Michael Ignatieff

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Michael Ignatieff (1947-) is the leader of the Liberal Party (Canada), Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Prior to returning to Canada to enter politics,[1] he was a professor at Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and also had taught at Cambridge University, Oxford University, the University of California, the University of London and the London School of Economics.

Unusual among human rights activists, he is an interventionist who supported the Afghanistan War (2001-) and the Iraq War. [2] In his review of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, he regarded Huntington as unclear and oversimplifying, not recognizing when intervention may be needed.

His political career began early, as a Young Liberal volunteer, in 1965, for Lester Pearson. He was the national youth organizer for Pierre Trudeau in 1968.

In 2001, Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien and Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy appointed him as a Canadian representative on the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

He was a journalist before entering academia. In 1993, for the BBC, he spent time in Quebec, the Ukraine, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia to produce “Blood and Belonging: Journeys in to the New Nationalism”, which he later developed into a book. He has also written novels and a screenplay.

His undergraduate degree in history is from the University of Toronto and his doctorate from Harvard; his first job was as a reporter on the Toronto Globe and Mail.


  1. Sheelah Kolhatkar (4 December 2005), Superstar Ignatieff Leaves Harvard, Times To Save the Canadians
  2. Juanita Leon (29 May 2008), "Michael Ignatieff: A Man for all Seasons", FLYP