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Matt Lister

BA, Boise State University (1992)

MA, SUNY-Albany; JD, Penn, 2006


Dissertation Title: 

 The Moral Limits of Immigration Policy


Samuel Freeman (disertation director)

Kok-Chor Tan

Stephen Perry

Howard Chang

Research Interests

  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Legal philosophy
  • Globalization
  • Philosophy of Science.

The core of my research interests center around questions about how states deal with changes brought about by globalization. In particular, I am interested in developing normative frameworks in which to analyze immigration, international trade, and, more generally, the international legal system. My current work investigates globalization in the context of limits on discretion in immigration policy. This work, which makes up my dissertation, considers first whether there is a general right to free movement between countries (I argue there is not) and then looks at a number of specific problem areas (refugees, family-based immigration, guest workers, and citizenship) in order to develop a general theory.

Selected Publications

“Desert: Empirical, not Metaphysical (Comment on Robinson)” (Forthcoming). In Robinson and Ferzan, eds., Criminal Law Conversations, Oxford University Press, 2009

“Contractualism and the Sharing of Wrongs (Comment on Marshall and Duff)” (Forthcoming). In Robinson and Ferzan, eds., Criminal Law Conversations, Oxford University Press, 2009

“Gang-Related Asylum Claims: an Overview and Prescription” University of Memphis Law Review Vol. 38 Issue 4 (2008) (Symposium issue)

“A Rawlsian Argument for Extending Family-Based Immigration Benefits to Same-Sex Couples”, University of Memphis Law Review, Vol. 37, Summer 2007

“Well-Ordered Science: The Case of GM Crops” In Ethics and the Life Sciences, Special issue of the Journal of Philosophical Research, Fred Adams, ed., Feb. 2007

“Philosophy in Russia” (With Natasha Blokhina, Ryazan State Pedagogical University Dept. of Philosophy) American Philosophical Assoc. Newsletter on International Cooperation, Vol. 01, No. 1 (2001)

“Teaching Feminism in Russia” in Posidelki (Publication of the St. Petersburg Gender Studies Center) (In Russian) Nov. 2001

“Two Treatments of Natural Kinds in Analytic Philosophy”- in New Ideas in Philosophy
(Extended abstract in Proceedings of the All-Russia Theoretical Conference on Modern Scientific Philosophy, Perm, Russia, 2001). (In Russian)



Recent and upcoming

“Guest-Worker Programs: an Account and Partial Defense”, Scheduled to be presented at the Political Studies Association (UK) annual meeting in Manchester England, April 2009.

Commented on Alex Sager, “What Immigrants Owe Society” for first “Public Reason” weblog on-line symposium on political philosophy: Sept. 19, 2007.

“A New Global Trading Order? Questions from Political Philosophy” Presented at “Author Meets Reader” session on The New Global Trading Order by Dennis Patterson and Ari Afilalo, Law and Society Annual Meeting, Montreal Canada, June 2008.

“Who is a Refugee?” Presented at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting,“New Voices on Human Rights” panel, New York, NY January 2008.

“Immigration, Association, and the Family”, Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 2007.

“Kitcher's Idea of Well-Ordered Science Applied to the Case of Genetically Modified Crops,” University of Delaware/APA conference on Ethics and Life Sciences, October 2004.

“Separating the Wheat from the Chaff in Kant’s Sexual Ethics”- Presented at the Rutgers/Princeton Philosophy Graduate Students Conference, April 2002

“Might there be Races? A Critique of Zack and Appiah’s Eliminativism” - Presented at Villanova University Graduate Student Conference, “Philosophy and Race”, March 23, 2002.