As far as immigration theory is concerned, the attempt to reconcile concern for all persons with the reality of state boundaries and exclusionary policies has proved difficult within the limits of normative liberal political philosophy. However, the realpolitik of migration in today’s environment forces a major paradigm shift. We must move beyond standard debates between those who argue for more open borders and those who argue for more closed borders. This bookaims to show that a realistic utopia of political theory of immigration is possible, but argues that to do so we must focus on expanding the boundaries of what are familiar normative positions in political theory. Theorists must better inform themselves of the concrete challenges facing migration policies: statelessness, brain drain, migrant rights, asylum policies, migrant detention practices, climate refugees, etc. We must ask: what is the best we can and ought to wish for in the face of these difficult migration challenges.
Blake, Carens, and Cole offer pieces that outline the major normative questions in the political theory of immigration. The positions these scholars outline are challenged by the pieces contributed by Lister, Ottonelli, Torresi, Sager, and Silverman. These latter pieces force the reformulation of the central positions in normative political theory of immigration.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.