The Cost of Refugee Admission and the Ethics of Extraterritorial Protection

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Many affluent states seek to discharge their responsibilities to refugees through extraterritorial policies, which limit the number of refugees that they admit whilst contributing to protection in a third country. Is this morally permissible? I argue that under non-ideal circumstances, where states’ non-compliance with their duties to refugees are persistent, such policies can be permissible. However, extraterritorial protection must satisfy two conditions. First, it must come about through bilateral or multilateral agreements. Second, the protection provided must allow for full integration in a new society. I argue that the lower the costs a state bears for admitting refugees to its territory, the higher its contribution to extraterritorial protection must be. This notion of costs is illustrated by exemplifying how refugee admission may impose costs to the self-determination and equality of the hosting state.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Theory
Early online date13 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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