Hands, Not Lands: John Locke, Immigration and the ‘Great Art of Government’

SMITH, B.

HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT

Abstract: This paper looks at the transmigration of peoples in Locke’s thought, particularly the migration of foreigners into England. I pay close attention to the ‘great art of government’ passage in the Second Treatise which shows that rather than exhibiting a hard right to exclude aliens, rulers are obligated to generate the social conditions that attract craftsmen and labourers. Locke believed this was the quickest way to economic prosperity. Additionally, this paper will look at some of the historical conditions that Locke was responding to and why he believed immigration was a self-regulating phenomenon.