2019-2020 Harney Lecture Series in Ethnicity "The Case for Open Borders"

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Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

Tuesday, February 25, 20202:00PM - 4:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7
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Abstract: Countries have a moral obligation to liberalize their immigration policies. Immigration restrictions violate people’s freedom of movement and deprive them of opportunities to become dramatically richer. Moreover, none of the standard objections to open borders–the potential economic costs, special obligations to fellow citizens, states’ rights of self-determination, and so on–are successful. The talk concludes with a discussion of the relevance of immigration policy to issues like climate change and poverty relief.

Christopher Freiman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. His first book, Unequivocal Justice, was published in 2017 and his second book, Why It’s OK to Ignore Politics, is forthcoming with Routledge Press. Chris is the author of over two dozen articles and chapters on topics including democratic theory, distributive justice, and immigration.
His work has appeared in venues such as the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Utilitas, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, and The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. His writing has also been featured in a variety of popular outlets, including Reason Magazine, Aeon, and Inside Higher Education. Chris received a William & Mary Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. His website is www.cfreiman.com and he blogs at www.BleedingHeartLibertarians.com.

Commentary to be offered by Joe Carens (Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto), whose book The Ethics of Immigration (Oxford UP, 2013) was recipient of the David Easton Award of the American Political Science Association. Randall Hansen (Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto) will chair the event.

This event is co-sponsored by The Institute for Liberal Studies, a non-partisan public affairs venue based in Ottawa.


Momo Podolsky


Christopher Freiman
Philosophy, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Joe Carens
Political Science, University of Toronto)

Randall Hansen
Political Science, University of Toroto

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