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Chapter

Cover Issues in Political Theory

12. Sovereignty and Borders  

Sarah Fine

This chapter looks at sovereignty. Sovereignty is often defined as ‘supreme authority within a territory’. Analyses of sovereignty often operate across three domains — conceptual, descriptive-explanatory, and normative — with a view to examining the idea of sovereignty and its place in the political landscape. Since World War II, there have been significant international developments designed to consolidate the promise of an international state system committed to the principle of state sovereignty, while tempering its risks and excesses. A major landmark was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). These developments raise questions about what sovereignty is, does, and where its limits ought to lie. The chapter then considers borders. Borders vary in the degree to which they are peaceful or contested, fortified, open or closed, and selectively open and closed to whom and what.

Chapter

Cover Introducing Political Philosophy

14. Immigration and the Political Community  

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter argues against policies that restrict immigration. It contends that states should have open borders that allow an individual to move between political communities. The chapter begins by defending a presumption in favour of open borders that appeals to the value of freedom of movement. It then responds to those who deny that freedom of movement is sufficiently important to generate such a presumption, as well as to those who insist that states enjoy a prerogative over whether or not to grant an individual the opportunity to migrate. The chapter considers a range of objections that emphasize how open borders can jeopardize the security, economy, and culture of receiving states, showing that a proper concern for these values is consistent with borders that are largely (even if not fully) open.

Book

Cover Issues in Political Theory

Catriona McKinnon, Robert Jubb, and Patrick Tomlin

Issues in Political Theory provides an introduction to political theory and how it is applied to address the most important issues confronting the world today. It has a focus on real-world issues and includes case studies. The text examines important and influential areas of political theory. The text includes chapters on liberty, global poverty, sovereignty and borders, and the environment provide readers with fresh insight on important debates in political theory. Case studies in this text look at contemporary issues including same-sex marriage, racial inequality, sweatshop labour, and Brexit.