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Save Liberal Democracy

– In Love with Facts

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Alexander Görlach

Alexander Goerlach is an academic, essayist and entrepreneur. He served in the academic years 2014-2017 as visiting scholar and J.F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University. He researched at both, Harvard Divinity School and Center for European Studies, in the field of politics and religion. Alex holds PhDs in linguistics and in comparative religion. Today he is an affiliate at Harvard's Government Department, where he works on a project on the concept of Abendland (Occident). Alex is further a senior fellow to the Carnegie Center for Ethics in International Affairs, a senior advisor to the Berggruen Institute, and an op-ed contributor to the New York Times. In Germany he is best known as the founder and editor-in-chief of the debate-magazine The European and as a columnist to Wirtschaftswoche, the countries largest business outlet. Alex now hosts the blog-magazine saveliberaldemocracy.com, where he gathers voices that wish to reinvigorate the discourse about Enlightenment and defend the values of liberal democracy.

Lebanon and foreign interference – is there hope for a way out?

by Constantin Wiegand

Saudi Arabia’s regional standoff with Iran escalated last Saturday, as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly resigned. He did so in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia, blaming Iran and Hezbollah for his decision and alluding that his life was in danger. His resignation ended a political deal that had led to the election of Michel Aoun as president after more than two years of a political vacuum in Lebanon.

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“Most of us identify ​as Taiwanese, not Chinese”

Fei-fan Lin started the Sunflower Movement in 2014, a student protest against China’s increasing pressure on Taiwan. Lin, who today studies at the London School of Economics, and his movement were successful: they prevented a bill that would have given China more economic influence over Taiwan. Today five of the protesters are members of  Congress. The issue of Taiwan’s future, however, is all but resolved.

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Germany should seriously consider an Islamic national holiday

In his Op-Ed, Save Liberal Democracy Founder Alexander Görlach argues that introducing an Islamic national holiday could be a sensible step towards more integration. It would also be a potent symbol of Germany’s liberal democracy, he argues. 

The proposal came at an inopportune moment: Germany’s Conservative Secretary of the Interior Thomas de Maizière suggested introducing an Islamic public holiday. And indeed, it horrified his Conservative party colleagues. The party of incumbent Chancellor Merkel had suffered a major setback in the national election, primarily because of its migration policy. There was much talk of a political shift to the right. The extreme right-wing party, AfD, had gained 13% of the overall vote. In some constituencies, it managed to win up to 30% of the electorate. Especially in the eastern parts of the country.

Political Islam must return to its liberal roots

In his Op-Ed, Dinmukhamed Rakysh argues that the narrative of Islamic politics is deeply ingrained in Egyptian history and will be a source of tension until its narrative can be rewritten to accommodate liberal values. But it already missed its historical opportunity in Egypt. 

A few months ago, the decision was made to award the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights to Mohamed Zaree. Zaree is an Egyptian citizen who works at the renowned Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. However, there was one problem with the award ceremony earlier this week. He has been barred from leaving the country on account  of investigations for ‘using funds to destabilize Egyptian interests.’

 

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„The marketing of liberal institutions is missing“

Sercan Çelebi is a consultant and a co-founder of Oy Ve Ötesi (Vote and Beyond) Foundation, which has since 2014 trained more than 170.000 volunteers around Turkey to monitor elections. He is an alumni of Yale University.

 

SLD: What is the situation like in Turkey these days? Hundreds of thousands of participants marched in the “March of Justice” to protest Mr Erdogan’s regime. Did this change anything in the slightest?

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Why Brits should fear the ‘Norway Model’, and need it

Jakob Schram is a Norwegian student of International Relations. He is engaged in JEF Norway (Europeisk Ungdom), a youth NGO working to raise EU debates on the Norwegian agenda. Having previously studied at Oxford University, he is currently finishing a BA at the University of Oslo. 

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Learnings from Charlottesville

by Martin Eiermann

In the wake of the violent White Supremacist protests in Charlottesville, there has been much chatter about how Germany supposedly deals with Nazis, or how one should deal with Nazis. Here are a few thoughts.

First, in Germany we address history in a fairly unequivocal way. We have tried for a break with the past to a degree that has never happened in the US. You cannot go through high school without spending multiple semesters on the 3rd Reich.

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A TEDxTalk: How narratives of inclusiveness could save liberal democracy

Save Liberal Democracy founder Alexander Görlach delivered a TEDxTalk in Berlin, elaborating on how to save liberal democracy. His take is that the authoritarians of today use a simple and easy rhetoric to target minority groups such as Muslims or migrants. By doing so, they cater to the oldest and meanest trick in political ideology — “us versus them” labeling, with the result of “scapegoating” these minorties.

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“We’re suffering from the byproducts of competitive democracy”

James S. Fishkin is Professor for International Communication and Political Science at Stanford University. He is also director of Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy. Fishkin is a widely cited scholar on his work on deliberative democracy.

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