On October 20, 2013, the Munk School of Global Affairs hosted a presentation by Professor Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford University) entitled “Freedom in Diversity: Ten Lessons for Public Policy in Britain, France, Canada, Germany and the United States”. The event was held in the Campbell Conference Facility at the Munk School Trinity Site.


Freedom panelists        Janice Stein

Professor Janice Stein (Director, Munk School of Global Affairs) chaired this event, while Professor Jeffrey Reitz (Director, R.F. Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies) and Professor Michael Ignatieff (Munk School of Global Affairs) served as discussants.

Freedom in diversity audience


Western societies are becoming ever more diverse, particularly because of large-scale migration over more than half a century. This is often seen as a threat to old-established freedoms but, properly managed, the reality of growing diversity should complement and enhance freedom. This report is dedicated to suggesting ways in which it can.

The product of a research project at Oxford University, it brings together data and analysis on five major Western democracies and draws ten lessons for public policy. Public policy is here understood to mean not just the work of governments and local authorities, but also the activities of civil society and the wider public. It is hoped that these lessons will stimulate useful debate, and not only in the five countries here compared.

Speaker Bio:

Timothy Garton Ash is Professor of European Studies, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow and Honorary Chair of the European Studies Centre.

He has written extensively about the recent history and politics of Europe. His books include The Polish Revolution: Solidarity (1983); The Uses of Adversity: Essays on the Fate of Central Europe (1989); We the People: The Revolution of ’89 witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague (1990); In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (1993); The File: A Personal History (1997); History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Despatches from Europe in the 1990s (1997), Free World: Why a crisis of the West reveals the opportunity of our time (2004) and, most recently, Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade Without a Name (2009).

His current research interests include the future of free speech in a multicultural and interconnected world – on which he is writing a book – and the relationship between an enlarged European Union, the United States and the China.