Johan Norberg

Johan Norberg
Born (1973-08-27) 27 August 1973
Stockholm, Sweden
Occupation Author
Subject Globalization, History of ideas, Economics
Norberg presenting himself at the Gothenburg bookfair 2012.

Johan Norberg (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjuːˈan ˈnuːrˈbærj]; born 27 August 1973) is a Swedish author and historian, devoted to promoting economic globalization and what he regards as classical liberal positions. He is arguably most known as the author of In Defense of Global Capitalism (2001) and Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future (2016). Since March 15, 2007 he has been a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

Early life and education

Johan Norberg was born in Stockholm, the son of former Swedish National Archivist Erik Norberg and his wife Birgitta. He grew up in the suburb of Hässelby in western Stockholm. In his youth, Norberg was active as a left-anarchist but later abandoned those views and became a classical liberal. According to the biography given at his personal website, Norberg was disillusioned with the anarchist view of liberty when he discovered the collectivist themes in the major anarchist works, and was unable to sympathize with the pre-industrial society which its anarcho-primitivism promoted. This realization made him embrace classical liberalism, which he felt "took freedom seriously."[1] He studied at Stockholm University from 1992 to 1999 and earned a M.A. with a major in the history of ideas. His other subjects included philosophy, literature and political science. During his time at Stockholm University he was active in the libertarian network Frihetsfronten ("the Liberty Front") and was the editor of its journal Nyliberalen ("The Neoliberal"/"The Libertarian") from 1993 to 1997.


In 1997, Norberg was contacted by the Swedish liberal think tank Timbro, who invited him to write a book about the Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg. The book, Motståndsmannen Vilhelm Moberg, sold well and sparked much debate which allowed him to write another book, on the history of Swedish liberalism. This book, Den svenska liberalismens historia, also became a success and in 1999 Norberg joined the permanent staff of Timbro. From 1999 to 2002 he was assistant editor-in-chief of the webzine In 1999 he started the website to put the case for free trade and open economies.

Having participated in a number of debates against the Swedish anti-globalization movement, in May 2001 he released the book In Defense of Global Capitalism (Swedish: Till världskapitalismens försvar) where he assembles his arguments for globalization and free trade. In 2002 the book was selected for the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and in 2003 Norberg was awarded the gold medal of the German Hayek Stiftung (an award shared with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the German economist Otmar Issing). The British Channel 4 also invited him to present the documentary film Globalisation is Good (released in 2003), which is based on his book.

From 2002 to 2005, Norberg was head of political ideas at Timbro. From 2006 to 2007 he was a Senior Fellow with the Brussels-based think tank Centre for the New Europe.

Since March 15, 2007 he has been a Senior Fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute. He is also a member of the international Mont Pelerin Society.

Personal life

Norberg has two children.

Awards and honors



  1. "Biography, Johan Norberg". JohanNorberg.Net. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  2. "Winners of the 2002 Fisher Awards". Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  3. Kittel, Christoffer (2005-04-21). "Han har Sveriges bästa blogg" (in Swedish). Internetworld. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  4. Jilmstad, Lars (2006-12-08). "Nicolin-pris går till Norberg" (in Swedish). Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  5. Norberg, Johan (2007-10-05). "The James Joyce Award". JohanNorberg.Net. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
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