Classical political theory and psychoanalytic approaches to politics are my first loves. If pressed to describe what I do in a couple of words, I would call it by the old fashioned name of moral psychology. I'm interested in the psychological roots of morality, but I'm very careful not to reduce morality to psychology, or to imagine that psychology can form the basis of morality. Research in this area has also led me to investigate issues within the realm of international human rights. 

I am especially interested in the experience of trauma, particularly the way trauma becomes embedded in nations, societies, and groups, especially out-groups.  Please see my blog:


I have been interviewed a couple of hundred times by the national media on whistleblowing, and corporate ethics generally. My remarks and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, NBC, NPR, Nightly Business Report, Mother Jones, as well as dozens of other newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations.

I have received three Fulbright Fellowships, including two Senior Fulbright Research Fellowships, the first to Germany, the second to Korea.

I am a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland.

I received the Chancellor Kirwan Undergraduate Teacher of the Year Award.

Areas of Interest

  • Classical Political Theory
  • Political Psychology
  • Psychoanalysis and Politics
CV: Alford CV.pdf135.18 KB


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    University of Texas at Austin

I regularly teach classical political theory and politics and literature to undergraduates.  I teach classical, modern, and contemporary political theory to graduate students.

I prefer to teach seminar style. 

Trauma, Culture, and PTSD (2016).  New York: Palgrave

Trauma and Forgiveness: Consequences and Communities (2013). New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Narrative, Nature and the Natural Law: From Aquinas to International Human Rights (2010). New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan.

After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Journey to Affliction (2009). New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Psychology and the Natural Law of Reparation (2006). New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rethinking Freedom: Why Freedom Has Lost Its Meaning and What Can Be Done To Save It (2005). New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Levinas, Psychoanalysis, and the Frankfurt School (2002). Middletown and London: Wesleyan University Press and Continuum Books.

Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power (2001). Ithaca: Cornell University Press. [Reprinted in paperback, 2002]

Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization (1999). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

What Evil Means to Us (1997). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

And a half dozen other books.  See my CV. 

Executive Director of the Association for Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, past president of the political psychology section of the American Political Science Association, Co-Editor, Psychoanalysis and Society Book Series, published by Cornell University Press. I sit on the editorial boards of half a dozen professional journals.

C. Fred Alford, Professor of Government, University of Maryland, College Park
1151 Tydings Hall
Department of Government and Politics
calford [at]