Self-determination is generally seen as the primary value supporting each state’s privilege to set its own immigration policy.
In this seminar, Hallvard Sandven questions whether the ideal of self-determination can bear the justificatory weight that is placed upon it in normative debates on migration. He argues that to rely on self-determination to justify unilateralism as a regulatory norm for global migration ignores central aspects of the politics of border control.
In practice, the norm of unilateralism enables both the externalisation of border control, and the de facto imposition of obligations for vulnerable migrants – two interrelated practices that directly conflict with the requirements of self-determination. These trends that have long been observed by empirical scholars call upon political theorists to reconsider the normative demands of self-determination.
Antonio De Lauri will be discussant following Sandven’s presentation.