Immigration, Self-Determination and the Brain Drain

Review of International Studies 41 (1):99-115 (2015)
Luara Ferracioli
University of Sydney
This article focuses on two questions regarding the movement of persons across international borders: (1) do states have a right to unilaterally control their borders; and (2) if they do, are migration arrangements simply immune to moral considerations? Unlike open borders theorists, I answer the first question in the affirmative. However, I answer the second question in the negative. More specifically, I argue that states have a negative duty to exclude prospective immigrants whose departure could be expected to contribute to severe deprivation in their countries of origin. Countries have a right to unilaterally control their borders, but their exercise of this right is constrained by the demands of morality.
Keywords brain drain  immigration  political autonomy
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