An examination of the under-explored value of self-sufficiency in debating population flow across countries

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The contemporary world can be characterized by constant population flow. Refugees, immigrants, and foreign labour trying to cross the border has become a perennial issue in North America, Europe, and some developed South East Asian countries. While people from outside the border is striving to claim a right to enter, those within the border is trying to defend a right to reject. Admission or rejection of outsiders is an extremely controversial issue because it involves conflict of interests as well as conflict of values. Instead of providing an empirical account of the conflict or suggesting a historical or cultural explanation of the conflict, what will be done is to present a normative inquiry into the merits and limitations of the core values underlying the prevailing claims and counter-claims in the debate over admission or rejection of outsiders. The most common language among stakeholders in the debate is probably the utilitarian one. Utilitarian’s often tend to welcome outsiders, especially those who are willing to take up jobs and positions people within the border are reluctant to assume. Starting with the premise that tight border control is an importance source of initial injustices (Carens 1987; Lomasky 2001), the liberals would defend a right to enter and support relaxation of border control. Whereas the communitarians would stress that while utilities may be maximized and fairness may be enhanced, cultural distinctiveness of the country may be undermined by a relaxed border control (Wellman & Cole 2011). Hence it should be an important concern in defending a right to exclude. After examining the adequacy of the values in the debate over population flow (e.g. liberal, utilitarian, and communitarian), I will proceed to the core component of the article: uncovering the importance and implications of self-sufficiency as an under-explored value to the debate over admission and rejection of outsiders. In this presentation, I am also going to examine the problems of missing this under-explored and long-forgotten value of self-sufficiency. Copyright © 2019 CiCea.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Citation

Mok, F. (2019, May). An examination of the under-explored value of self-sufficiency in debating population flow across countries. Paper presented at the 21st Annual Children’s Identity and Citizenship European Association Conference (CiCea 2019): Europe at a Crossroads: Rights, Values and Identity, Charles University, Karolinum, Czech.

Keywords

  • Population
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Social justice
  • Border

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