Research

 Photo Credit: European Union, 2012.

Photo Credit: European Union, 2012.

In my book project, Democratic Integrity and Immigrant Inclusion, I explore how principles of social justice shift when we consider the moral obligations that might emerge from relationships between citizens and various categories of noncitizens.  From this beginning, I develop an ethico-political account of hospitality that explains how immigrant agency, voice and visibility are integral to public judgment about membership rights and democratic citizenship.  In doing so, I recall a paradox of democratic government: there are illegitimate aspects embedded in the process of constitution-making. As a result of these illegitimate remainders found in the operation of the rule of law, our political institutions and collective identities, I show how democracy needs hospitality to remain authoritative and to review the allocation of substantive membership rights, privileges, and benefits. I draw on widespread immigrant protests, the politics of deferred action policies, and the reawakening of the New Sanctuary Movement in the United States to illustrate how a reworked conception of hospitable practices can aid integration and incorporation. Additionally, I consider how migration out of North Africa and the Middle East after 2011 has fueled recent migrant controversies in Europe and generated distinct responses from political leaders. I analyze these cases in order to demonstrate how certain ethico-political commitments can deepen liberal democratic values and provide a theoretical framework for understanding how noncitizen residents can become included as recognized members of the political community.