Immigration

Edited by Alex Sager (Portland State University)
Assistant editor: Nicole Haley (Portland State University)
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Summary

Immigration began to receive attention as a major topic in applied ethics and applied social and in political philosophy in the mid-1980s. Much of the early work concentrated on questions surrounding states’ use of coercion to prevent people from immigrating, especially in a world of vast inequalities between territories. The initial debates opposed freedom of movement and freedom of opportunity against communities’ right to self-determination, shared culture, and security. Perhaps surprisingly, theorists of both open and closed-borders presented interpretations of distributive justice to support their positions. As the debate has evolved, theorists have given more attention to the obligations towards special classes of immigrants such as refugees, temporary workers, family-class immigrants, and undocumented residents. They have also turned their attention to topics such as the economics of skilled migration, human smuggling and trafficking, immigrant detention and deportation, and sustainability. Recent work has examined the implications of racism and sexism for migration as well as the moral significance of globalization and transnationalism.

Key works Joseph Carens played a major role in defining discussions of immigration in philosophy with his seminal article "Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders" (1987). Carens synthesizes many of his contributions in The Ethics of Immigration (2013) which includes subtle discussions of temporary migration, refugee policy, irregular migration, citizenship and much else. Another influential early work advocating open borders is Phillip Cole’s Philosophies of Exclusion (2000). Influential justifications for border controls include Walzer 1984 and Miller 2005. Wellman & Cole 2011 provides a useful overview of the literature on admissions, as well defense and criticism of admissions controls. Gibney 2004 is a sophisticated and comprehensive account of the ethics of refugee policy. Lenard & Straehle 2012 explores the justice of temporary labor migration programs. Brock & Blake 2015 examines the “brain drain” debate – the question of whether states can restrict the migration of skilled workers for reasons of distributive justice. Mendoza 2014 grapples with questions of race and Wilcox 2005 explores how gender affects the justice of admissions. Bauböck 1994 is an important early exploration of the implications of transnationalism for immigration and citizenship.
Introductions Carens 1987 Walzer 1984 Miller 2005 Wilcox 2009 Abizadeh 2008
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946 found
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  1. added 2020-05-23
    Liberal Nationalism, Immigration, and the Problem of Multiple National Identities.Lior Erez - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (4):495-517.
  2. added 2020-05-22
    How and When Are We Right to Prioritize the Interests of Residents and Citizens?Enrique Camacho Beltran - 2020 - World Affairs 183 (1):8-39.
    This article assesses an assumption pervasive in one strain of arguments in favor of stringent immigration controls. The assumption affirms that—for the case of regular admissions—to a certain extent states are permitted to prioritize the interests of their citizens and residents by issuing exclusionary immigration policies (call this the priority assumption). Using the normative methodology of applied international ethics, I suggest some broad constraints to this priority assumption that have a bearing on justifications for current practical immigration policy in Europe, (...)
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  3. added 2020-05-22
    Models of Citizenship, Inclusion and Empowerment: National Minorities, Immigrants and Animals? An Interview with Will Kymlicka.Michael Jewkes & Jean-François Grégoire - 2016 - Political Theory 44 (3):394-409.
  4. added 2020-05-21
    Legitimate Exclusion of Would-Be Immigrants: A View From Global Ethics and the Ethics of International Relations.Enrique Camacho Beltran - 2019 - Social Sciences 8 (8):238.
    The debate about justice in immigration seems somehow stagnated given that it seems justice requires both further exclusion and more porous borders. In the face of this, I propose to take a step back and to realize that the general problem of borders—to determine what kind of borders liberal democracies ought to have—gives rise to two particular problems: first, to justify exclusive control over the administration of borders (the problem of legitimacy of borders) and, second, to specify how this control (...)
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  5. added 2020-05-21
    Conservative Libertarianism and Ethics of Borders.Enrique Camacho Beltran - 2015 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 48 (1):227-261.
    Many conservatives endorse a defence of closed borders grounded in basic liberal rights such as the basic right of association. Some conservatives also endorse libertarian principles of legitimacy. It is not clear though that this sort of defence of closed borders is somehow coherent with these libertarian ideals. I argue that conservative libertarians of this kind must reject this defence of closed borders because either it collapses into a form of statism incoherent with libertarian principles of legitimacy, or into an (...)
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  6. added 2020-05-19
    Migration and Community.Russell Hardin - 2005 - Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (2):273-287.
  7. added 2020-05-18
    On the Political and Democratic Preconditions of Equal Recognition.Matteo Gianni - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (1):88-100.
  8. added 2020-05-16
    Do Male Migrants ‘Care’? How Migration is Reshaping the Gender Ethics of Care.Catherine Locke - 2017 - Ethics and Social Welfare 11 (3):277-295.
  9. added 2020-05-16
    Settlement, Expulsion, and Return.Anna Stilz - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (4):351-374.
    This article discusses two normative questions raised by cases of colonial settlement. First, is it sometimes wrong to migrate and settle in a previously inhabited land? If so, under what conditions? Second, should settler countries ever take steps to undo wrongful settlement, by enforcing repatriation and return? The article argues that it is wrong to settle in another country in cases where one comes with intent to colonize the population against their will, or one possesses an adequate territorial base somewhere (...)
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  10. added 2020-05-16
    Strangers in Our Midst: An Overview.David Miller - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (6):707-711.
  11. added 2020-05-16
    Must a World Government Violate the Right to Exit?Rochelle DuFord - 2017 - Ethics and Global Politics 10 (1):19-36.
  12. added 2020-05-16
    Global Equality of Opportunity and Self-Determination in the Context of Immigration.Eszter Kollar - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (6):726-735.
    © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. David Miller’s political philosophy of immigration employs two complementary argumentative strategies to challenge open border theories. The first strategy is to defeat the principled case for open borders, such as the global equality of opportunity argument for more lax immigration control. The second strategy is to establish the democratic community’s prima facie right to determine the shape of its future, including membership and the right to exclude. First, I argue (...)
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  13. added 2020-05-16
    A Nation’s Right to Exclude and the Colonies.Sara Amighetti & Alasia Nuti - 2016 - Political Theory 44 (4):541-566.
    This essay contends that postcolonial migrants have a right to enter their former colonizing nations, and that these should accept them. Our novel argument challenges well-established justifications for restrictions in immigration-policies advanced in liberal nationalism, which links immigration controls to the nation’s self-determination and the legitimate preservation of national identity. To do so, we draw on postcolonial analyses of colonialism, in particular on Edward Said’s notion of “intertwined histories,” and we offer a more sophisticated account of national identity than that (...)
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  14. added 2020-05-12
    Towards a Non-Ideal Theory of Climate Migration.Joachim Wündisch - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-32.
  15. added 2020-05-11
    Liberal Democracy, National Identity Boundaries, and Populist Entry Points.Sara Wallace Goodman - forthcoming - Critical Review:1-12.
  16. added 2020-05-11
    The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy.Joel Alden Schlosser - forthcoming - Contemporary Political Theory.
  17. added 2020-05-11
    The Indirect Gender Discrimination of Skill-Selective Immigration Policies.Desiree Lim - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (7):906-928.
  18. added 2020-05-11
    Non-Citizen Children and the Right to Stay – a Discourse Ethical Approach.Jonathan Josefsson - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (3):32-49.
  19. added 2020-05-10
    Should Undocumented Immigrants Have Access to Public Benefits?Chong Choe-Smith - 2019 - Social Philosophy Today 35:41-58.
    Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for most federally funded public benefits programs with few exceptions such as emergency medical assistance and nutrition assistance for women and children. This paper defends the view that a liberal society should provide greater access to undocumented immigrants to public benefits programs and responds to an important economic objection that a state should be able to prioritize the needs of its own members who contribute to these programs. This paper specifically addresses empirical and moral versions of (...)
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  20. added 2020-05-10
    The Ethics of Resisting Immigration Law.Javier Hidalgo - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
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  21. added 2020-05-10
    Routledge Handbook of Global Populism. Carlos de la Torre Ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.Dirk Jörke - 2019 - Constellations 26 (4):655-658.
  22. added 2020-05-10
    Social Freedom and Migration in a Non-Ideal World.Drew Thompson - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (4):21-31.
  23. added 2020-05-10
    Managers’ Moral Struggle: A Case Study on Ethical Dilemmas and Ethical Decision-Making in the Context of Immigration.Ida Okkonen & Tuomo Takala - 2019 - Ethics and Social Welfare 13 (4):392-408.
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  24. added 2020-05-10
    Liberal Nationalism, Immigration, and the Problem of Multiple National Identities.Lior Erez - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
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  25. added 2020-05-08
    Abolishing Asylum and Violating the Human Rights of Refugees. Why is It Tolerated? The Case of Hungary in the EU.Felix Bender - 2020 - In Elżbieta M. Goździak, Izabella Main & Brigitte Suter (eds.), Europe and the Refugee Response. London, UK: Routledge.
    Why are human rights abuses of refugees at the EU’s geographical periphery tolerated by other EU states? This chapter uses the case of Hungary and Germany to explore how the former abolished the institution of asylum, shedding light on the human rights abuses of refugees, and why states such as the latter seem to condone such actions. It argues that core EU member states condone human rights abuses at the geographical periphery of the EU as long as they contribute to (...)
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  26. added 2020-05-08
    Responsibility for Migrants: From Hospitality to Solidarity.James A. Chamberlain - 2020 - Political Theory 48 (1):57-83.
    Critics of exclusionary borders might be tempted to appeal for more hospitality, but this essay argues that such an approach is misguided and develops an alternative framework called solidarity borders. The ongoing legacies of imperialism, the functioning of global capitalism, and insights from democratic theory show that we need to problematize two key presuppositions of hospitality: a clear distinction between hosts and guests, and the exclusive right of the former to impose conditions. Moreover, Jacques Derrida provides limited guidance as to (...)
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  27. added 2020-05-07
    Health, Migration and Human Rights.Johannes Kniess - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-19.
  28. added 2020-05-06
    Statements on Race and Class: The Fairness of Skills-Based Immigration Criteria.Magnus Skytterholm Egan - forthcoming - Ethics and Global Politics:1761192.
  29. added 2020-05-06
    May States Select Among Refugees?Max Gabriel Cherem - 2020 - Ethics and Global Politics 13 (1):33-49.
  30. added 2020-05-06
    The Ethics of Commercial Human Smuggling.Julian F. Müller - 2018 - European Journal of Political Theory.
    Even though human smuggling is one of the central topics of contention in the political discourse about immigration, it has received virtually no attention from moral philosophy. This article aims...
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  31. added 2020-05-04
    Obywatelstwo w Europie. Z dziejów idei i instytucji.Krzysztof Trzcinski - 2006 - Warszawa: Scholar.
    Krzysztof Trzcinski, 'Citizenship in Europe: The History of the Idea and Institution.' This is an interdisciplinary book that is mostly political, historical and juridical in character, as the concept of citizenship is one of the key terms of the social sciences, and raises questions of a legal, political, historical, philosophical and sociological nature. The main subjects of this work are the origins and evolution of the idea and institution of citizenship in Western Europe. Doctrinal and normative models of citizenship presented (...)
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  32. added 2020-04-17
    Toward a Cosmopolitan Ethics of Mobility: The Migrant's-Eye View of the World.Alex Sager - 2018 - Springer Verlag.
    This book proposes a cosmopolitan ethics that calls for analyzing how economic and political structures limit opportunities for different groups, distinguished by gender, race, and class. The author explores the implications of criticisms from the social sciences of Eurocentrism and of methodological nationalism for normative theories of mobility. These criticisms lend support to a cosmopolitan social science that rejects a principled distinction between international mobility and mobility within states and cities. This work has interdisciplinary appeal, integrating the social sciences, political (...)
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  33. added 2020-04-15
    Obywatelstwo w Europie. Idea i jej wyraz formalny w perspektywie historycznej.Krzysztof Trzcinski - 2002 - Studia Europejskie 2:45-67.
    [CITIZENSHIP IN EUROPE: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IDEA]. Obywatelstwo należy do najistotniejszych kategorii określających pozycję człowieka w państwie. W niektórych okresach dziejów pojęcie obywatelstwa istniało jedynie w sferze idei, w innych idea uległa urzeczywistnieniu, a członkostwo w państwie (lub mieście) oraz status obywatelski znalazły formalny wyraz na niwie prawnoustrojowej. Kształtowanie się obywatelstwa stanowi proces długi i wielofazowy. Obywatelstwo w Europie pozostaje bowiem już od starożytności w stanie permanentnego rozwoju i wciąż wzbogacane jest o nowe treści (lub też czasem zubożane (...)
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  34. added 2020-03-21
    Reproducing Refugees: Photographìa of a Crisis.Anna Carastathis & Myrto Tsilimpounidi - 2020 - London, UK: Rowman and Littlefield International.
    Since 2015, the ‘refugee crisis’ is possibly the most photographed humanitarian crisis in history. Photographs taken, for instance, in Lesvos, Greece, and Bodrum, Turkey, were instrumental in generating waves of public support for, and populist opposition to “welcoming refugees” in Europe. But photographs do not circulate in a vacuum; this book explores the visual economy of the ‘refugee crisis,’ showing how the reproduction of images is structured by, and secures hierarchies of gender, sexuality, and ‘race,’ essential to the functioning of (...)
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  35. added 2020-03-21
    Hotspots of Resistance in a Bordered Reality.Aila Spathopoulou & Anna Carastathis - 2020 - Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 38 (2).
    In this paper, we examine how bordered reality is being imposed and resisted in the context of where we are placed right now, 'Greece'. Drawing on ethnographic research and discourse analysis, conducted in Lesvos, Samos, and Athens (from March to September 2016), we examine how resistance to a bordered reality took place, as islands in the north Aegean, as well as Greek and European territories, were being remapped according to the logic of the hotspot. We approach this process methodologically from (...)
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  36. added 2020-03-21
    Introduction: Intersectional Feminist Interventions in the 'Refugee Crisis'.Anna Carastathis, Natalie Kouri-Towe, Gada Mahrouse & Leila Whitley - 2018 - Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees/Revue Canadienne Sur les Réfugiés 34 (1):3-15.
    While the declared global “refugee crisis” has received considerable scholarly attention, little of it has focused on the intersecting dynamics of oppression, discrimination, violence, and subjugation. Introducing the special issue, this article defines feminist “intersectionality” as a research framework and a no-borders activist orientation in transnational and anti-national solidarity with people displaced by war, capitalism, and reproductive heteronormativity, encountering militarized nation-state borders. Our introduction surveys work in migration studies that engages with intersectionality as an analytic and offers a synopsis of (...)
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  37. added 2020-03-21
    Methodological Heteronormativity and the 'Refugee Crisis'.Anna Carastathis & Myrto Tsilimpounidi - 2018 - Feminist Media Studies 18 (6):1120-1123.
    All migration politics are reproductive politics. The nation-state project of controlling migration secures the racialised demographics of the nation, understood as a reproducible fact of the social and human body, determining who is differentially included, who is excluded, and who is exalted. In this commentary, we put forward a provocation about methodological heteronormativity and its omnipresence in the discourse surrounding the so-called “refugee crisis.” By methodological heteronormativity, we refer to the ways states, supranational organisations, hegemonic ideologies, but also solidarity movements (...)
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  38. added 2020-03-21
    Nesting Crises.Anna Carastathis - 2018 - Women's Studies International Forum 68:142-148.
    Since the declaration of financial crisis in 2008, and the imposition of austerity measures in 2011, Greece has become an epicentre—or a “laboratory”—of multiple, successively declared crises, including the humanitarian crisis induced by the devastating effects of neoliberal structural adjustment policies. In this paper, I approach the explosion of crisis discourse as a medium for ideological negotiations of nation-state borders in relation to a continental project of securitisation. I suggest that ‘crisis’ functions as a lexicon through which sovereignty can be (...)
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  39. added 2020-03-21
    Experts, Refugees, and Radicals: Borders and Orders in the Hotspot of Crisis.Anna Carastathis & Myrto Tsilimpounidi - 2018 - Theory in Action 11 (4):1-21.
    In July 2016, we participated in a conference in Lesvos (Greece) on borders, migration, and the refugee crisis. The Crossing Borders conference was framed in contrast with the ad-hoc humanitarianism that was being implemented, to the extent that it seemed to offer an opportunity to think about the refugee crisis, militarism, and austerity capitalism in systemic terms. This paper is based on an intervention we staged in the closing panel of the Crossing Borders conference, where we read a statement we (...)
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  40. added 2020-03-21
    Crisis, What Crisis? Immigrants, Refugees, and Invisible Struggles.Anna Carastathis, Myrto Tsilimpounidi & Aila Spathopoulou - 2018 - Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees/Revue Canadienne Sur les Réfugiés 34 (1):29-38.
    Different evocations of “crisis” create distinct categories that in turn evoke certain social reactions. Post-2008, Greece became the epicentre of the “financial crisis”; simultaneously, since 2015 with the advent of the “refugee crisis,” it became the “hotspot of Europe.” What are the different vocabularies of crisis? Moreover, how have both representations of crisis facilitated humanitarian crises to become phenomena for European and transnational institutional management? What are the hegemonically constructed subjects of the different crises? The everyday reality in the crisis-ridden (...)
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  41. added 2020-03-21
    The Nonperformativity of Reconciliation: The Case of "Reasonable Accommodation" in Québec.Anna Carastathis - 2013 - In Pauline Wakeham & Jennifer Henderson (eds.), Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress. Toronto, ON, Canada: pp. 236-260.
    What does it mean when calls to reconciliation come from dominant social groups? Whom do these calls address? What effects do they have? I take up these questions through a case study of the public discourse on “reasonable accommodation” in Québec. When the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences concluded its tour of the regions and cities of Québec and, in the spring of 2008, the commissioners (philosopher Charles Taylor and sociologist Gérard Bouchard) issued their report on (...)
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  42. added 2020-03-17
    A Realist Approach to Immigration.Bat-Ami Bar On - 2017 - The Acorn 17 (1):81-82.
    In Strangers in Our Midst, David Miller develops a philosophical position that is intended to guide the complex decisions that liberal democratic states face regarding immigration policy. While it is not likely that Miller’s arguments will convince anyone who is principally committed to the kind of open borders that truly enable the free movement of people across them, Miller has much to offer to those who are either (a) trying to make sense of the position of people who object to (...)
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  43. added 2020-02-11
    Free Movement: Ethical Issues in the Transnational Migration of People and Money.Robert Sugden - 1994 - Ethics 104 (2):386-388.
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  44. added 2020-02-11
    Americans In the Making: The Natural History of the Assimilation of Immigrants.Harold A. Larrabee - 1939 - Ethics 50 (3):352-353.
  45. added 2020-02-08
    Asylum, Credible Fear Tests, and Colonial Violence.Elena Ruíz & Ezgi Sertler - manuscript
    A credible fear test is an in-depth interview process given to undocumented people of any age arriving at a U.S. port of entry to determine qualification for asylum-seeking. Credible fear tests as a typical immigration procedure demonstrate not only what structural epistemic violence looks like but also how this violence lives in and through the design of asylum policy. Key terms of credible fear tests such as “significant possibility,” “evidence,” “consistency,” and “credibility” can never be neutral in the context of (...)
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  46. added 2020-01-26
    Enforcing Immigration Law.Matthew Lister - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (3).
    Over the last few years, an increasingly sophisticated literature devoted to normative questions arising out of the enforcement of immigration law had developed. In this essay, I consider what sorts of constraints considerations of justice and legitimacy may place on the enforcement of immigration law, even if we assume that states have significant discretion in setting their own immigration policies, and that open borders are not required by justice. I consider constraints placed on state or national governments, constraints on enforcement (...)
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  47. added 2020-01-26
    Latinx Philosophy and the Ethics of Migration.José Jorge Mendoza - 2019 - In Jr Sanchez (ed.), Latin American and Latinx Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 198-219.
    This essay argues that Latinx philosophers are not only already providing important and original contributions to standard open-borders debates, but also changing the very nature of the ethics of migration. In making this case, the essay is divided into two parts. The first summarizes some of the important and original contributions of Latinx philosophers to the standard open-borders debate. Among the highlights are Jorge M. Valadez’s “conditional legitimacy of states” argument; José-Antonio Orosco’s communitarian-based argument for a more liberalized admissions policy; (...)
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  48. added 2020-01-18
    Neighborhoods and States: Why Collective Self-Determination is Not Always Valuable.Torsten Menge - manuscript
    Collective self-determination is considered to be an important political value. Many liberal political philosophers appeal to it to defend the right of states to exclude would-be newcomers. In this paper, I challenge the value of collective self-determination in the case of countries like the US, former colonial powers with a history of white supremacist immigration and citizenship policies. I argue for my claim by way of an analogy: There is no value to white neighborhoods in the US, which are the (...)
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  49. added 2020-01-15
    How Far Does the European Union Reach? Foreign Land Acquisitions and the Boundaries of Political Communities.Torsten Menge - 2019 - Land 8 (3).
    The recent global surge in large-scale foreign land acquisitions marks a radical transformation of the global economic and political landscape. Since land that attracts capital often becomes the site of expulsions and displacement, it also leads to new forms of migration. In this paper, I explore this connection from the perspective of a political philosopher. I argue that changes in global land governance unsettle the congruence of political community and bounded territory that we often take for granted. As a case (...)
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  50. added 2019-12-29
    Can There Be a Right of Return?Andy Lamey - 2020 - Journal of Refugee Studies 33:1-12.
    During long-term refugee displacements, it is common for the refugees’ country of origin to be called on to recognize a right of return. A long-standing tradition of philosophical theorizing is sceptical of such a right. Howard Adelman and Elazar Barkan are contemporary proponents of this view. They argue that, in many cases, it is not feasible for entire refugee populations to return home, and so the notion of a right of return is no right at all. We can call Adelman (...)
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