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Distributing Responsibility for Losses Sustained Through Emigration: Which Arrangements are Fair?

Distributing Responsibility for Losses Sustained Through Emigration: Which Arrangements are Fair?

October 7, 2011 -
1:15pm to 3:00pm
Event Speaker: 
Gillian Brock, Professor of Philosophy, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Event Sponsor: 
The Munro Lectureship Fund and The Lane Center

There has been considerable recent normative theorizing on the topic of immigration.  This paper focuses on the more neglected relationship of the migrant and the society she will leave, and the normative implications of her departure. I discuss why there may be important harms that frequently follow emigrants’ departure from developing countries.  My concern is with the normative case for there being important responsibilities to address these and fair ways to distribute the burdens associated with tackling these losses. I argue (inter alia) that it may be defensible to specify certain conditions (such as taxation or service requirements) that must be met when emigrants choose to live outside source countries, and that it may be fair to impose costs on emigrants and residents of developed countries who will benefit from these movements. I canvas a variety of arguments to show why such burden-sharing arrangements are fair ones, and defend the view against some key anticipated objections concerning inappropriate interference with freedom.


Gillian Brock is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Her most recent work has been on global justice and related fields. She is the author of Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account (Oxford University Press, 2009) and editor or co-editor of Current Debates in Global Justice, The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism, Necessary Goods: Our Responsibilities to Meet Others’ Needs, and Global Heath and Global Health Ethics.  She has contributed extensively to journals including Ethics, The Monist, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Social Philosophy, Analysis, Philosophical Forum, Public Affairs Quarterly, the Journal of Global Ethics, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, The Journal of Ethics, and Utilitas. Brock received her Ph.D. from Duke University.