Harney Lecture Series

Sponsored by the R.F. Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Harney Lecture Series brings prominent scholars and practitioners from around the world to explore cutting-edge topics in citizenship, migration, and diversity and to enrich the research community at the University of Toronto.

All events (unless otherwise stated) will be open to the public and require pre-registration at the Munk School event registration URL.

Please contact for all questions regarding the lectures.
Visit this page frequently for event updates.

Past Events

Harney Lecture Series 21 January 2021 2.10 4.10 pm

Ta’al Bachir (Come Tomorrow): The Politics of Waiting for Citizenship

Lecture by Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Pardee School, Boston University

When it comes to extending citizenship to some groups, why might ruling political elites say neither “yes” nor “no,” but “wait”? The dominant theories of citizenship tend to recognize clear distinctions between citizens and aliens; either one has citizenship or one does not. In this presentation, Dr. Lori will discuss her recent book that explains how and why some minorities are neither fully included nor simply expelled by a state. Instead, they can be suspended in limbo – residing in a territory for extended periods without ever accruing any citizenship rights. This in-depth case study of the United Arab Emirates uses new archival sources and extensive interviews to show how temporary residency can be transformed into a permanent legal status, through visa renewals and the postponement of naturalization cases. In the UAE, temporary residency was also codified into a formal citizenship status through the outsourcing of passports from the Union of Comoros, allowing elites to effectively reclassify minorities into foreign residents.

Harney Lecture Series February 4, 2021 4.00 6.00 pm

Racial Borders

Lecture by E. Tendayi Achiume, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law / UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Harney Lecture Series February 25, 2021 3.10 – 5.00 pm

Automation and Immigration

Lecture by Kieran Oberman, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Edinburgh and Tom Parr, Associate Professor, University of Warwick

Access the video recording of this lecture here.

This lecture was co-sponsored by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Migration and automation are dominant trends of our age. Both are changing how we work and live. When it comes to migration, many voters want tighter restrictions. They are worried that migrants are ‘stealing their jobs’ and ‘changing the culture’. Politicians are responding with promises to get tough. Automation is different. People worry about automation but not in the same way. Voters are not calling for the numbers of machines to be reduced or even controlled. There are no anti-robot political parties. Politicians do not win elections by getting tough on computer chips.

The question is ‘why?’ Why is there such significant opposition to migration and yet so little to automation? Why limit migrants but not robots?

The paper asks these questions not only in relation to the public debate on migration but also the debate amongst philosophers. In the first part, it looks at some of the main philosophical arguments for immigration restrictions and shows how the arguments apply equally to automation. In the second part, the paper offers a hypothesis as to why migration, not automation, generates public opposition. It is human to classify other humans in terms of in-groups and out-groups. Migrants, being human, are readily identified as an out-group. Machines are not human. In short, anti-migrant prejudice seems to explain the difference. If prejudice is so crucial in explaining opposition to immigration, we have further reason to doubt the permissibility of immigration restrictions.

Harney Lecture Series ― March 12, 2021 12.00 – 2.00 pm

The Rise of Authoritarianism and Populism: Challenges to Critical Analyses of Law

Panel with Professor Guenter Frankenberg, Goethe University, Frankfurt; Helena Alviar Garcia, Science Po Law School, Paris; Bojan Bugaric, University of Sheffield

Co-sponsored with Critical Analysis of Law Workshop, Faculty of Law, & Max Planck Fellow Group in Comparative Constitutionalism

Harney Lecture Series ― March 25, 2021 2.00 – 4.00 pm

How Embedded Interventions Controlled Contagion: Ideas, Institutions and the First Vaccine in China and India

Lecture by Prerna Singh, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Brown University

Access the video recording of this lecture Part 1 and Part 2

Co-sponsored with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity and the Centre for South Asian Studies, Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy