International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 2, Fall 2020

Anna Stilz
Pages 271-285

Justice in Migration: Are Human Rights Enough?

Gillian Brock’s Justice for People on the Move is an important contribution to the migration literature. While I agree with many of Brock’s arguments, I focus here on a few key points of difference between us. I press three interrelated concerns about Brock’s view: first, the practical implications of her assessment of the state-system’s current illegitimacy remain too unclear. Second, Brock’s human rights-based theory neglects the importance of citizens’ democratic agency, in a way that may have paternalistic implications. Third, Brock’s view is tolerant of inequalities of wealth and power that may enable relations of exploitation, as we see by examining her advocacy of guestworker schemes. The article draws attention to those places where Brock’s view faces hard questions, and explains why I might have answered some of these questions differently.