In Strangers in Our Midst, David Miller develops a ‘realist’ political philosophy of immigration, which takes as its point of departure ‘the world as it is’ and considers what legitimate immigration policies would look like ‘under these circumstances’. Here I focus on Miller’s self-described realist methodology. First, I ask whether Miller actually does start from the ‘world as it is’. I note that he orients his argument around a particular vision of national communities and that, in so doing, he deviates from a description of ‘the real world’. In shifting between the descriptive and prescriptive without clearly acknowledging it, Miller undermines his claim to be outlining legitimate policies ‘under these circumstances’. I also question whether Miller’s picture of ‘the real world’ takes sufficient account of past injustice and its ongoing relationship to migration regimes. I maintain that there is a fundamental tension between Miller’s commitments to his brand of nationalism on the one hand, and his version of realism on the other hand.
|Journal||Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy|
|Early online date||26 Sept 2016|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 26 Sept 2016|
- David Miller, immmigration, realism, nationalism