Debating the Ethics of Immigration: Is There a Right to Exclude?

Debating the Ethics of Immigration: Is There a Right to Exclude?

Paperback Debating Ethics

By (author) Christopher Heath Wellman, By (author) Phillip Cole

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 203mm x 25mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 20 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0199731721
  • ISBN 13: 9780199731725
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 559,071

Product description

Do states have the right to prevent potential immigrants from crossing their borders, or should people have the freedom to migrate and settle wherever they wish? Christopher Heath Wellman and Phillip Cole develop and defend opposing answers to this timely and important question. Appealing to the right to freedom of association, Wellman contends that legitimate states have broad discretion to exclude potential immigrants, even those who desperately seek to enter. Against this, Cole argues that the commitment to the moral equality of all human beings - which legitimate states can be expected to hold - means national borders must be open: equal respect requires equal access, both to territory and membership; and that the idea of open borders is less radical than it seems when we consider how many territorial and community boundaries have this open nature. In addition to engaging with each other's arguments, Wellman and Cole address a range of central questions and prominent positions on this topic. The authors therefore provide a critical overview of the major contributions to the ethics of migration, as well as developing original, provocative positions of their own.

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Author information

Christopher Heath Wellman is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and Professorial Fellow at CAPPE, Charles Sturt University. He works in ethics, specializing in political and legal philosophy. His most recent book, coauthored with Andrew Altman, is A Liberal Theory of International Justice. Phillip Cole is Professor of Applied Philosophy at the University of Wales, Newport. He has written extensively on the ethics of migration, including Philosophies of Exclusion: Liberal Political Theory and Immigration. He is currently writing a book on the ethics of emigration.

Review quote

Drawing upon a growing body of literature in this field and using analogy to support their own and contest each others arguments, the book is accessible and provocative, providing both a useful introduction to the issues for undergraduates, but also of interest to those with a more profound expertise in this topical area. Caryl Thompson, Political Studies Review, 28/10/2013. Outstanding Academic Titles 2012, as selected by CHOICE Magazine (December 2012). CHOICE Succeed[s] in exploring the moral dilemmas surrounding immigration in an accessible way. The book consists of two essays: Wellman makes the case for the right to exclude, Cole for a human right to cross national borders. Their study shows vividly how a profound difference of opinion can be clarified by reasoned dialogue, which makes it a lesson in philosophy as democracy. Paul Scheffer, Times Higher Education

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION ; FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND THE RIGHT TO EXCLUDE ; In Defense of the Right to Exclude ; The Egalitarian Case for Open Borders ; The Libertarian Case for Open Borders ; The Democratic Case for Open Borders ; The Utilitarian Case for Open Borders ; Refugees ; Toward an International Institution with Authority of Immigration ; Guest Workers ; Selection Criteria ; Conclusion ; OPEN BORDERS: AN ETHICAL DEFENCE ; The Shape of the Debate ; The Case Against the Right to Exclude ; Wellman on Freedom of Association ; Consequentialist Concerns ; Towards a Right to Mobility ; Conclusion ; Index