CFP: The Ethics of Migration beyond the Immigrant-Host State Nexus

Submission deadline: October 1, 2017

Conference date(s):
January 11, 2018 - January 12, 2018

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Conference Venue:

Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute
San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy

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Over the last three decades, normative political theorists have devoted much attention to the issue of migration. However, most of this literature has singularly focused on the relationship between individual migrants and their state of destination. The debate centres on two sets of questions. The first is whether states have a right to keep would-be immigrants out or whether, conversely, migrants have a right to cross international borders. The second is whether states have a duty to extend citizenship or more limited packages of rights to migrants living in their territory and whether those migrants have a duty to integrate into their host society. Yet the constellation of actors involved in regulating international mobility comprises many more stakeholders. These include, among others, migrants’ countries of origin; subnational and supranational levels of government (such as municipalities, provinces and regional unions); sedentary citizens; commercial companies; and civil society organisations such as trade unions, churches, NGOs and activist groups.

Recent developments illustrate the importance of considering the rights and duties of these actors in their various relationships. The influence that increasingly assertive sending states seek to exert over their diasporas has prompted questions about the rights and duties of such states in relation to their expatriate populations as well as the states that host them. The sharp tightening of immigration controls, particularly in Trump’s America and on the eastern and southern borders of the European Union, has raised questions about the rights and duties of ordinary citizens and civil society organisations to resist and frustrate unjust migration policies and practices. And the unprecedented scale of the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe has foregrounded questions of burden-sharing between host countries and the right of supranational institutions to enforce shared duties of assistance.

This conference provides a forum to explore these and related normative questions. We welcome contributions from, among others, the fields of political theory, moral philosophy, social science and law. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Responsibility-sharing in refugee protection
  • The right to control emigration
  • Responsibilities towards expatriate citizens
  • The ethics of diaspora politics
  • The role of subnational governments and supranational institutions in migration regimes
  • The role of non-state actors in migration management
  • The ethics of resisting migration controls
  • Migration and interpersonal morality 

Confirmed speakers include Michael Blake (Washington), Valeria Ottonelli (Genova), David Owen (Southampton), Matthew Gibney (Oxford), Ayelet Shachar (MPI-MMG) and Rainer Bauböck (EUI).

Please submit the title and brief abstract (300 words) of your proposed paper to migration.ethics@eui.eu together with your name and affiliation by 1 October 2017. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 16 October 2017. Those invited are expected to submit full draft papers at least two weeks before the conference. Conference participation will be free of charge. Unfortunately, we will not be able to cover travel and accommodation costs. For more information, contact migration.ethics@eui.eu.

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