The outsider within: obligations of a liberal democratic state towards noncitizens within its territory.
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This dissertation provides a way for liberal democratic theorists to discuss obligations towards noncitizens within a state’s borders, and argues that, in fact, there are such obligations. Current theories of justice, even those engaging directly with migration across state borders, have been unable successfully to explain a state’s obligations towards non-citizens who are within its territory. This has two problematic ramifications. First, it indicates that there is a problem with theories of justice in their current form. Second, it means that it is difficult to find a liberal vocabulary to discuss obligations towards non-citizens. This dissertation addresses this problem directly, through the lens of the Capability Theory of Rights offered by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen. It emphasises the importance of understanding society as it is, and people as they are, as well as the state’s role in societal evolution. This dissertation does not advocate a liberal democratic approach over any other, but is intended to speak to an audience that ascribes to liberal democratic principles. The specific liberal approach it adopts is modest cosmopolitan, starting from a society-of-states empirical world view. This dissertation adopts a normative methodological approach. This can be set against an approach that is legal, social scientific, or political. The core purpose is to establish what should be the obligations of a self-defining liberal democratic state towards non-citizens within its territory, in virtue of people being as they are and the world being as it is.
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