Termine und Veranstaltungen


Eszter Kollar (KU Leuven): Labour immigration, the welfare state, and the demands of social and global justice


05.06.2019   /   12:30-14:00


Philosophisches Kolloquium


Geb. 24.21./03.86



The joint demands of social and global justice raise a difficult trilemma in the context of temporary labour immigration. Three normative criteria are particularly relevant for fairly adjudicating the claims of all those affected. 1) Equal treatment: Migrant workers, it is argued, ought to be treated as equals, having the same rights, obligations, and status as native workers, eventually put on the path to citizenship, consistent with principles of liberal equality. The problem is that this solution leads to accepting less migrant workers with a more extensive package of rights, and raises a concern with reduced opportunities and resources for potential future migrants and those left behind in source countries. 2) Global justice: A commitment to improving the conditions of the globally worst-off requires that we open borders and remove the most resistant barrier in front of the “natural” flow of the global pool of skills to promote more, and a better distribution of, global wealth. More open borders, however, may generate pressures on the welfare state and is thought to come at the expense of the most vulnerable native workers. 3) Social justice requires that we safeguard and improve the conditions of poor and precarious workers within receiving societies. I argue that in order to promote the equality of all persons worldwide we need to abandon the first horn of the trilemma. Consistent with equal prospects for all,  a more open labour migration regime coupled with highly qualified domain-specific rights differentiation between native and immigrant workers can be justified.

Zur Person:

Eszter Kollar is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Economics at the Center for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy in Leuven. Previously she was the Interim Chair of International Political Theory and a Research Fellow at the Normative Orders Excellence Cluster at the Goethe University Frankfurt; Research fellow in Political Philosophy and Bioethics at the University of Münster. Her research focuses on the political philosophy of social and global justice in practices of migration, economic life and public health. She is currently working on a book project theorizing fairness in labour migration for Europe and the World; and on the idea of reconciling global equality of opportunity and collective self-determination.  





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