Anna Stilz, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University.
Many economists emphasize the immense economic gains that liberalizing low-skilled migration to rich countries would allow extremely poor people to reap. Yet due to a perceived conflict between the domestic working class and low-skilled migrants, a liberalized immigration regime seems increasingly politically infeasible in many wealthy Western societies. What policies toward low-skilled migration should these societies adopt?
Rejecting both open borders and a discretionary right to exclude, Stilz argues for a conditional model of immigration restriction. On this view, states have a moral right to restrict migration when—and only when—migrants’ settlement would significantly harm the state’s inhabitants.
What are the implications of this model for low-skilled economic migration? Taking the US as a central case, Stilz examines exclusion, temporary guestworker programs, and significant increases in permanent low-skilled visas. Which, if any, of these policies is most likely to restrain inequality and visibly benefit the domestic working class, while also enhancing the welfare of impoverished would-be migrants?
This talk draws partly from Anna Stilz's recent book and partly from new work. The book, Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration, has just been published by Oxford University Press (2019).
About the speaker
Anna Stilz is Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.
Her research focuses on questions of political membership, authority and political obligation, nationalism and self-determination, rights to land and territory, and collective agency. She also has a strong interest in modern political thought (especially natural law theory, Rousseau, and Kant).
Her first book, Liberal Loyalty: Freedom, Obligation, and the State (Princeton University Press, 2009), dealt with questions about the moral importance of political citizenship and state authority. Her second book, Territorial Sovereignty: A Philosophical Exploration, has just been published by Oxford University Press (September 2019).
Stilz is the current director of the Values and Public Life program at the University Center for Human Values and also serves as an associate editor for Philosophy and Public Affairs and a co-editor for Social and Political Philosophy at the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2005, and a BA from the University of Virginia in 1999.
Learn more about Anna Stilz's work