The Nation is an Institution which has Outlived its Usefulness

For our 2018 Annual Debate, we welcomed philosophers Lea Ypi and David Miller to address the motion ‘The Nation is an Institution which has Outlived its Usefulness’.

Among other issues this debate addresses the tension between cosmopolitanism, as manifested in transnational agencies like the UN, the IMF, the EU, the World Bank, and the sense many people have that their local allegiances and loyalties are being threatened by globalisation. Against that sense it could be pointed out that some of these local allegiances may be unpleasant, and the source of conflict, and that they are increasingly irrelevant in the world of mass communication (internet etc), trade, travel, migration and movement. On the other hand, will eroding people’s national loyalty in the name of inevitable progress undermine the sense of community and belonging on which living together depends?

  • Speakers

    David Miller is Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Political Theory at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and Visiting Professor of Law and Philosophy at Queen’s University, Ontario. His longest standing interest is in the idea of justice, originally social justice but now also global justice. He has published three books about this: Social Justice (Clarendon Press, 1976), Principles of Social Justice (Harvard University Press, 1999) and most recently a collection of essays, Justice for Earthlings (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

    Lea Ypi is Professor in Political Theory in the Government Department, London School of Economics, and Adjunct Associate Professor in Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. She is the author of Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency and (with Jonathan White) The Meaning of Partisanship, both published by Oxford University Press.