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Why open borders?

Kukathas, Chandran (2012) Why open borders? Ethical Perspectives, 19 (4). pp. 649-675. ISSN 1370-0049

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The present contribution offers a defence of open borders. It presents a critique of the idea that the state has a justified claim to regulate the movement of people because they reflect the collective endeavours of the members of the state to pursue a shared project of self-rule or self-determination. It argues that this view rests on an indefensible understanding of the nature of the state, which should be viewed less as a collective endeavour than as a product of conflicts among political elites. There is a strong prima facie case for free movement that suggests there should be a presumption in favour of open borders. The argument from self-determination is not a sound basis for justifying restrictions on the movement of people.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 by Centre for Ethics.
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 14:22

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