Religion, Society, and World Relations Faculty of Catholic Theology

Social Justice under the Condition of Scarcity- social-ethical research on the future of social security in Germany on the condition of controlled and uncontrolled migration

Elke Mack: With reference to the newer philosophical and Christian-ethical debate on immigration, a set of ethical criteria will be developed, which spell out when, to what extent and in which form the admission of immigrants in western welfare states like Germany is a universal obligation, normatively just and ethical, while at the same time considering the limited capacities of national social institutions.

Duration
01/2016 - 12/2019

Funding
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) :
344 000 Euro

Project management

Prof. Dr. Elke Mack
Holder of the professorship for Christian Social Science and Social Ethics (Christliche Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialethik) (Faculty of Catholic Theology)

A future conception of the German social security system, that aims to achieve social justice, has to take immigration movements into consideration, especially because they have gained a new quality since 2014. However, to think about immigration only in terms of its benefits for a national social security system  is problematic from a social ethics point of view, as it would reduce people in need to their financial value for western economies and social systems. Beyond any consideration for national benefits, Christian Social Ethics as a theological discipline, considers immigrants as human beings, who have a right to receive help, a right to freedom of movement, and a right to live in dignity. Therefore, the original social ethical aim of creating just, social institutions within societies, has to be embedded in a global context. In order to escape the dilemma of differing research objectives between national social justice and global justice, social and global dimensions of justice should not be considered as contrary to each other, but should be thought of as being consistent with each other (Mack, 2015).

With reference to the newer philosophical and Christian-ethical debate on immigration, a set of ethical criteria will be developed, which spell out when, to what extent and in which form the admission of immigrants in western welfare states like Germany is a universal obligation, normatively just and ethical, while at the same time considering the limited capacities of national social institutions. What is needed, is a consistent ethical synthesis that explains how humanity can be guaranteed for both parties concerned, i.e. citizens with civil rights and immigrants with human rights, under the existing conditions of limited social security resources,  and within the framework of future and present national and global justice obligations.

Social State Research Social Ethics

Cooperation partner

Research focus

Religion, Society, and World Relations