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The Right to Have Rights: Refugees, Migrants & Citizens by Michael Ignatieff

Safra Lecture Theatre
08/06/2016 (18:00-19:30)
Contact / +44 (0)20 7848 3640

Sixth Annual Fulbright Distinguished Lecture Series in International Relations

Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

The European refugee crisis challenges the hopeful narrative Europeans have tried to believe since the end of the Cold War: that the nations of Europe are drawing ever closer together; that the developed world can partner with the developing world to build shared prosperity; that human rights and international law will steadily improve the protection of the stateless and the desperate. As razor wire goes up along Europe’s southern frontier, a darker narrative is emerging: that the sovereign must protect citizens against strangers; that the nation, not the continent is the true home of citizens; and that citizens in the developed world must protect its economies from migrants, refugees and strangers. This lecture analyses the emergence of this new narrative for our times and searches for an alternative and more hopeful path. 

Professor Michael Ignatieff

Born in Canada, educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard, Michael Ignatieff is a university professor, writer and former politician. He holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University and has held academic posts at the University of British Columbia, Cambridge University, the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics and Harvard University, where he was Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy between 2000 and 2005.

His major publications are The Needs of Strangers (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Isaiah Berlin (1998), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), and Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013).

Between 2006 and 2011, he served as an MP in the Parliament of Canada and then as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and holds eleven honorary degrees.

He also currently serves as Centennial Chair at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York.

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