Should migration scholars be realistic or idealistic?

Apologies for the sound quality of this episode. We’re working to fix it!

In 1987 Joseph Carens, Professor and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, University of Toronto, pioneered political philosophy on immigration by making the case for open borders. In his most recent book, The Ethics of Immigration, he restated his case for keeping borders open. Yet some people find that this is simply too idealistic and that even political philosophers must think about what can actually be done in the real world. Carens himself discusses this, for example here and in his recent book. He joins the podcast to talk about whether, when it comes to immigration, we should be idealists or realists, or both.

Is there a way through the Balkan route?

One of the ways that refugees have tried to make it to Europe is through the so called ‘Balkan route‘. Yet as EU and European leaders have tried to shut this way by increasing border controls, many refugees and other migrants have become trapped along the Balkan route. A research team, IR and Aesthetics, from Aston University have just returned from Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, where they spoke to the people who are stuck and those who are trying to help. In this podcast episode, we hear from two of the researchers, Dr Gemma Bird and Dr Patrycja Rozbicka, who discuss how refugees use technology to stay informed about border changes, the use of graffiti to make political statements and the prospects for those trapped on their journey.

The team collected many photos and videos from the Balkan route, which are available through their Facebook and Twitter pages.