I defend a neo-republican account of the right to have political rights. Neo-republican freedom from domination is a sufficient condition for the extension of political rights not only for permanent residents, but also for temporary residents, unauthorized migrants, and some expatriates. I argue for the advantages of the neo-republican account over the social membership account, the affected-interest account, the stakeholder account, and accounts based on the justification of state coercion.
Our goal in this article is first to give a broad outline of some of Hume’s major positions to do with justice, sympathy, the common point of view, criticisms of social contract theory, convention and private property that continue to resonate in contemporary political philosophy. We follow this with an account of Hume’s influence on contemporary philosophy in the conservative, classical liberal, utilitarian, and Rawlsian traditions. We end with some reflections on how contemporary political philosophers would benefit from a more (...) explicit consideration of Hume. (shrink)
A number of prominent political philosophers, including Will Kymlicka and Joseph Carens, have suggested that one reason for limiting immigration is to protect culture, particularly what Kymlicka calls “societal culture”: “a territorially-concentrated culture, centered on a shared language which is used in a wide range of societal institutions, in both public and private life (schools, media, law, economy, government, etc.).” I situate this claim in the context of liberal nation-building and suggest that the arguments for the protection of culture are (...) often vague, confused or tend to conflict with liberal commitments. When clear, they gain their plausibility from other concerns (e.g., self-defense), not cultural protection. Finally, given plausible empirical assumptions, the dangers to societal culture are considerably exaggerated and provide little reason for preventing immigration. I then briefl y consider the case of general culture and whether there are some grounds to limit immigration to protect it, using the example of Iceland and aboriginal cultures to situate my arguments. Once again, I conclude that the appeal to culture to limit immigration is weak and philosophers searching for arguments against open borders should turn elsewhere. (shrink)