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The Ethics of Immigration Revisited: Response to Brock, Fabre, Risse and Song

Journal of Applied Philosophy

Published online on


To a large extent, the differences between my four interlocutors and me have more to do with the way we choose to frame a question or approach a problem than with substantive disagreements. In her discussion of temporary workers and the brain drain, Gillian Brock implicitly assumes a different background framework of moral responsibility from the one I adopt in my book. Similarly, Cécile Fabre asks important questions about the intersection of immigration and criminal justice, but ones that I chose not to pursue in quite the same way or, in some cases, at all. Matthias Risse says that political theory should be ‘action‐guiding’, and I try to problematize that claim, at least to the extent that it limits the questions we can ask. Finally, I applaud the attention that Sarah Song brings to the link between political community and social membership but resist her suggestion that this shows that political community is more fundamental than social membership. I also suggest the need to clarify further the limits to democratic self‐determination.