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WR151: Ethics of Immigration

This guide is created for Boston University students taking WR151 - Ethics of Immigration and intend to assist them find materials for their research writing assignments.

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This guide is designed to help you find sources of background information, exhibitsarguments, and research methods related to the topic of the course and your own interests.

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Image: What would a writer do with this source? by Kristin M. Woodward/Kate L. Ganski is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Featured Resources


Collection of the core international treaties and agreements (such as those adopted by the United Nations and in the European Union), national legislation relating to UNHCR's mandate, and case law from international, regional and national courts. Collection of refugee policy documents and guidelines from a variety of sources. In particular, UNHCR's position papers relating to specific countries and case loads are highlighted here. 
Collection consisting of a host of handbooks and training manuals, as well as background documents from the United Nations and other sources.

Debating the ethics of immigration : is there a right to exclude? Wellman, Christopher Heath ; Cole, Phillip

Do states have the right to to prevent potential immigrants from crossing their borders, or should people have the freedom to migrate and settle wherever they wish? Christopher Heath Wellman and Phillip Cole develop and defend opposing answers to this timely and important question ... In addition to engaging with each other's arguments, Wellman and Cole address a range of central questions and prominent positions on this topic. The authors therefore provide a critical overview of the major contributions to the ethics of migration, as well as developing original, provocative positions of their own.

Open borders : A Graphic Novel.

Open borders : The Science and Ethics of Immigration

American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens. But economist Bryan Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy--greatly benefiting humanity. With a clear and conversational tone, exhaustive research, and vibrant illustrations by Zach Weinersmith, Open Borders makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny

International Migration Review

International Migration Review is an interdisciplinary journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects of sociodemographic, historical, economic, political, legislative, spatial, social, and cultural aspects of human mobility. It is internationally regarded as the principal journal in the field facilitating the study of human migration, ethnic group relations, and refugee movements. Through an interdisciplinary approach and from an international perspective, IMR provides the single most comprehensive forum devoted exclusively to the analysis and review of international population movements. It seeks manuscripts that speak to issues of relevance across the social sciences and to wider policy and societal debates concerning international migration, as well as manuscripts that push existing understandings of international migration in new methodological, empirical, and conceptual directions.

Ethics in a Crowded World : Globalisation, Human Movement and Professional Ethics

The twenty-first century has thus far been characterised by a persistent amplification of diverse and interconnected global flows, as well as various attempts to control, harness and channel these flows for individual and collective benefits. Whether we resist, appropriate, or simply observe those forces, for most of us they have meant significant change and adaptation. Conceiving crowdedness broadly, the work in this volume engages with increased exposure to the lives and realities of both proximate and distant others, facilitated by the perpetual motion of globalisation. ... Together these papers demonstrate the broad impacts of globalisation, turning to ethics to inform response and engagement now and in the unpredictable future.


News on migration, refugees, trafficking etc..

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