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Africa in the politics, ethics and justice system of an open borders world

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Politics of globalization demands that all countries of the world should open their borders for free movement of goods and services in a competitive market economy. The emerging anti-migration laws in Europe, America, and Australia, portrays another picture. Proponents think, borders should be open because of the equal liberty of all,1 and the universality of human dignity and rights.2 Opponents argue for border restrictions on the basis of national sovereignty, national interests, and the right to self-determination of sovereign communities.3 The two camps believe that the subject of migration, the human person, is an individual, who is rational, autonomous, self-conscious and a self-propelling being. What divides them is the view that human beings have the right to exclude others from their properties and territories, hence supporting border restrictions. On the other hand, human beings have the social responsibilities to include others to share the properties and territories belonging to them, thus supporting open border policies. This paper hypothesizes that, for a better understanding of international relations, we must go beyond the individualistic understanding of the human person and the open borders discourse. African philosophy, which seems to offer a better alternative, opines that the human person is an individual and a socially corporate being that is intrinsically different from others, yet essentially related to others. This individual needs a conducive social and personal atmosphere to prosper, which can only be created in their own countries.


Africa, ethics, politics, justice system, open borders world