Rowman and Littlefield International

Against Borders

Why the World Needs Free Movement of People

By Alex Sager

4 Reviews

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

Series: Off the Fence: Morality, Politics and Society

Pages: 146


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

Read more

Read less

4 Reviews

In this timely, insightful, and engaging book, Alex Sager argues that there are compelling considerations in favor of open borders, such as the demands of distributive justice and a careful assessment of immigration enforcement policies. He addresses questions concerning political action in the face of border controls, persuasively enjoining readers to do their part in working towards open borders.

Gillian Brock, Professor of Philosophy, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Alex Sager’s powerfully argued book combines the commitments of an activist with the analytical skills of a political theorist. Drawing on an impressive range of philosophical, historical and social scientific sources, Sager mounts a sustained critique of arguments for border restrictions. Open borders as a feasible political goal has found an eloquent and sophisticated advocate.

David Owen, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, University of Southampton, UK

Against Borders is a courageous, deeply knowledgeable and carefully-argued book. In a field saturated with very familiar arguments for even more well-rehearsed positions on free movement, Alex Sager has broken with the crowd, advancing a multipronged and persuasive case that borders are useless, dangerous, and unjustifiable. This book contains readable theory backed up with a rich array of data. Scholars and non-experts alike will benefit from its content.

Elizabeth F. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA

Alex Sager brings the open-borders debate right down to Earth. He connects it to the ongoing effects of racism, colonialism, and so on. And he makes a strong case that opening borders can be not just a philosopher’s ideal but a genuine policy option. It’s a very important project and he carries it through with his characteristic clarity of thought and extremely impressive breadth of knowledge across both normative and empirical disciplines.

Adam Omar Hosein, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Northeastern University, USA

Read more

Read less

Also Recommended