1st Edition

On Immigration and Refugees

By Michael Dummett Copyright 2024
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    The philosopher Michael Dummett was one of the sharpest and most prominent commentators and campaigners for the fair treatment of immigrants and refugees in Britain and Europe. On Immigration and Refugees was the only book he wrote on the topic and among one of the most eloquent and important reflections on the subject to have been published in many years. Exploring the confused and often highly unjust and racist thinking about immigration, Dummett questions the principles and justifications governing state policies, pointing out that they often conflict with the rights of refugees as laid down by the Geneva Convention. With compelling and often moving examples, he points a new way forward for humane thinking and practice about a problem we cannot afford to ignore.

    This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Foreword by Sarah Fine.

    Foreword to the Routledge Classics Edition Sarah Fine


    Part 1: Principles

    1. Some General Principles

    2. The Duties of a State to Refugees

    3. The Duties of a State to Immigrants

    4. Grounds of Refusal

    5. Citizenship

    Part 2: History

    6. How Immigration was Made a Menace in Britain

    7. From Immigrants to Refugees

    8. Racism in Other European Countries and Immigration into Them.



    Sir Michael Dummett, (1925 - 2011) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford. He was knighted for his "services to philosophy and to racial justice" in 1999. His pathbreaking books on the philosophy of language and mathematics made him one of the most significant British philosophers of the last century and he was a leading campaigner for racial tolerance and equality.

    “Makes the case meticulously ... a terrible indictment of modern British immigration policy.” - The Economist

    “Passionately argued and shot through with a sense of urgency ... an invigorating read.” - The Tablet

    “Acutely spots a blank in the mentality of earlier political philosophers who ‘have seldom asked what obligations a state has towards those who are not its citizens’, and argues powerfully against those who ‘hold that we have at most only negative duties towards strangers: that, for example, we may not kill them, but have no duty to protect them from being killed.’” - The Evening Standard

    “A lucid philosophical discussion of the ethical principles at stake in matters of immigration and asylum, and a sharp review of the historical ways they have been manhandled.” - New Left Review

    “Its greatest contribution is to demolish the arguments uses by politicians and the media, and to expose their implicit racism... It would be hard to find another short book which analyses the causes and development of racism so clearly, and shows the connivance in fostering racial prejudice of successive governments of all parties.” - Local Government Studies