Resident ForeignersA Philosophy of Migration
Resident Foreigners
A Philosophy of Migration

From the shores of Europe to the Mexican-US border, mass migration is one of the most pressing issues we face today. Yet at the same time, calls to defend national sovereignty are becoming ever more vitriolic, with those fleeing war, persecution, and famine vilified as a threat to our security as well as our social and economic order.

In this book, written amidst the dark resurgence of appeals to defend ‘blood and soil’, Donatella Di Cesare challenges the idea of the exclusionary state, arguing that migration is a fundamental human right.  She develops an original philosophy of migration that places the migrants themselves, rather than states and their borders, at the centre.  Through an analysis of three historic cities, Athens, Rome and Jerusalem, Di Cesare shows how we should conceive of migrants not as an other but rather as resident foreigners. This means recognising that citizenship cannot be based on any supposed connection to the land or an exclusive claim to ownership that would deny the rights of those who arrive as migrants. Instead, citizenship must be disconnected from the possession of territory altogether and founded on the principle of cohabitation – and on the ultimate reality that we are all temporary guests and tenants of the earth.

Di Cesare’s argument for a new ethics of hospitality will be of great interest to all those concerned with the challenges posed by migration and with the increasingly hostile attitudes towards migrants, as well as students and scholars of philosophy and political theory.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • April 2020
  • 260 pages
  • 155 x 232 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509533541
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509533558
  • Open eBook $17.99
  • 9781509533572
Table of Contents
Introduction. In short
1. Migrants and the state
1. Ellis Island; 2. If the migrant unmasked the state; 3. The state-centric order; 4. A fundamental hostility; 5. Beyond sovereignty. A marginal note; 6. Philosophy and migration; 7. A shipwreck with spectators. On the current debate. 8. Thinking from the shore. 9. Migration and modernity. 10. Columbus and the image of the globe. 11 ‘We refugees’. The scum of the earth. 12. What rights for the stateless? 13. The frontier of democracy. 14. The sovereigntism of closing the borders. 15.  Philosophers against Samaritans. 16. Citizens’ priority and the dogma of self-determination; 17. If the state is a club. Exclusionary liberalism; 18. The defence of national integrity; 19. Ownership over the earth: a baseless myth; 20. Freedom of movement and birth privilege; 21. Migrants against the poor? Welfare chauvinism and global justice; 22. Neither exodus nor ‘deportation’ nor ‘human trafficking’; 23. Jus migrandi. For the right to migrate; 24. Mare liberum and the sovereign’s word; 25. Kant, the right to visit and residency denied

2. The end of hospitality?
1. The continent of migrants. 2. ‘Us’ and ‘them’. The grammar of hatred. 3. Europe, 2015. 4. Hegel, the Mediterranean and the cemetery of the sea, 5. Fadoul’s story. 6. ‘Refugees’ and ‘migrants’. Impossible classifications. 7. The metamorphoses of the exile. 8. Asylum: from an ambiguous right to a dispositif of power. 9. ‘You’re not from here!’ An existential negation. 10. The migrant’s original sin. 11. ‘Illegals’: being condemned to invisibility. 12. Terms of domination: ‘integration’ and ‘naturalisation’; 13. When the immigrant remains an émigré; 14. The foreigner who lives outside, the foreigner who lives within; 15. Clandestine passageways, heterotopias, anarchic routes.

3. Resident foreigners
1. On exile. 2. Neither rootlessness or wandering. 3. Phenomenology of habitation. 4. What does migrating mean? 5. The global homelessness. 6. ‘Children of the Earth’. Athens and the myth of autochthony. 7. Rome: the city without origin and the imperial citizenship. 8. The theological-political charter of the ger. 9. Jerusalem. The city of foreigners. 10. On return.

4. Living together in the new millennium.
1. The new age of walls. 2. Lampedusa: the name of what border? 3. Condemned not to move. 4. The world of camps. 5. The passport, a paradoxical document. 6. ‘To each their own home!’ Cryptoracism and the new Hitlerism. 7. Hospitality. In the impasse between ethics and politics. 8. Beyond citizenship. 9. The limits of cosmopolitanism. 10. Community, immunity, reception. 11. When Europe is drowned… 12. Making room for others. 13. What does cohabitation mean? 14. Resident foreigners.


Name index
About the Author
Donatella Di Cesare is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome.
Show More


‘Deeply original, thoughtful and based on an incredible erudition, Donatella Di Cesare’s plea for a world in which all human beings would be “resident foreigners” is the best answer to the rise of racism, xenophobia and nationalism.’
Enzo Traverso, Cornell University

Show More