Orgad, Dr. Liav - POINT Alumnus


Freie Universität Berlin

Center for Area Studies

Hittorfstr. 18
14195 Berlin

Liav Orgad specializes in comparative constitutional law, comparative immigration law, constitutional identity, citizenship theory, and multiculturalism. He holds LL.D. and LL.M. degrees from the Hebrew University (2011, 2005), an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School (James Kent Scholar, 2007), and LL.B. and B.A. degrees from the IDC Herzliya (2003). Orgad held various visiting scholar positions at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU School of Law, and the Roosevelt Academy, Utrecht University. He served on Israel’s Advisory Committee on Immigration Policy and Israel's National Security Council and was a Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute.

In recent years, Orgad was awarded the Dan David Scholarship Prize for "outstanding postdoctoral students of contemporary philosophy" (2013), Fulbright (USIEF) Alumni Prize (2012), Eric Stein Prize for "best scholarly article" by the American Society for Comparative Law (2011), and Gorney Prize for "outstanding young scholars" by the Israeli Association of Public Law (2011). He has been granted Rothschild Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, Russell Sage Presidential Authority Award, ISEF Fellowship, E. David Fischman Scholarship, Volkswagen Foundation "Our Common Future Fellowship," and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Scholarship.

Orgad is currently a POINT Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin working on a book, titled: Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights (Oxford University Press, under contract).


"Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights" (Oxford University Press, under contract)

Liberal theory and human rights law recognize the right of minority groups to maintain their unique cultural identity. Majority groups have not, thus far, been assumed to have need of a similar right. Receiving societies initially expected immigrants to become similar to natural-born citizens by a long residency requirement. However, immigrants often concentrate geographically and maintain close ties with their home country, creating communities that physically reside inside the country, but culturally remain outside. Today, with close to 214 million migrants worldwide, majority groups increasingly feel a need to protect their culture. Can culturally distinct immigration be reconciled with nations seeking to preserve their culture? If certain elements of the culture of majority groups are vulnerable, should these groups have a legal right to defend fundamental elements of their culture? If so, which culture and whose culture?

Cultural Defense of Nations discusses the justifications and limits of cultural rights of majority groups from a liberal perspective. It addresses two simple but important and timely questions: a) Is the cultural continuity of majority groups a legitimate purpose to restrict immigration and access to citizenship? b) Is culture a legitimate criterion to restrict immigration and access to citizenship? 

The first part of the book exposes the rising power of culture in immigration selection – a trend which refutes the generally-accepted proposition that access to citizenship is being liberalized. The second part describes why this process embraces illiberal policies that violate the same values it seeks to protect. The third develops a liberal concept of cultural defense – National Constitutionalism – as an instrument by which liberal democracies could pursue legitimate cultural goals without recourse to the more extreme measures recently adopted or proposed in several countries.


"Ethnic Profiling in Airport Screening: Lessons from Israel, 1968-2010," 14(2) American Law and Economics Review 1 (2012) (w/Badi Hasisi & Yoram Margalioth)

"The Preamble in Constitutional Interpretation," 8(4) International Journal of Constitutional Law 714 (I-CON) (2011)

"The Citizenship Puzzle," 59(2) American Journal of Comparative Law 595 (2011)

"Creating New Americans: The Essence of Americanism under the Citizenship Test," 47(5) Houston Law Review 1227 (2011)

"Illiberal Liberalism: Cultural Restrictions on Migration and Access to Citizenship in Europe," 58(1) American Journal of Comparative Law 53 (2010)

"Race, Religion and Nationality in Immigration Selection: 120 Years after the Chinese Exclusion Case," 26(1) Constitutional Commentary 237 (2010) (w/Theodore Ruthizer)

"‘Cultural Defence’ of Nations: Cultural Citizenship in France, Germany and the Netherlands," 15(6) European Law Journal 719 (2009)

"Love and War: Family Migration in Time of National Emergency," 23(1) Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 85 (2008)