CFP: Relational Equality and Migration (Special Issue of Moral Philosophy and Politics (MOPP))-Deadline Extended to April 15, 2024

Submission deadline: April 15, 2024

Topic areas


Call for Papers of Moral Philosophy and Politics (MOPP)
Special Issue: Relational Equality and Migration
Guest Editor: Daniel Sharp (LMU Munich)

One of the most important objections to border control is the charge that it is deeply inegalitarian (Carens, Shachar). Standardly, this point has been pressed as an argument for open borders made by appealing to distributive equality (Holtug). Yet, philosophers have begun to rethink the idea of equality. Relational egalitarians (e.g., Anderson, Scheffler, Viehoff, Kolodny, Fourie, Schemmel) argue that egalitarian justice is not fundamentally a matter of distributing certain goods, but of creating the conditions under which people can relate as equals. Others (e.g., Scanlon) have put forward pluralist explanations of the value of equality, which illustrate the diversity of the objections to inequality. Yet, these theories have usually been developed in ways that focus exclusively on the claims of co-citizens and ignore matters of global justice.

Simultaneously, philosophers have begun to grapple with the complexity of actual practices of migration control. These complexities raise issues that go beyond the standard debate about open or closed borders, such as (e.g.) issues related to immigrant selection and discrimination, the status of migrants within host societies, the limits of permissible immigration enforcement, and the special claims of various migrant groups.Migration control occurs in a variety of contexts and has complex effects on social relationships, such as employment and family relationships, and lack of immigration status can generate novel forms of oppression or subordination (Reed-Sandoval).

In light of these developments, how should we understand the various connections between migration and relational egalitarianism? What (if anything) does relational egalitarianism have to offer to the debate about migration justice? This special issue of Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions that address these questions.

Contributions might seek to address topics such as the following: what concept of equality is most applicable to debates about migration? How do relational and distributive arguments for migration control interact? Does relational equality presuppose a shared social context; if so, does this mean that relational egalitarians have nothing to say about the exclusion of immigrants? How does one’s immigration status—or lack thereof—impact one’s social status? Are temporary labor migration programs compatible with relational egalitarianism? What does relational egalitarianism imply for debates about naturalization and citizenship tests? Is producing relational inequalities in the context of migration necessarily unjust? Are there important critiques of a relational egalitarian approach to migration justice? Can migration or migration governance generate problematic inequalities within sending societies?

Submissions might benefit from engaging with the emerging literature on relational equality and migration, which includes contributions by Phil Cole, Desiree Lim, Kevin Ip, José Jorge Mendoza, Amy Reed-Sandoval, Christine Straehle, and Shelley Wilcox, as well as wider debates about how to understand relational egalitarianism.
Papers should be submitted by December 15 th , 2023, and should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length. All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process. Papers will only be accepted for publication if they are approved for publication by both the guest editor and the journal's founding editors.
The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)