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The Moral Case for a Human Right to Relocation: Disappearing Island Nations and Common Ownership of the Earth

Mathias Risse

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

October 18, 2008

HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-054

In recent work I have tried to revitalize the standpoint of humanity’s commonly owning the earth. This standpoint has implications for a range of problems that have recently preoccupied us at the global level, including immigration, obligations to future generations, climate change, and human rights. In particular, this approach helps illuminate what moral claims to international aid small island nations have whose existence is threatened by global climate change. A recent proposal for relocating his people across different nations by President Tong of Kiribati is a case in point. My approach vindicates President Tong’s proposal.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Common Ownership, Human Rights, Small Island Nations, AOSIS, Climate Change, Immigration, Environment and Natural Resources, Ethics/Political Philosophy, Human Rights, Intergovernmental Relations, International Affairs/Globalization, International Development, Political Science

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Date posted: April 14, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Risse, Mathias, The Moral Case for a Human Right to Relocation: Disappearing Island Nations and Common Ownership of the Earth (October 18, 2008). HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-054. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1380425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1380425

Contact Information

Mathias Risse (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9811 (Phone)
617-495-4297 (Fax)
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