Unveiling Historical Bonds

How Migration and Trade Shaped Our World

March 07, 2024

In his recent blog article ‚Migration and trade: two sides of the same coin?‘, Thomas Duve delves into the historical intertwining of migration and trade, drawing on the insights of the School of Salamanca and its significant figures like Domingo de Soto. He shows how theologians and philosophers of the time advocated for the free movement of goods and people based on the ius gentium, a concept that transcended political boundaries to uphold a global community of shared rights and duties.

This cosmopolitan perspective not only justified the free trade and missionary activities but also emphasized the moral obligation to support those in need, irrespective of their origin. However, the application of these principles was ambivalent, serving both to critique and legitimize European expansion. Despite the profound contributions of thinkers like Francisco de Vitoria to the foundation of international law, the article highlights a historical imbalance: while trade rights have been robustly protected, the rights to migrate and receive aid have been significantly underdeveloped.

Thomas Duve's analysis extends to modern implications, questioning the adequacy of current legal frameworks in addressing global challenges and advocating for a reinvigorated commitment to the principles of reciprocity and coherence in law. This compelling narrative invites readers to reconsider the foundational values of our legal systems in the face of globalization's dual crises of migration and trade.

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