CFP: The Ethics of Migration Beyond the Right to Exclude

Submission deadline: January 7, 2022

Conference date(s):
March 7, 2022 - March 8, 2022

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Conference Venue:

Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Oxford, United Kingdom


Call for papers: Philosophy and Borders conference

The Ethics of Migration Beyond the Right to Exclude

Nuffield College, University of Oxford

7–8th March, 2022

Invited speakers: Ayelet Shachar (Toronto), Désirée Lim (Penn State), Matthew Longo (Leiden), Ashwini Vasanthakumar (Queens)

Migration remains amongst the most divisive issues in contemporary politics. There is now a rich literature that offers sophisticated and diverse accounts of whether, when and why it is permissible for states to constrain cross-border movement. These debates have often been conducted through a methodological nationalist frame, where the relevant subjects of analysis are excluding states, would-be immigrants, and the rightful relation of claims and obligations that exist between them. 

This conventional framing of the migration debate, however, risks missing normatively salient aspects of the contemporary dynamics of global migration and border control. States are increasingly relying on externalised modes of border control, which involve a significant degree of inter-state coordination of their border regimes. Immigration regimes also interact with global markets dynamics in ways that reliably produce structural constraints that determine which classes of people can successfully cross borders and under what conditions. Non-state actors are increasingly involved in the enforcement and setting of immigration policy. Further still, recent activist movements have sought to resist the border regimes of excluding states by actively undermining their policies. Lastly, the impacts of climate change give rise to novel questions of responsibility for migration, including internal displacement. 

The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars who analyse and normatively assess migration in light of the empirical reality and complexity of the contemporary politics of migration. Questions of interests include, but are by no means limited to: what are the normative implications of the externalisation of border control? What are the obligations of non-state actors in complying with or resisting immigration regimes? What, if anything, do would-be migrants owe to would-be receiving states? What role can or should international institutions play in the regulation of migration? Can the extraterritorial protection of refugees be justified? How can the rights of undocumented migrants be protected?

We invited submissions on these or other questions related to the theme. Speakers should submit an anonymised abstract of 300–500 words with the subject line “Submission – Philosophy of Borders” to [email protected] by the 7th of January 2022. Papers should be suitable for a presentation of approximately 25 minutes and 20 minutes of Q&A. 

This conference is made possible with the support of the Mind Association, the Society for Applied Philosophy, Balliol College, and Nuffield College.

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