Unjust Borders: Individuals and the Ethics of Immigration, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Unjust Borders

Individuals and the Ethics of Immigration, 1st Edition

By Javier S. Hidalgo


214 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138503120
pub: 2018-11-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315145235
pub: 2018-11-07
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States restrict immigration on a massive scale. Governments fortify their borders with walls and fences, authorize border patrols, imprison migrants in detention centers, and deport large numbers of foreigners. Unjust Borders: Individuals and the Ethics of Immigration argues that immigration restrictions are systematically unjust and examines how individual actors should respond to this injustice. Javier Hidalgo maintains that individuals can rightfully resist immigration restrictions and often have strong moral reasons to subvert these laws. This book makes the case that unauthorized migrants can permissibly evade, deceive, and use defensive force against immigration agents, that smugglers can aid migrants in crossing borders, and that citizens should disobey laws that compel them to harm immigrants. Unjust Borders is a meditation on how individuals should act in the midst of pervasive injustice.


"The book is persuasive and beautifully written, bringing forth a realistic and optimistic account of how humans can reorganize themselves to better govern in the emerging epoch. It is agenda setting, providing new ideas for progress on a variety of fronts— from the environmental, to the social, to the political—and giving us new ways to think about environmental governance in uncertain, unstable circumstances. Overall it stands as a novel and robust treatment of the Anthropocene and the core issues of global governance. Perhaps most importantly, the book offers hope that human reason and communication with one another and with the Earth system can rise to the challenges of theAnthropocene." - Jen Iris Allan, Ethics and International Affairs

Table of Contents


1. The Case Against Exclusion

2. Challenges to Freedom of Movement

3. Actual Immigration Restrictions Are Unjust

4. Are More Open Borders Feasible? Does It Matter?

5. Resistance at the Border

6. People Smuggling

7. Complicity and the Duty to Resist

8. Promoting More Open Borders

About the Author

Javier Hidalgo is an Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. His work has appeared in venues such as The Journal of Political Philosophy, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy and The Journal of Moral Philosophy.

About the Series

Political Philosophy for the Real World

Political philosophers and applied ethicists often think in terms of ideal theory. In short, they ask what institutions, policies, or practices would work best if people had perfect motivations. While such work might help us imagine what utopia would look like, it offers little practical guidance.

Political Philosophy for the Real World offers a home for original scholarly research that confronts the very problems ideal theory imagines away, such as corruption, incentives, incompetence, rent-seeking, strategic free-riding and non-compliance, and political manipulation. The monographs and edited collections in this series integrate normative philosophy with the best empirical work in political science, economics, sociology, and psychology. By taking the incentives our institutions create and the motivations of individuals seriously, these books advocate for workable policy solutions that incorporate insights from the social sciences.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Political
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration