Self-determination and border control

Date/Time: October 20th – 12:15

Place: Jekteviksbakken 31

Self-determination is generally seen as the primary value supporting each state’s privilege to set its own immigration policy.

In this seminar, Hallvard Sandven questions whether the ideal of self-determination can bear the justificatory weight that is placed upon it in normative debates on migration. He argues that to rely on self-determination to justify unilateralism as a regulatory norm for global migration ignores central aspects of the politics of border control.
In practice, the norm of unilateralism enables both the externalisation of border control, and the de facto imposition of obligations for vulnerable migrants – two interrelated practices that directly conflict with the requirements of self-determination. These trends that have long been observed by empirical scholars call upon political theorists to reconsider the normative demands of self-determination.

Discussant: Antonio De Lauri

Hallvard Sandven is postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo. He works in political theory and his research interests include migration and border control, theories of the state, and theories of institutional legitimacy. Before he joined the University of Oslo, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the research group “The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?” at Freie Universität Berlin and received his doctorate from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.

Antonio De Lauri is a Research Professor at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the Director of the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS). He has conducted ethnographic research in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Europe and has published on issues related to war and post-war, humanitarianism, human rights, and borders.

🌍 Free and open to all.
📍 Join us onsite in Jekteviksbakken 31.
🔸 Bergen Global is a joint initiative between CMI and UiB that addresses global challenges.
🤝 This seminar is hosted by Centre on Law and Social Transformation (LawTransform) and Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism (Dipa).
☕️ Refreshments will be served at the event.

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Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh, September 14, 2009, El Paso Border Crossing/flickr