International Migration and Human Rights

In Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory. Oxford University Press (2018)
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In this chapter, I bring non-ideal theory to bear on the ethics of immigration. In particular, I explore what the obligations of liberal states would be if they were to attempt to implement migration arrangements that conform to liberal-cosmopolitan principles. I argue that some of the obligations states have are feasibility-insensitive, while some are feasibility-sensitive. I show that such obligations can have as their content both the inclusion and exclusion of prospective immigrants, and that they can be grounded in the requirements of liberal justice, mere capacity to assist, as well as past or foreseeable contribution to harm. The chapter therefore explores the possibility of an international migration regime that takes human rights seriously whilst avoiding the twin pitfalls of strict immigration restrictions and the complete liberalization of immigration.
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