Common Possession of the Earth, Territorial Rights, and Global Mobility
Heisenberg Program, German Research Foundation (DFG)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Alice Pinheiro Walla University of Bayreuth
Project Description International migration and the rights of migrants have recently been at the center of intense discussions. It is widely recognized that Kantian approaches can contribute significantly to these debates. However, little attention has been devoted to freedom of mobility itself from a Kantian perspective, independently from the questions of immigration. Consequently, the potential of Kantian positions and arguments in respect to global mobility has not been yet fully developed. There is much to be gained from elucidating Kant’s own contribution to issues of international mobility and the suitability of a Kantian-inspired approach to current global challenges such as climate change, epidemics, security threats, and rising global mobility.
The aim of this project is to develop a contemporary theory of international freedom of movement (ius peregrinandi). My account will take into consideration the current global order made up of sovereign territorial states and international law structures with limited but pervasive coercive powers, but is not derived from these institutions. While contemporary understandings of the right to migrate presuppose the idea of state sovereignty and the associated notion of subjection to political authority, I argue that the idea of a right to travel or transit has a different normative foundation, which is prior to the creation of exclusive political systems and genuinely cosmopolitan in nature. Although the modern notion of ius peregrinandi (also spelled as ius perigrinandi) is linked to attempts to justify colonialism, it is important to note that its original rationale was the inclusion of non-Europeans into a global juridical framework with Europeans. Thus, ius peregrinandi can be considered a juridical ideal that was in fact betrayed by colonialist domination. To rediscover and reflect on this idea is thus valuable for us today, not for restoring an outdated theoretical model, but for understanding the contingent character of our current models of international mobility and possibly finding alternative ways for regulating human movement that is compatible with the equal juridical status of all earth inhabitants.