Corrado Fumagalli

A Definition of «Migrant»

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Residency Rights, Migrant, Migration, Stilz, Moore, Territory, Migration

Despite the increasingly large number of philosophers working on the ethics of migration, no sustained attempt has been made to define the «migrant» in an analytic way. In their very sophisticated arguments, normative theorists tend to accept the language and pre-commitments shaping migration policy. This paper takes a more foundational approach to the study of migration. By drawing upon ongoing disputes about territorial rights, I construct a general and inclusive definition of «migrant» based on the normative claims stemming from the existence of a pre-institutional, universal, and individual residency right. According to this view, a migrant is an individual who should be able to claim for at least two distinct, yet compatible, residency rights namely, a residency right on the territory of origin, which is common to all human beings, and a residency right in the specific geographical unit where, here and now, she aims to purse her life plan.

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