Freedom of Movement and Distributive Justice

11 May 2016, 4.00 PM - 11 May 2016, 5.00 PM

Room 2E2, Social Sciences Complex

Political Philosophy Seminar Series

Presented by Dr Sarah Fine from Kings College London. 

Abstract: This paper focuses on the relationship between the freedom to move across state borders and the demands of distributive justice. For some, the freedom to move across borders represents a requirement of distributive justice, whereas others argue that the demands of distributive justice may justify more or less significant restrictions on international freedom of movement. After outlining the key terms, the paper critically examines the argument that the freedom to move across borders is a requirement of distributive justice. It presents different plausible versions of this argument, working through the main steps and explaining its appeal. Then it addresses a set of arguments that point in the other direction, and which seek to illustrate that the obligations of distributive justice may support limits on the freedom to move across borders. Ultimately it argues that those who look to distributive justice to provide us with definitive answers to questions about freedom of movement’s proper scope will be disappointed.

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