Human Rights Review 9 (4):537-541 (2008)

Richard Nunan
College of Charleston
Consequentialist cosmopolitanism, Peter Higgins argues, enables closed border liberals to evade charges of moral hypocrisy despite their commitment to moral equality of individuals, once we recognize that open border arguments rely on cosmopolitanism’s individualism requirement, which ignores social realities relevant to a realistic assessment of the social consequences of an open immigration policy. Higgins is mistaken, however, in contending that cosmopolitan individualism entails attention to people only in their capacity as the abstract atomic individuals populating Charles Mills’ idealized social ontologies. Conversely, if cosmopolitan individualism does compel us to think of people as abstract atomic individuals, we are not obliged to think of them as relatively privileged. Under liberal cosmopolitanism, however, which prohibits state discrimination between citizens and non-citizens, open border policies are subject to no such consequentialist objections
Keywords Open immigration  Consequentialist cosmopolitanism  Liberal cosmopolitanism  Communitarianism  Abstract individual  Socially situated individual  Radically disembodied subject
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DOI 10.1007/s12142-008-0069-z
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