor to the Berggruen Institute, a think tank based in Los Angeles. There, he observes the topic of democracy in the digital age and the transformation of society, both culturally and economically, due to artificial intelligence.

Görlach is an op-ed contributor to The New York Times and  The World Post. He also writes for the German media outlets Die ZEIT and FOCUS Magazineand he is a TV-commentator for German news channel N24. Görlach is a columnist for the business magazine Wirtschaftswoche. He was the founder of the debate magazine The European, which he ran as publisher and editor-in-chief from 2009 until 2016. After the company was successfully acquired, Görlach founded the media initiative, where he fosters a debate about the values and concepts of humanism and enlightenment and how to preserve and develop them further in the age of populism and so-called "post-facutality" in the environment of liberal democracies.

As a senior fellow for Carnegie Council, Görlach looks into Latin America, which he perceives as a part of the West, disagreeing with most concepts that exist today which exclude this part of the world explicitly as a component of the West. Latin America, however, is in Görlach's view an essential part of what is considered to be the Western hemisphere: a shared past, shared enlightenment, and the reception of its philosophy, languages, political system, and religious and ethical beliefs mark the many commonalities. Moreover, through its young population and due to shared urging societal questions in all parts of the Western World, Latin America should and could have a stimulating impact on Europe and the United States.