From birthright citizenship to open borders? Some doubts

Ethical Perspectives 21 (4):608-614 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper argues that by overestimating the importance of citizenship rights, the ethics of immigration turns away from the more serious problem of closed borders. Precisely, this contribution is a threefold critique of Carens’ idea that "justice requires that democratic states grant citizenship at birth to the descendants of settled immigrants" (Carens, 2013: 20). Firstly, I argue that by making 'justice' dependent on states and their attributes (birthright citizenship), this idea strengthens methodological nationalism which views humanity as naturally divided into bounded nation-states. Secondly, I analyze its justification and argue that grounding (citizenship) rights on the existence of social connections is logically and morally problematic. Thirdly, I analyze its scope (granting rights to the descendants of the ‘settled’) and its method of implementation (granting citizenship rights automatically ‘at birth’). While from a less sedentarist perspective, no one can be considered ‘settled’ in advance, I will express some doubts that granting citizenship rights is always automatically a way to extend people’s rights. All in all, I argue that by its justification, scope and method of implementation, this idea moves us away from, rather than gets us closer to, an open-borders world
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DUMFBC
Revision history
Archival date: 2014-12-01
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2014-12-01

Total views
138 ( #23,540 of 44,255 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #38,027 of 44,255 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.