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C. Brown: "Borders and Identity in International Political Theory"

More than 1000 drowned refugees in only one week remind us of the problems that arises with the discrepancy between the extreme injustice distribution of security and wealth and the attempt of the western world to preserve its privileges by closing the borders to prevent too much immigration through refugees. C. Brown examines in “Borders and Identity in International Political Theory” in what ways the question of borders and identity haven been discussed and which changes emerged and are emerging due to a rising scope of globalization. He compares two differing perceptions of the relationship of borders and identities, namely the liberal/cosmopolitical and the communitarist/anticosmopolitical view. Liberals tend to see the only true identity in the membership of the human race while communitarists emphasize the individual background of a person not just as secondary but as basic setting of the characteristics of existence. Therefore communitarists see borders as essential for the human existence while they play a controversial role in liberal theory. Liberals don´t see any moral significance in borders, they are rather a tool for administrative convenience. But free movement worldwide challenge the world community with problems that are not to resolve. States are just able to provide a certain scope of welfare when they define a group of privileged people (their citizens) and exclude the rest of the world of the welfare program. It could be argued the European integration lead to the deconstruction of borders within the community but also to the strengthening of the borders between the European Union and the rest of the world. The libertarian answer to this problem would be the abolishment of welfare programs, any other kinds of public support and borders so that everybody can live wherever he can afford it. But it is questionable if the abolishment of borders, the creation of a “world state”, would be able to fulfil the integrative functionsthat state have to face nowadays. The most trivial wisdom o social science is the fact that identiy emerges through the separation of others. “The other” defines the “we”. Some argued that these lack of identity building could be compensated by new identities that refer to such things as virtual communities, kingdoms, clans, guild or universities. While these considerations remain theoretically and their practicability will be examined by a different generation, we must put our focus on the concrete answer of problems that we face today. Since totally free borders and a completely free movement would let to an uncontrolled amount of immigration which would let to chaos in the affected countries, the solution is to diminish the incentives for large scale movements. The engagement of western countries in wars leads to destabilizing effects and the uncontrolled distribution of power which leads to the necessity to flee. The rich world must provide stable conditions world wide and a minimum scale of social welfare. The correct start would be the pursuing of the millennium goals.

23.4.15 07:42


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