The case of guest workers: Exploitation, citizenship and economic rights

Res Publica 6 (1):73--92 (2000)
Abstract
Working from a ``capitalist'''' theory of exploitation, based on a neo-classical account of economic value, I argue that guest workers are exploited. It may be objected, however, that since they are not citizens, any inequality that stems from their status as non-citizens is morally unobjectionable. Although host countries are under no moral obligation to admit guest workers as citizens, thereare independent reasons that call for the extension of economicrights – the freedom of occupation in particular – to guestworkers. Since the cause of unequal exchange rests in the factthat guest workers are deprived of these rights, rather than in their exclusion from citizenship per se, I concludethat they are exploited even if their exclusion from citizenshipmay be justified.
Keywords citizenship  exploitation  free market  guest workers  rights
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