Battle of Ideas: National identity and belonging – what does it mean to be a citizen?



Are we are seeing a clash between a cosmopolitan view of citizenship and a national one? In this fascinating debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas, an eminent panel get stuck in to this thorny issue. Some of the big questions remain unanswered, but we’re left with plenty to think about. What can citizenship mean if it is divorced from place and detached from any special rights and duties? How can democratic decision-making work unless citizens interact with one another within a geographically bounded entity? Should we understand citizenship primarily as a practical matter of rights and responsibilities, or as a more elevated matter of identity and allegiance?

The speakers are:

Kate Andrews, associate director Institute of Economic Affairs, columnist, City A.M.

Mihir Bose, award-winning journalist; author, Lion and Lamb: a portrait of British moral duality.

Jacob Mchangama, executive director, Justitia, a Copenhagen based human-rights think tank; host and narrator, Clear and Present Danger: a history of free speech podcast.

Dr. James Panton, head of upper sixth and head of politics, Magdalen College School; associate professor of philosophy, Open University; co-editor, From Self to Selfie: a critique of contemporary forms of alienation.

The chair is Angus Kennedy convenor, The Academy; author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination.


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