Call for Papers
Theme: Migration, Force and Violence
Type: International Workshop
Institution: University of Pompeu Fabra
Location: Barcelona (Spain)
Migration ethics is a fast emerging field within political
philosophy. Within the last decade, in particular, a number of
valuable books and articles have been written assessing the strength
of arguments for and against immigration restrictions. Nevertheless,
the discussion has been frequently characterized by a degree of
idealization. Philosophers have asked whether open borders would be
required in an ideal world and whether restrictions are justified in
principle. In this workshop, we aim to strip away these idealizations
and consider the ethics of migration in light of some stark
realities. Principal among them: the fact that migration is
frequently marked by force and violence.
Many migrants are forced to leave their home countries due to
violence or other hardships. In transit, they may be prey to
criminals and armed groups. At borders, migrants are subjected to
further force and violence as states use razor wire, guards, dogs,
tear gas and sometimes live rounds to keep them out. To evade these
measures, migrants will often venture out into seas, deserts and
other dangerous terrain. The result is that thousands of migrants die
every year trying to cross borders.
In this context, a number of important questions arise including:
- Are border restrictions worth their human costs in terms of
suffering and loss of life?
- What is forced migration? What is voluntary migration?
- When people are forced to leave, do they have a right to return?
- Who is responsible for migrant deaths?
- What can be done to keep migrants safe?
- Do states have a duty to rescue migrants imperilled at their
- Which border control measures, if any, can be justified?
- What is the ethical status of third country agreements such as those
between the EU and Libya or the US and Mexico?
- Is there anything to be learnt from the study of force and violence
in other fields, such as just war theory, that could prove relevant
We invite submissions on these or any other question related to the
Please send a 300-500 word abstract as an anonymised pdf with the
email subject line "Submission" to: email@example.com
Submission deadline: September 1, 2020.
Paul Bou-Habib, Essex University
Sarah Fine, King's College London
Helen Frowe, Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace
Mollie Gerver, Essex University
Adam Hosein, Northeastern University
Victor Tadros, Warwick University
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