On the Militarization of Borders and the Juridical Right to Exclude

Document Type




Format of Original

18 p.

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Univeristy of Illinois Press

Source Publication

Public Affairs Quarterly

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This work explores the increasing militarization of borders throughout the world, particularly the United States border with Mexico. Rather than further rhetoric of "border security," this work views increases in guards, technology and the building of walls as militarized action. The goal of this essay is to place the onus upon states to justify their actions at borders in ways that do not appeal to tropes of terrorism. This work then explores how a logic of security infiltrates philosophical discussions of "the right to exclude," thereby curtailing the ability to see borders in any other way than as a locale that must be militarized. Specifically, I analyze the work of Michael Blake and his juridical theory of immigration restrictions. I argue that his work necessitates the walling of borders and removal of those who create new obligations for current members of existing political institutions.


Public Affairs Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 2 (April 2015): 217-234. Permalink. © 2015 University of Illinois Press. Used with permission.