Ethics of Migration

The Chair of Practical Philosophy, especially Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Law is part of the research project "Ethics of Immigration". This research project aims at a more precise and adequate understanding of the (universal) right to freedom of movement. Central to this inquiry is the question “who may, and under what conditions, be allowed in or turned away?” This question is not only philosophically important; it is also at the centre of current political and social controversies. Therefore it is necessary to find out, for example, whether the strengths and limits of the right to freedom of movement depend on the reasons for migration or on the conditions for its realization in particular societies. The purpose of the project is, thus, to analyse political, social, and economic contexts of migration and their normative meaning. Our presupposition is that the right to freedom of movement can be appropriately understood only if we take into account different reasons for migration, while also considering a range of empirical constraints. Further details are available here.

The research project is conducted by Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Technische Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen. Funding of this project has been secured and granted by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr.


EELP Summer School "Michael Blake on Migration" with Michael Blake from July 10th-14th 2017

Plakat Michael Blake on Migration

This year's summer school of the master programme Ethics - Economics, Law and Politics is dedicated to the issue of migration. At the center of debate will be the position of the philosopher Michael Blake from the University of Washington, who will personally introduce his thoughts and be part of an intensive discussion on them. The summer school takes place at Beckmanns Hof, one of the Ruhr-University's conference centers.

The course is part of an ongoing cooperation with the master programmes Political, Legal and Economic Philosophy (PLEP) at the University of Bern and Political, Economic and Legal Philosophy (PELP) at the University of Graz. It also is partly organised by the university Duisburg-Essen, the Technical University of Dortmund as well as the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Essen.



International Conference "Why People Migrate" from 18th-19th  of February 2016

Poster Why People Migrate...

The causes for migration are obivously relevant for the normative judgement and justification of claims of migrants. This is especially so if one is concerned with the origin and aims of migrants. Some causes legitimate strict duties, whereas others are not able to ground any claims. And some reasons, which came into being by the receiving countries, can bring about claims of compensation. At the same time can reasons, that are independent from the receiving states, lead to completely different claims and duties. This internationale conference aims at bringing scholars from law and social sciences, who are interested in (forced) migration, together with political philosophers, who try to elaborate on the ethics and political implications of migration.

The conference is part of the MERCUR research project„Ethics of Immigration“, which was founded by philosophers and political scientists from the university Duisburg-Essen, the Ruhr-University Bochum and the TU Dortmund as well as the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen and the Universitätsallianz Ruhr (UAR). The project aims at improving the debate about the ethics of migrations by integrating judicial and socio-scientific perspectives on migration, the capacity of states and the effects of migration on the cultural and social life.

Scientific direction:
Prof. Dr. Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Niederberger (University Duisburg-Essen)
Prof. Dr. Volker Heins (Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen)
JunProf. Dr. Christian Neuhäuser (Technical University Dortmund)
in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Galya Ruffer (Center for Forced Migration Studies, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA)

Paula Banerjee (Calcutta Research Group), Tendayi Bloom (Yale University), Jan Brezger (Freie Universität Berlin), Nergis Canefe (York Univesity Toronto), Andreas Cassee (Freie Universität Berlin), Frank Dietrich (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Johanna Gördemann (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Anna Goppel (Universität Bern), Henning Hahn (Universität Kassel / Freie Universität Berlin), Peter Higgins (Eastern Michigan University), Jennifer Hyndman (York University Toronto), Matthias Kettner (Universität Witten-Herdecke), Olaf Kleist (Oxford/Universität Osnabrück), Zachary Lomo (York University Toronto), Andreas Niederberger (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Galya Ruffer (Northwestern University), Dallal Stevens (University of Warwick), Shelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University)

Participation after application until the 15th of February. Contact: Martina Tomczak (RUB),

The conference language is English