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Summer Term - Online
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“We should have a world without borders, so no one is forced to suffer because of where they happen to have been born!” “No—citizens have the right to preserve their national culture and way of life, and this means having borders and controlling them!” “Family is the most important relationship, so immigration programmes should allow for family reunification!” “No—the state is supposed to be neutral about the kinds of relationships that matter, so it’s wrong to privilege family!” “Trading refugee quotas violates human dignity, it’s trading in persons!” “Trading refugee quotas is fine, all that matters is that everyone ends up being protected!” There are a huge number of value disagreements underpinning current debates about immigration policy and refugee protection. It can be hard to see them clearly through all the politics; our aim in this course is to set the politics aside and think carefully through the philosophical issues. In this course we’ll work through obligations to co-nationals, states’ right to exclude, the relationship of global poverty and migration, refugee status and refugee markets, whether the poor may secure their rights to subsistence by force, temporary migration, family reunification, offshore processing, and denaturalization.
Intended learning outcomes
Students that successfully complete this subject should:
- gain a sound general comprehension of the major recent advances in political and ethical theorizing about immigration;
- demonstrate an ability to evaluate key texts on which these advances are based;
- learn to analyse arguments, distinguish between key concepts, critique existing work, deploy reasons to greatest effect, and create new and compelling arguments;
- gain experience in deploying the methods of critical analysis and argument employed in political philosophy; receive feedback and understand how to apply it to improve writing; both leading to improved general reasoning and the building of strong transferrable analytical skills.
Last updated: 3 July 2021