CFP: Migration, Stability, and Solidarity, Ruhr-University Bochum, Oct. 28-29, 2019 (deadline: Jul. 19, 2019)

Interdisciplinary Conference: Migration, Stability, and Solidarity

Ruhr-University Bochum, October 28th and 29th

Keynote: Michael Blake (University of Washington, Seattle)

The conference will discuss two neglected questions within migration ethics:

            1. What is the relation between migration and political stability?

            2. How should solidarity be understood when it comes to migration?

With respect to the first question, some theorists argue that political stability is important in a pragmatic but not principled sense when it comes to migration (e.g. Carens, Cassee, Pevnick).

Others disagree, especially many participants in public discourse. To them, political stability is of utmost importance and can be threatened by migration under certain circumstances (e.g. Miller, Walzer). This discursive divide raises a number of philosophical questions, for instance: What exactly is the normative importance of political stability? How is it possible to determine if and to what extend political stability is threatened by migration? If there indeed is such a threat, how can it be reduced without infringing on the legal and moral rights of migrants?

With respect to the second question, it is sometimes argued that migration undermines solidarity within societies (e.g. Miller). At the same time, it can be argued that it establishes and strengthens patterns of global solidarity needed to advance liberal values and human rights globally (e.g. the case of ‘solidarity cities’ or Rorty’s approach to solidarity). As in the case of political stability, the question arises as to the normative importance of different forms of solidarity. Related questions concern the proper understanding of solidarity and whether solidarity presupposes some form of perceived similarity or connectedness. It might also be asked how solidarity can be strengthened without damaging the rights of migrants.

The topics of stability and solidarity are interconnected, since both point at something like a discursive dilemma. Whereas some argue that a discussion of these issues would play into the hands of nationalists and illiberal right-wing movements, others claim that avoiding this debate would have the same effect. In any case, an informed and rational discourse is needed. For this, it is important to get the empirical facts right, but also to map the normative landscape carefully. Urgent tasks are to identify and weigh different moral claims as well as to develop creative policy solutions that address the apparently conflicting claims of residents and migrants.

We invite contributions that address these issues or similar questions regarding migration, political stability, and solidarity.

Submission details

If you are interested in presenting a paper or work in progress, please send an anonymised abstract of no more than 500 words, as well as your contact information in a separate file, to: by July 19th 2019.


Wolfram Cremer (Ruhr-University Bochum), Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum) and Christian Neuhäuser (Technical University Dortmund).

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