Why are immigration restrictions a thing

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David Miller

Strangers in our midst

Political Philosophy of Immigration
Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2017
ISBN 9783518587119
Hardcover, 330 pages, 32.00 EUR


Translated from the English by Frank Lachmann. The subject of immigration raises weighty sociopolitical, moral and ethical questions that have been the focus of intense debates for some time. In his book, the British philosopher David Miller defends a position between a strong cosmopolitanism, which advocates unrestricted freedom of movement and open borders, and a blind nationalism, which often turns into blanket xenophobia and dull racism. In constant controversy with counter-arguments, he develops his position, which should take into account the rights of both immigrants and citizens - and includes a weak cosmopolitanism as well as the right of nation states to control their borders. The aim of Miller's remarks is an immigration policy of liberal democracies that is as fair as possible and as realistic as necessary.

Review note on Die Tageszeitung, February 15, 2018

Rudolf Walther recommends the book by the English philosopher David Miller as a calm and objective argument in matters of immigration policy. Miller reports to him about immigration restrictions in the USA in 1882, about the right of states to control their borders, but also about the obligation to exercise immigration rights, i. H. for Miller human rights, to be considered. When Miller speaks of fairness to immigrants, the reviewer receives an elaborate explanation of the term. Walther cannot understand that Miller remains conceptually unclear when it comes to the question of national self-determination. But he lets the author get away with one or the other lopsided comparison.

Review note on Neue Zürcher Zeitung, January 4th, 2018

According to reviewer Wolfgang Taus, the book by the British philosopher David Miller goes deep into the problem of immigration in order to outline a political philosophy of immigration. Taus seems to understand that the author occupies a middle position between cosmopolitanism and restrictive isolationist politics when he looks at the refugee flows of 2015, even if it remains unclear to him how exactly the balance between cultural pluralism and common convictions should be achieved. Miller's suggestion of an ethical approach, which, in addition to the political approach that activates the welfare state, follows basic moral principles, seems to him worth considering.

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 24, 2017

Friedemann Bieber likes the concretization of the "understandable" written discussions in this book by the philosopher David Miller. When Miller ponders moral obligations on migration issues, Bieber understands this descriptively, even if the author seems to speak out against political cosmopolitanism. Fundamental considerations, according to Bieber, are followed by arguments against the imperative of open borders and then empirical findings. For Bieber, despite all the controversy, this is evidence that political philosophy can contribute to thinking about current political issues.
Read the review at buecher.de