1. Among the most striking features of the political arrangements on this planet is its division into sovereign states.1 To be sure, in recent times, globalization has woven together the fates of communities and individuals in distant parts of the world in complex ways. It is partly for this reason that now hardly anyone champions a notion of sovereignty that would entirely discount a state’s liability the effects that its actions would have on foreign nationals. Still, state sovereignty persists as (...) a political fact. The number of states has increased enormously due to upheavals of the 20th century, and there is nothing in principle morally wrong with the existence of states - or so we will assume.2 What must be explored, then, are the limits of normatively plausible sovereignty. How bad does a government have to be for outsiders to be allowed to interfere? What responsibilities does a country incur because of its contribution to global warming? What obligations arise through trading? In this paper, we explore another pertinent question: to what extent is a country allowed to influence who lives on its territory by regulating immigration? The angle from which we approach this question continues to be neglected even now that questions of global justice are receiving much attention. Immigration amounts to a change in political relationships as immigrants alter their standing within one community and acquire a status elsewhere. Yet it also amounts to an alteration in physical relationship, since they acquire a relationship to a territory, making a life for themselves with the resources offered by a part of the earth.3 We base our exploration of.. (shrink)
Little work has been done to explore the moral foundations of the state’s right to territory.1 In modern times, the state has mostly been assumed to be a territorial unit, and no need was perceived to reflect on precisely what justifies its territorial jurisdiction. The state’s territoriality is related to another topic that has remained under-theorized: immigration. There is, moreover, an obvious relationship between these topics: the more powerful a state’s rights over its territory, the more powerful the right to (...) constrain access to that territory might become – or so, at any rate, we might suppose. Rights to territory and rights to immigration are usefully theorized together.2 Our starting point is a Lockean analysis of the moral foundations of territoriality offered by Simmons (2001). This is a natural starting point not only because Simmons is one of the very few contemporary writers who have taken up philosophical questions about territoriality in the first place, but also because Locke’s thought, as Simmons makes clear, actually allows for the development of a sophisticated account of territoriality. This makes Locke stand out simply because generally modern political.. (shrink)
This essay attempts to identify the ethical principles appropriate to a second-order political agent—an agent, that is, whose primary responsibility lies not in the implementation of state power, but in the response to and evaluation of that state power. The specific agent I examine is the human rights non-governmental organization, and the specific context is that of humanitarian military intervention. I argue that the specific role of the human rights NGO gives rise to ethical permissions not available to government agents. (...) In particular, such NGOs may have permissions to ignore the motivation of government agents, and support even substantially unjust interventions, where such interventions would have substantial benefit for the defense and preservation of basic human rights. a Footnotesa Previous versions of this paper were presented at Brown University, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. I am grateful to all participants for their questions and comments. Thanks in particular go to the editors of this volume, whose help with this paper has been especially valuable. Responsibility for errors, of course, remains my own. (shrink)
Rawls's Law of Peoples has not gathered a great deal of public support. The reason for this, I suggest, is that it ignores the differences between the international and domestic realms as regards the methodology of reciprocal agreement. In the domestic realm, reciprocity produces both stability and respect for individual moral agency. In the international realm, we must choose between these two values seeking stable relations between states, or respect for individual moral agency. Rawls's Law of Peoples ignores the (...) stark nature of this choice by insisting that the only legitimate extension of liberal toleration abroad is the toleration of different forms of political organization. It is this attempt to overcome liberalism's tragic dilemma which, I suggest, has made Rawls's international theory less attractive than his domestic theory. I also suggest that this difficulty is at the base of the further difficulties identified by Henry Shue and Martha Nussbaum in their accompanying essays. Key Words: Rawls international toleration reciprocity state Nussbaum Shue. (shrink)
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