Maren Behrensen

Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy, Boston University

Junior Visiting Fellow
(January – June 2010)


Justifying Exclusion –
Political Membership and the Nation-State

The leading question for my research project is: What, if anything, can justify the exclusion of outsiders from membership in political societies? The specific focus of this question will be on the nation-state and on the limitations and conditions nation-states impose on immigrants and applicants for citizenship. I will explore various justifications for the exclusion of outsiders, ranging from “communitarian” to “utilitarian” arguments, arguing that none of these justifications is fully satisfactory (though some will turn out to be stronger than others).