A theoretical analysis on the moral obligations of states towards refugees

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This thesis is about the moral obligations of states towards refugees and analyses three different theories on immigration ethics by David Miller, Seyla Benhabib and Joseph Carens. The asylum claims of refugees show the inherent tension in liberal democracies between the state’s right to decide on its refugee policies and the claims of refugees based on universal human rights. The three theorists respond differently to this tension. After examining the different theories, this thesis will defend the theory of Benhabib, as she argues in favour of strong moral obligations of states to admit refugees and giving them the opportunity to get full citizenship rights while keeping the self-determination of democracies intact by mediating the claims of refugees into the decision-making procedure on the basis of deliberative democracy. Also, this research will be in favour of Carens’ proposal to turn resettlement into a strict duty of states and to reject the use of exclusionary measures and policies of states to prevent refugees from coming to their states.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen