Rowman and Littlefield International

Against Borders

Why the World Needs Free Movement of People

By Alex Sager

This book carefully engages philosophical arguments for and against open borders, bringing together major approaches to open borders across disciplines and establishing the feasibility of open borders against the charge of utopianism.

Ebook ISBN: 9781786606297 Release date: Feb 2020
£18.95 €25.95 $28.50
Hardback ISBN: 9781786606273 Release date: Feb 2020
£60.00 €84.00 $90.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781786606280 Release date: Feb 2020
£19.95 €27.95 $29.95

Series: Off the Fence: Morality, Politics and Society

Pages: 112


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This book provides a philosophical defence of open borders. Two policy dogmas are the right of sovereign states to restrict immigration and the infeasibility of opening borders. These dogmas persist in face of the human suffering caused by border controls and in spite of a global economy where the mobility of goods and capital is combined with severe restrictions on the movement of most of the world’s poor. Alex Sager argues that immigration restrictions violate human rights and sustain unjust global inequalities, and that we should reject these dogmas that deprive hundreds of millions of people of opportunities solely because of their place of birth. Opening borders would promote human freedom, foster economic prosperity, and mitigate global inequalities. Sager contends that studies of migration from economics, history, political science, and other disciplines reveal that open borders are a feasible goal for political action, and that citizens around the world have a moral obligation to work toward open borders.


Chapter 1: What Are Open Borders?

Chapter 2: Freedom, Coercion, and Open Borders

Chapter 3: Open Borders and Distributive Justice

Chapter 4 Domination, Oppression, and Violence

Chapter 5: Arguments for Closing Borders, Part One: Self-Determination, Security, and the Environment

Chapter 6: Arguments for Closing Borders, Part Two: Culture and Social Trust

Chapter 7: Resistance and Refusal (Toward an Open Bordered World)



Alex Sager is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and University Studies at Portland State University, USA. His articles on the political philosophy of migration have appeared in journals including Political Studies, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Global Justice: Theory, Practice, and Rhetoric, and in various edited collections

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