PDC Homepage
Home » Products » Purchase

Social Theory and Practice

Volume 47, Issue 2, April 2021

Jonathan KwanOrcid-ID
Pages 299-329

Self-Determination as the Ground and Constraint for the Right to Exclude
An Answer to the Boundary Problem

In this article, I show how the principle of democratic self-determination can answer the boundary problem by both grounding and constraining a people’s right to exclude potential immigrants. I argue that a people has the qualified right to exclude insofar as it respects the self-determination claims of outsiders. I analyze the concrete implications of the requirement to respect the self-determination claims of outsiders in the cases of (a) long-term residents, (b) refugees, and (c) brain drain. Sometimes the only way for a people to respect the self-determination claims of outsiders will be by including, rather than excluding, them as members.