The Ethics of Immigration

Article English OPEN
Seglow, Jonathan (2005)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Ethics & Global Politics (issn: 1654-6369, eissn: 1654-4951)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1111/j.1478-9299.2005.00026.x, doi: 10.3402/egp.v7.24942
  • Subject: Research Groups and Centres\Politics and International Relations | Faculty of History and Social Science\Politics and International Relations

Joseph H. Carens. The Ethics of Immigration(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). 384 pages. ISBN 9780199933839. US$35 (Hardback).When philosophers and political theorists turn their attention to migration, they often prioritize general normative commitments, giving only secondary concern to whether these commitments are reflected in policy. As a result, pressing issues affecting the status, rights, and life-chances of immigrants can get lost in abstract debates over the right of states to exclude individuals, or the rights of individuals to associate with whomever they like. Joseph Carens’s new book, The Ethics of Immigration, inverts this tendency by focusing first on existing immigration control practices, examining their normative justifications, and then pushing them in the direction of justice. (Published: 5 September 2014)Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2014, pp. 137–141.
  • References (5)

    See Carens, 'Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders', Review of Politics 49 (1987): 251 73 and 'Migration and Morality: A Liberal Egalitarian Perspective', in Free Movement: Ethical Issues in the Transnational Migration of People and Money, eds. Brian Barry and Robert E. Goodin (University Park, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992), 25 47.

    The argument of Chapter 11 is based more obviously on the second essay, although it has been substantially updated.

    For the classic account of the problem, see Frederick G. Whelan, 'Prologue: Democratic Theory and the Boundary Problem', in Liberal Democracy: Nomos 25, eds. J. Roland Pennock and John W. Chapman (New York: New York University Press, 1983), 13 47.

    The all-subjected principle states that all adults continually subject to laws should be able to participate in the procedures that create and shape those laws. The all-affected principle states that all adults affected (within a certain threshold) by political decisions should be able to participate in making of those decisions. Carens comes closest to invoking these principles on pages 50 and 58 9.

    In the theoretical literature, Robert Goodin and Sofia Na¨sstro¨ m raise difficulties concerning these principles. See Goodin, 'Enfranchising All Affected Interests, and Its Alternatives', Philosophy & Public Affairs 35 (2007): 40 68 and Na¨sstro¨ m, 'The Challenge of the All-Affected Principle', Political Studies 59 (2011): 116 34. In practice, the United States (among others) does not grant citizenship to members of society on the basis of their ongoing subjection to the law, and it does not permit legal permanent residents access to the electoral process.

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