You can download and listen to this lecture. There are two MP3 files to download.
The first audio download is 41 minutes long, and the filesize is 39 Megabytes. This contains the introduction to the talk by Ron Hill, professor of political science at
The recording of the 2005 Amnesty Lecture at Trinity College Dublin which took place on Thursday January 13th, is now available for download. The lecture was entitled "American Exceptionalism & Human Rights" and was given by Professor Michael Ignatieff.
A regular broadcaster and critic on television and radio, Michael Ignatieff has hosted many programmes including Channel 4's Voices, the BBC's arts programme The Late Show, and the award-winning series Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, first screened by the BBC in 1993, examining the issue of nationalism in the late twentieth century. His first book, A Just Measure of Pain: Penitentiaries in the Industrial Revolution, 1780-1850, a study of the English penal system, was published in 1978. The Russian Album (1987) is a memoir of his family's experience in nineteenth-century Russia and its subsequent exile to Europe and, eventually, Canada. It won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction (Canada) and the Heinemann Award. His first novel, Asya, a love story about a Russian living in Paris and London during World War II, was published in 1991, and was followed by Scar Tissue (1993), a powerful examination of love and the acceptance of loss, which was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread Novel Award.
His acclaimed biography of Isaiah Berlin, the result of ten years' research, was published in 1998. It was shortlisted for both the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Non-Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction). The Warrior's Honour: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience (1998) is an examination of modern warfare and its complex moral implications, and Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond (2000), which won the George Orwell Prize, is a study of the NATO bombing of Kosovo, and Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001) is an account of the successes, failures and prospects of advances in human rights. His most recent book on ethnic war and intervention is Empire Lite: Nation Building in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan.
Michael Ignatieff is the Carr Professor and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. He lives with his wife in Cambridge, Mass
In this lecture in the Edmund Burke Theatre in Trinity College Dublin, Ignatieff deals with what he terms "American Exceptionalism" and Human Rights in todays world. He talks about the many contradictions that the current US administration operates under. Controversially, he describes the US as both a leader and an outlier of human rights, and talks about this in relation to the US "project" of democracy in the Middle East. He also brings into question the concept of our own neutrality, among many other topics and values that the liberal communties and human rights advocates tried to achieve in the run up to the war in Iraq.