Joseph Carens

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Joseph Carens is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. His Wikipedia page is here. Carens has written extensively about issues of immigration and citizenship. See also Open Borders blog posts about Joseph Carens.


  • Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders (ungated PDF, JSTOR version (subscription needed), original gated PDF (23 pages, subscription/purchase needed)), The Review of Politics, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Spring, 1987), Page 251-273. The paper argues for open borders from three perspectives: Nozickean (roughly, the libertarian/natural rights perspective), Rawlsian (roughly, the egalitarian perspective), and utilitarian. The paper is mentioned in the blog post by Nathan Smith, April 10, 2012, Open Borders: The Case.
  • The Ethics of Immigration (Amazon Kindle), a book that largely attempts to argue for liberal migration policies and immigrant rights within the framework of discretionary state control of migration. Carens makes the case for open borders at the end of the book, but the first few chapters where he argues within the mainstream framework are intended to stand independently. Vipul Naik wrote a series of blog posts on the book: part 1, part 2. The book was also covered in a Crooked Timber blog symposium, blogged about by John Lee on Open Borders here.
  • Immigrants and the Right to Stay (Amazon hardcover), a book that attempts to argue that people who have stayed in an area for long enough and settled there deserve to be allowed to stay there.

"The Efficient, Egalitarian, Libertarian, Utilitarian Way to Double World GDP" — Bryan Caplan