Associative Ownership, Private Property, and Immigration

Abhi Ruparelia

In this project, I adopt a middle ground between the two dominant philosophical positions within the debate on the ethics of immigration, namely statism and open borders, and propose a novel way to look at immigration. I argue that while most immigration restrictions are just in themselves, they can morally be overridden by humanitarian considerations, such as those involving refugees, asylum seekers, and individuals in other urgent circumstances. My position is inspired from Ryan Pevnick's quasi-Lockean discussion of associative ownership, which understands nations as the shared, collective property of its citizens. However, my position also divulges from Pevnick in that while he takes the principle of self-determination to the driving force of his argument, I focus instead on the sanctity of private property. Additionally, I also go step further in that I take Pevnick's discussion of collective ownership and apply it to the debate on political authority, in order to propose a dual aspect account of political obligation that is grounded in both, associative duties and fair play.


Leadership, Philosophy


Javier Hidalgo, Abigail Cheever