Faculty of Arts

PHIL 728

Political Philosophy 1

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for PHIL 728.


This course has a special focus on migration and justice issues. We begin with a survey of some current debates concerning matters of global justice to orient us before focusing on particular questions in more depth. In 2016 we focus on issues concerning justice and migration. We analyse questions such as the following: Do states have the right to exclude would-be immigrants? If human beings have a right to freedom of movement or association, does this entail that they ought to be free to migrate and settle wherever they choose? Does the commitment to the moral equality of all human beings mean that national borders should generally be open? If the departure of migrants results in important disadvantages for those left behind in states of origin, do such losses require normative attention? If they do, how might associated burdens best be distributed among relevant stakeholders? Might it be fair to impose costs on emigrants, such as those incurred through taxation or compulsory service programs? What bearing if any, does migration policy have on pursuing goals of global justice? We notice that consideration of justice in migration requires understanding of other core issues such as: What are our global distributive justice responsibilities and what ought we to do in discharging these?

Availability 2020

Not taught in 2020


Coordinator(s) Professor Gillian Brock


A full list of readings will be made available at the start of the course. A good representative text, likely to be an essential reading for the course, is: Joseph Carens The Ethics of Immigration (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). Those who have not done PHIL 310 are strongly encouraged to read Gillian Brock Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) before the start of the course.


PHIL 728: 15.0 points

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