New Faculty Feature: Meet Professor of Practice Michael Ignatieff

January 23, 2013

There are more than 180 faculty members at Harvard Kennedy School, and every semester we are fortunate to welcome a few new ones.

We asked those joining us for this spring semester a few questions – about their research, their teaching, their other interests – so they could introduce themselves to the Kennedy School community in their own words.

Michael Ignatieff returns to HKS about seven years after he won political office in his native Canada, where he served as Member of Parliament and leader of the Liberal Party. He will rejoin HKS in a half-time faculty appointment as professor of practice. He will also assume a half-time appointment as professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Q: What are your primary areas of research?

Ignatieff: I'm writing a book in praise of politics, as it actually is: rough and tumble, divisive, sometimes downright nasty, but the only way we have to shape our future together.

Q: What courses will you be teaching?

Ignatieff: Ill be teaching a course called Responsibility and Representation, about the dilemmas and demands of elective public office; and a course on Sovereignty and Intervention, about what sovereignty means in a globalized economy and what interventions in the affairs of sovereign states actually work

Q: How will your experience in politics help shape your classes here at HKS?

Ignatieff: I've been there--in the bear-pit of elective politics--and I hope it will make my teaching realistic, down to earth, practical and hopefully inspiring!

Q: What drew you back to Harvard Kennedy School?

Ignatieff: The best students I know and colleagues who stayed friends when I was away and have been good enough to welcome me back.

Q: What are you currently reading?

Ignatieff:
Mathias Risse's book "On Global Justice"

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Michael Ignatieff, professor of practice

Michael Ignatieff, professor of practice

"I've been there--in the bear-pit of elective politics--and I hope it will make my teaching realistic, down to earth, practical and hopefully inspiring," writes Ignatieff.