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Book Launch: Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom

Book Launch: Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom

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King's College London

Strand Campus, Council Room

King's College London

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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Public event on migration rights, immigration and freedom

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*This is an in-person Book Launch event held at the Council Room, Level 2, Strand Campus, King’s College London, from 4-6pm.

This event features a book by Prof Ilya Somin titled Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration and Political Freedom (2020), published by Oxford University Press. Abstract:

Ballot box voting is often considered the essence of political freedom. But it has two major shortcomings: individual voters have only a tiny chance of making a difference, and they also have strong incentives to remain ignorant about the issues at stake. “Voting with your feet” is far superior on both counts. In Free to Move, Ilya Somin explains how expanding foot-voting opportunities can greatly enhance political freedom for millions of people around the world. That applies to foot voting in federal systems, foot voting in the private sector, and especially foot voting through international migration. These three types of foot voting are rarely considered together. But Somin explains how they have major common virtues, and can be mutually reinforcing. Free to Move addresses a variety of objections to expanded migration rights, including claims that the “self-determination” of natives requires giving them power to exclude migrants, and arguments that migration is likely to have harmful side effects, such as undermining political institutions, overburdening the welfare state, increasing crime and terrorism, and spreading undesirable cultural values. While these objections are usually directed at international migration, Somin shows how a consistent commitment to such theories would also justify severe restrictions on internal freedom of movement. That implication is yet another reason to be skeptical of such arguments. The book also shows how both domestic constitutional systems and international law can be structured to increase opportunities for foot voting while mitigating potential downsides of freedom of movement.

About the Speaker:

Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University, author of The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain and Democracy and Political Ignorance, and a regular contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, hosted by Reason.

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King's College London

Strand Campus, Council Room

King's College London

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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