In The Ethics of Immigration, Joseph Carens synthesizes a lifetime of work to explore and illuminates one of the most pressing issues of our time. Immigration. The Ethics of Immigration is a September book by the philosopher Joseph Carens. Contents. 1 Structure of the book; 2 Reception. Interviews and self-. Apr 24, Joseph H. Carens, The Ethics of Immigration, Oxford University Press, , pp., $ (hbk), ISBN Reviewed by Arash.

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Carens responded to the critiques in two blog josfph. He is the author of Culture, Citizenship, and Community tye, which won the C. Carens – – In Noah M. But then why does excluding on the basis of poverty not run afoul of the same norm?

Nationalism and the Exclusion of Immigrants: Lessons From Australian Immigration Policy. University press of America. Communities, social anxiety and open borders”. Mapping the Ethics of Immigration. He believes that contemporary liberal democracies are committed to two types of human rights: In the first, more policy-oriented part of the book, Carens claims that much of his task is simply to articulate the core josepph principles that justify existing practices and about which there is considerable consensus in liberal democratic states, and to apply those principles to migration issues Carens – – In William Rogers Brubaker ed.

New Books in Philosophy. Of course Carens asserts correctly that the perception that immigrants pose a threat usually involves great exaggeration, but the heart of his response is that, even if the public interest would be served by such exclusions, they are impermissible because they would violate the norm against stigmatizing discrimination.

The eleventh chapter argues for open bordersand challenges the presumption of discretionary control over migration, while still staying within the framework of legitimacy of nation-states. Would erecting a firewall between general-human-rights protections and visa enforcement effectively emaciate state capacity to exercise its putative right of discretion in relation to unauthorized migrants?

This is an optimistic work of political theory, one motivated by the author’s conviction that justice is possible when immigratiion states pursue immigration policies ‘true to their most basic commitments’.

Carens has written the required text for the political theory of migration. Its style is certainly philosophical, but the discussion still remains grounded in regular immigration decisions where the ethical questions A Response to Noah Pickus. The argument from democratic principles”.


The cantilever argument purports to show that all the reasons for which liberal democracies treat freedom of movement within their own territory as a general human right are also reasons for treating freedom of movement between states as a general human right.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. Immigration, Ethics, and od Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Only in a world of open ethifs, he contends, will we live up to our most basic principles.

Is Carens still advocating open borders? Eminent political theorist Joseph Carens tests the limits of democratic theory in the realm of immigration, arguing that any acceptable immigration policy must be based on moral principles even if it conflicts with the will of the majority. For example, Carens believes that freedom of movement within the state is, and is widely recognized as, a general human right. Carens grants the initial premise abut denies the conditional on the grounds that, because each state is “responsible for what goes on inside its own jurisdiction,” it is morally required to apply uniform standards to all workers in its territory The first is that because a there is a range of morally permissible labour standards from which states may choose, it follows that if b labour rights in the sending and receiving states are both morally permissible but weaker in the former than the latter, then c it is morally permissible for the receiving state to apply to temporary workers the weaker standards normally used in the sending state.

The Theory of Social Membership”. The rights of bodily integrity illustrate the former, the right to seek employment perhaps the latter. He argues that democratic values of freedom and equality ultimately entail a commitment to open borders.

The Ethics of Immigration – Hardcover – Joseph Carens – Oxford University Press

Another difficulty concerns Carens’s conclusion that, on the one hand, unauthorized workers acquire a moral claim to citizenship over time, and their children have a moral claim to public education, because their fundamental, socially located interests are at stake, while, on the other hand, they have no moral claim to seek employment because any such right would be incompatible with the conventional view.


The ninth and tenth chapter discuss illegal immigrants, family reunification, and refugees. Sign in to use this feature. History of Western Philosophy.

Their claim is not conditional on lacking anti-liberal or anti-democratic beliefs, renouncing other citizenships, good character, having sufficient funds, or passing tests of civic competence.

Why is it impermissible to discriminate on the basis of religion in the name of the public interest, but permissible do so on the basis of joweph or social class? The Ethics of Immigration.

The Ethics of Immigration – Joseph Carens – Google Books

Since migrants eventually develop, over the course of residing in a polity, a network of social ties that constitutes social membership, the social-membership norm implies that o persons acquire an unconditional moral claim to citizenship after several years of residence. The latter conclusion is hard to reconcile, however, with the fact that having access to paid work is also a fundamental, socially located interest.

In the last part of the book he moves beyond the currently feasible to ask questions about immigration from a more fundamental perspective. Carens’s argument begins with the observation that the discretion claimed by states over admissions is conventionally acknowledged to be subject to two important constraints: Carens begins by focusing on current immigration controversies in North America and Europe about access to citizenship, the integration of immigrants, temporary workers, irregular migrants and the admission of family members and refugees.


This section needs expansion. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. I shall here focus on the book’s first part. The Ethical and Political Issues. Traversing both ideal and non-ideal theory, this is the book to read on immigration.

Academic Skip to main content. The results are sometimes surprising, often provocative, carwns always well-argued. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.