Author(s): Adrienne Clarkson
Never has the world experienced greater movement of peoples from one country to another, from one continent to another. These seismic shifts in population have brought huge challenges for all societies, particularly in the developed world. Do changes in population present the possibility of a new model for the structures of society? Does the Canadian model, which emphasizes values, parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law, make a fitting model for countries who still rejoice in ethnic purity? Can belonging encompass difference and distrust, while maintaining standards of human rights, particularly freedom of expression and assembly and the right of women? These timely and controversial subjects are at the very essence of Adrienne Clarkson's 2014 Massey Lectures, "Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship." Clarkson masterfully chronicles the evolution of citizenship throughout the ages: from the genesis of the idea of citizenship in pre-history, to Aristotle and the Greeks, to the medieval structures of guilds and class; from the warring factions of the French revolution, to Icelandic law-making tradition, and present-day modern citizenship based on values, economics, and multiculturalism. She concludes by looking forward, warning of what will happen if we don't live up to our ideals of democracy, identity, and belonging.
Adrienne Clarkson served as Canada's 26th Governor General from 1999 to 2005. An accomplished broadcaster and distinguished public servant, she has received numerous prestigious awards and honorary degrees. In 2005, she founded The Institute for Canadian Citizenship. She lives in Toronto.