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The Right to Have Rights: Migrants, Refugees and the Duties of States

Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The Frontiers of Democracy Initiative and CEU President and Rector John Shattuck invite you to

"The Right to Have Rights: Migrants, Refugees and the Duties of States"

 a lecture by

Professor, Harvard University
2009-2011 Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

ABSTRACT /  The refugee crisis is a political challenge, but also an intellectual opportunity: to re-think what citizens owe strangers. 

According to Hannah Arendt, our 'right to have rights' comes from two sources: our citizenship in a given state and our shared identity as human beings.  Refugees have lost their citizenship rights; migrants have given them up. What rights can they then claim, as human beings, when they arrive at our frontiers?

BIO / Michael Ignatieff is a writer, teacher and former politician. Born in Canada, educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard University, he has written award-winning books, worked as a television presenter and documentary filmmaker, editorial columnist and university teacher. He has taught at the University of British Columbia, Cambridge University, the London School of Economics and Harvard University, where he was Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government between 2000 and 2005. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and holds eleven honorary degrees. Between 2006 and 2011, he was Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Lakeshore, Deputy Leader and Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Between 2011 and 2013, he held a professorial appointment at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. In 2014, he rejoined the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University as Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Politics and the Press. He also serves as Centennial Chair of the Project on Global Ethics at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York.

RSVP by January 11 at

The entire event will be livestreamed at CEU's Ustream channel at: