Justice and Immigration

Benjamin Boudou, Research Assistant in Political Theory, Center for International Research
and Studies, Sciences Po – Paris
Astrid von Busekist, Professor of Political Theory, Sciences Po – Paris

This panel aims at bringing together scholars working on immigration in liberal democratic
countries. The academic literature on the topic has greatly grown for the last three decades,
challenging both the liberal-egalitarian and the communitarian stakes on immigration policies.
The arguments are all related to considerations on the scope of justice, whether national or
global, statist or cosmopolitan. But two main questions remain unsolved: is there a universal
right to move that may trump the sovereign power to control immigration and citizenship
rights? Is immigration a matter of freedom rights or a minimal right to economic well-being?
Recent scholarship needs to be challenged, either by producing a coherent account of the
proper scope of justice, or by offering a way out the above stated binary mode of thinking.
We could use the following as a starting point for our discussion: David Miller’s statist position
who provides a coherent framework to identify different categories of immigrants in order to
assess the nature of their claims; Philip Pettit’s concept of non-domination; Ian Shapiro’s
recent work on non-domination understood as an illegitimate power relation threatening
people’s basic interests; Robert Goodin’s proposal for applying the all-affected principle
beyond national boundaries; Mathias Risse’s argument for collective ownership of the Earth
which shifts the burden of responsibility from the state to the global order.

Here are some tentative topics :

  • What can be expected from newcomers, in terms of culture, language, or skills?
  • How to explain the contradiction between policies reinforcing border control and political theory favoring open borders?
  • On what grounds is selection of immigrants possible? Are there any legitimate criteria?
  • What is the proper frame of reference for assessing the conflicting claims between states and immigrants?
  • Does political theory suffer form methodological nationalism?
  • Are republicanism or democratic theory an alternative to the liberal paradox of border justification?
  • Is hospitality a relevant concept for understanding immigration today?
  • How should we conceive of boundaries?

If you are interested in this panel, please send a 500-words abstract to
benjamin.boudou@sciencespo.fr before June 1st, 2014.

4 thoughts on “Justice and Immigration

  1. Dear Mancept,
    When is the panel being held? Can anyone with an interest in the topic register for participation (not as a scholar)?
    Best regards, Sidsel

    • Hello Sidsel,

      So sorry that I did not reply to you sooner. Please contact the panel organisers if you would like to participate.

      Kind regards,

  2. I am interested in relating cosmopolitanism concept of global justice which favor opening boarders with some limitations. I want to know if I could participate.

  3. Hello Zelalem,

    Sorry for the delay in response. Please contact the panel conveners if you are interested in participating.

    Kind regards,

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