Political Theories of Migration
Posted: 17 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 2018
The topic of migration raises important and challenging normative questions about the legitimacy of state power, the boundaries of political membership, and justice within and across state borders. States exercise power over borders, but what, if anything, justifies this power? Is it morally permissible for liberal democratic states to prevent their citizens from exiting the country and exclude prospective migrants from entering? If liberal democratic states are justified in excluding some and accepting others, how should they decide whom to admit? This review examines how contemporary political theorists and philosophers have answered these questions. First, I examine the conventional view that says states have the right to control immigration; second, I discuss arguments for open borders. The third section examines critique of open borders, and the fourth section considers more recent arguments that have been advanced in favor of the conventional view. I conclude with some suggestions for future research.
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