Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff was born in Toronto on 12 May 1947. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in History. After earning his Ph.D. from Harvard University, he was elected a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge. He has taught at Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, the University of California, the University of London and the London School of Economics.

For several years Dr. Ignatieff lived in England, where he was a regular broadcaster and critic on television and radio, including feature programmes on Channel 4 and the British Broadcasting Corporation. His award-winning series on nationalism in the twentieth century, Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, was first screened on the BBC in 1993. His book on the same subject won the Lionel Gelber Award.

By then, Dr. Ignatieff had already written several scholarly works, on subjects as diverse as the English penal system, the human need for community, and the Scottish Enlightenment, as well as a family memoir, A Russian Album (1987), which won the Governor-General’s Award for Non-Fiction and the Heinemann Award. Ignatieff’s second novel, Scar Tissue (1993), was short-listed for both the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread Novel Award.

Professor Ignatieff has written several books on modern warfare and on questions associated with human rights, as well as a much-acclaimed biography of Isaiah Berlin. He frequently contributes articles and reviews to a wide range of newspapers, journals and magazines. In 2000, Michael Ignatieff was invited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to deliver the Massey Lectures, which were subsequently published as The Rights Revolution.

His latest novel, Charlie Johnson in the Flames, appeared earlier this year and his analysis of the implications of the fight against terrorism for liberal democracy, The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror, will be available in May 2004. In addition to his teaching, Michael Ignatieff often speaks on historical subjects, philosophical questions and contemporary issues.

Michael Ignatieff is the Carr Professor and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He lives with his wife in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This year’s O.D. Skelton Memorial Lecture by Professor Michael Ignatieff is entitled “Peace, Order and Good Government: A Foreign Policy Agenda for Canada”.