April 12-15, 2012: MPSA Conference - Chicago.

I'll be presenting...

From Ideal to Real and Beyond: Power, Ideology, and Politics in the Political Theory of Immigration

In this paper I propose a sympathetic critique of Joseph Carens framework of immigration ethics. I suggest that the consideration of power relations, hierarchical ideologies, and immigrants’ political action is necessary to further the goals of Carens’ realistic work on migration, as well as to provide a broader normative framework that is more sensitive to the origins and nature of structures of domination. Relying on Jacques Rancière’s conception on politics, and on a political interpretation of Immanuel Kant’s inter-connected realms of international, domestic, and cosmopolitan Right, I offer a framework that integrates the normative issues that arise in a world of mass migration at different levels of politics. I argue that in the context of an unequal regime of sovereign states, democratic discourse in migrant-recipient countries is limited in its capacity to acknowledge responsibilities for injustices that affect non-citizens, both within and beyond borders. I note the consequences of this argument for theories of immigration and for Carens’ “real world presupposition” approach.