Dr. Sarah Fine – ‘Immigration and the Right to Exclude’

    April 30, 2019 19:00
    The Cardinal's Hat, 268 High Street, Lincoln

    Dr Sarah Fine is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at King’s College, London. Dr Fine’s research lies in the fields of contemporary political philosophy, ethics, and the history of modern political and social philosophy. She specialises in issues relating to migration and citizenship, with interests in a wide range of areas, including democratic theory, nationalism and patriotism, sovereignty, territory, multiculturalism and the politics of recognition, theories of justice, the ethics of political violence, race and ethnicity, and feminism and gender.


    Do states have a moral right to exclude people from their territory? Many of us take it for granted that they do, and hardly pause to consider or evaluate the moral justifications for immigration controls. For a long time, very few political philosophers showed a great deal of interest in the subject. However, it is now attracting much more attention in the discipline. This talk aims to show that we most certainly should not take it for granted that states enjoy a moral right to exclude would‐be immigrants. It is neither obvious nor uncontroversial. And if we cannot find adequate justifications for the existence of such a right, then we need to re‐evaluate the very backbone of current approaches to immigration policy. The talk begins with an overview of the existing debate about the extent of the right to freedom of movement. Next it introduces three arguments in support of the state’s right to exclude would‐be immigrants which draw on claims about the collective right to self‐determination. Finally it outlines three important challenges faced by these arguments in support of the state’s right to exclude.

    Generously sponsored by:

    Dale & Co. Solicitors
    11 Beaumont Fee
    LN1 1UH
    Tel: 01522 513399