The right to have visiting rights- Seyla Benhabib and her visit to the UK

The right to have visiting rights– The story of Seyla Benhabib and her visit to the UK.

There’s a small but telling irony behind an important lecture at Cambridge tomorrow evening (Monday, 13 February) on migrants, refugees, and “the right to have rights.” The lecturer, the Yale political philosopher Seyla Benhabib, a visiting professor this term at the university’s Centre for Gender Studies, has lectured in England several times before. In 2002 she delivered Cambridge’s Seeley Lectures on the theme, “Citizens, Residents, and Aliens.”

Yet, this year, the British consulate in New York, operating under rules instituted by former Home Secretary Theresa May, made Benhabib’s visa-application process so Kafkaesque and expensive that the process  succeeded in making the United Kingdom look like a failed state fronting for a band of mercenaries.

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