Walls, razor wire and fences are going up all over Europe—and North America too—as democracies face the challenge of mass migration. How do we reconcile refugee’s rights of asylum with sovereign rights of border control and citizens’ rights to security? The language of rights is now on a collision course with the language of democracy and sovereignty. What role can the language of the gift play in sustaining political support for prudent migration policies?
Michael Ignatieff is the Rector and President of Central European University and a member of the IWM’s Academic Advisory Board. Between 2014 and 2016 he was Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. From 2006 to 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. Between 2012 and 2015 he served as Centennial Chair at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York. 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).