Transatlantic Law Forum: Citizenship in Europe and the United States
AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest

On both sides of the Atlantic, “citizenship” is the subject of vital and often contentious policy debates. In the United States, a nation famously founded on a creed rather than blood ties, the question of what it means to be an American citizen has always been central to the country’s self-understanding, and the citizenship question is closely tied to salient political debates over immigration, naturalization, and “identity politics.” European countries and the European Union (EU) wrestle with (at least) equally profound questions. Given that there is no European citizenship in any robust sense, can it be constructed--and if so, how and on what basis? Can there be democratic European institutions without European citizens? Should formerly sovereign nations tolerate Islamic law in some domains, perhaps on the principle that allows EU members to maintain their own laws on cultural and other matters--or would that step further compromise the promise of a common European identity and citizenship?

Prominent scholars, jurists, journalists, and policymakers from Europe and the United States will discuss these and related questions in a two-day conference sponsored by the AEI Legal Center’s Transatlantic Law Forum (TLF), an AEI joint venture with the Germany-based Council on Public Policy. The TLF provides a forum for scholars, lawyers, policymakers, journalists, and the interested public to deepen the understanding of constitutionalism and constitutional democracy in Europe and in the United States.

For video and audio from the second day of this event, please click here.

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About the Author

 

Walter
Berns
  • Walter Berns is also a professor emeritus at Georgetown University. A scholar of political philosophy and constitutional law, he has written extensively on American government and politics in both professional and popular journals. He is the author of numerous books on democracy, the Constitution, and patriotism. His most recent book is Democracy and the Constitution (AEI Press, 2006), a collection of essays. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2005.
  • Phone: 2028625859
    Email: wberns@aei.org

 

Michael S.
Greve

 

Gerard
Alexander
  • Gerard Alexander is also an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia.  He is currently researching and writing a book on issues of race and the modern conservative movement in America.  His previous work has examined the conditions for stable democracy, America's policy of democratization abroad, and perceptions of the United States abroad after 9/11. He is the author of The Sources of Democratic Consolidation (Cornell University Press, 2002).
  • Phone: 202-375-7826
    Email: galexander@aei.org

 

Ayaan
Hirsi Ali
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women's rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.

     

  • Email: ayaan.hirsiali@aei.org

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
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