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Kieran Oberman
University of Edinburgh
  1. Immigration as a Human Right.Kieran Oberman - 2016 - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 32-56.
    This chapter argues that people have a human right to immigrate to other states. People have essential interests in being able to make important personal decisions and engage in politics without state restrictions on the options available to them. It is these interests that other human rights, such as the human rights to internal freedom of movement, expression and association, protect. The human right to immigrate is not absolute. Like other human freedom rights , it can be restricted in certain (...)
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  2. Can Brain Drain Justify Immigration Restrictions?Kieran Oberman - 2012 - Ethics 123 (1):427-455.
    This article considers one seemingly compelling justification for immigration restrictions: that they help restrict the brain drain of skilled workers from poor states. For some poor states, brain drain is a severe problem, sapping their ability to provide basic services. Yet this article finds that justifying immigration restrictions on brain drain grounds is far from straightforward. For restrictions to be justified, a series of demanding conditions must be fulfilled. Brain drain does provide a successful argument for some immigration restrictions, but (...)
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    Immigration, Citizenship, and Consent: What is Wrong with Permanent Alienage?Kieran Oberman - 2016 - Journal of Political Philosophy 24 (4):91-107.
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    The Myth of the Optional War: Why States Are Required to Wage the Wars They Are Permitted to Wage.Kieran Oberman - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 43 (4):255-286.
    An “optional war” is a war that a state is permitted but not required to wage. Are there any such wars? This article assesses the two most promising arguments for optional war. (1) Permissible humanitarian wars can be so costly for soldiers and taxpayers that states are not be required them. (2) Wars of national self-defense can be discretionary: states can sometimes choose whether or not to defend themselves. The article refutes both arguments. Pace (1), states should not wage wars (...)
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  5. Poverty and Immigration Policy.Kieran Oberman - 2015 - American Political Science Review 109 (02):239-251.
    What are the ethical implications of global poverty for immigration policy? This article finds substantial evidence that migration is effective at reducing poverty. There is every indication that the adoption of a fairly open immigration policy by rich countries, coupled with selective use of immigration restrictions in cases of deleterious brain drain, could be of significant assistance to people living in poor countries. Empirically there is nothing wrong with using immigration policy to address poverty. The reason we have to reject (...)
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  6. Immigration, Global Poverty and the Right to Stay.Kieran Oberman - 2011 - Political Studies 59 (2):253-268.
    This article questions the use of immigration as a tool to counter global poverty. It argues that poor people have a human right to stay in their home state, which entitles them to receive development assistance without the necessity of migrating abroad. The article thus rejects a popular view in the philosophical literature on immigration which holds that rich states are free to choose between assisting poor people in their home states and admitting them as immigrants when fulfilling duties to (...)
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    War and Poverty.Kieran Oberman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):197-217.
    Because the poorest people tend to die from easily preventable diseases, addressing poverty is a relatively cheap way to save lives. War, by contrast, is extremely expensive. This article argues that, since states that wage war could alleviate poverty instead, poverty can render war unjust. Two just war theory conditions prove relevant: proportionality and last resort. Proportionality requires that war does not yield excessive costs in relation to the benefits. Standardly, just war theorists count only the direct costs: the death (...)
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    Emigration in a Time of Cholera : Freedom, Brain Drain, and Human Rights.Kieran Oberman - 2016 - Law, Ethics and Philosophy 4:87-108.
    A number of philosophers argue that the earth’s resources belong to every- one equally. Suppose this is true. Does this entail that people have a right to migrate across borders? This article considers two models of egalitarian ownership and assesses their implications for immigration policy. The first is Equal Division, under which each person is granted an equal share of the value of the earth’s natural resources. The second is Common Ownership, under which every person has the right to use (...)
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    Beyond Sectarianism? On David Miller’s Theory of Human Rights.Kieran Oberman - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (3):275-283.
    In his most recent book, National Responsibility and Global Justice, David Miller presents an account of human rights grounded on the idea of basic human needs. Miller argues that his account can overcome what he regards as a central problem for human rights theory: the need to provide a ‘non-sectarian’ justification for human rights, one that does not rely on reasons that people from non-liberal societies should find objectionable. The list of human rights that Miller’s account generates is, however, minimal (...)
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    Immigration and Equal Ownership of the Earth.Kieran Oberman - 2016 - Ratio Juris 29 (2):144-157.
    A number of philosophers argue that the earth's resources belong to everyone equally. Suppose this is true. Does this entail that people have a right to migrate across borders? This article considers two models of egalitarian ownership and assesses their implications for immigration policy. The first is Equal Division, under which each person is granted an equal share of the value of the earth's natural resources. The second is Common Ownership, under which every person has the right to use the (...)
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    Justice Beyond Borders. [REVIEW]Kieran Oberman - 2008 - Contemporary Political Theory 7 (2):222.