It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of the revised editions of my book. You are free to move: Voting by foot, migration, and political freedom The book will be available in print by December 1, You can pre-order it on Amazon or the Oxford University Press site. To get a 30% Discount if you order it on the Oxford UP website, use coupon code ALAUTCH4. The revised edition will also be available as an e-book or Kindle version.
The reason why the publisher and myself decided to release a revised version only 18 months after last year’s first edition. One reason I think is the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw much of the world locked down. The tragic events raised many issues which were not covered in the original edition but are now worth attention. Among them was the claim that strict migration restrictions are necessary to stop the spread of contagious diseases like Covid, as well as the consequences of remote foot voting.
These two issues are addressed in the revised edition. I also addressed the possibility that too many immigrants could cause a dangerous anti-immigrant backlash which, in turn, may threaten liberal democracy. This idea, which I should have added to the original edition, is different from the claim that immigration threatens liberal institution because immigrant voters might be awful and support unliberal parties and politicians. This issue has been addressed extensively in the previous edition. I’ve added some points to this version.
It also contains a few other minor additions and improvements. For example, extraterritorial taxes are now being considered in the new edition. This was a topic that I noticed because Yale Law School Professor Jack Balkin brought it up during an interview. This was made even more evident by the unfortunate case of Massachusetts vs. New HampshireThis, I believe, could be a sign of the future.
I extend my promise to give 50% of any royalties that are generated by You are free to moveFor causes that benefit refugees. This commitment applies now to all that I receive from the revised edition. This edition raises several thousand dollars to help refugees. I’m hoping that this will do the same.
This is the description by the publisher of the revised edition.
Ballot-box voting is frequently regarded as the core of political freedom. But it has two major shortcomings: individual voters have little chance of making a difference, and they face strong incentives to remain ignorant about the issues at stake. “Voting with your feet,” however, avoids both these pitfalls and offers a wider range of choices.
You are free to move, Ilya Somin explains how broadening opportunities for foot voting can greatly enhance political liberty for millions of people around the world. People can vote with their feet through international migration, choosing where to live within a federal system, and by making decisions in the private sector. Somin addresses a variety of common objections to expanded migration rights, including claims that the “self-determination” of natives requires giving them the power to exclude migrants, and arguments that migration is likely to have harmful side effects, such as undermining political institutions, overburdening the welfare state, increasing crime and terrorism, and spreading undesirable cultural values. While these objections are usually directed at international migration, Somin shows how a consistent commitment to such theories would also justify severe restrictions on domestic freedom of movement.
You can make a case for an open and more inclusive world by making it a habit. You are free to moveThe left and the right challenge conventional wisdom. The revised edition includes key issues such as fears about migration spreading dangerous diseases like Covid-19 and claims that immigrants might cause a backlash against democracy.
These are extracts of reviews and endorsements that were part of the original edition.
“It is the best book on geographic mobility and exit that has been written to date, and… I am happy to recommend it heartily.” — Tyler Cowen Marginal Revolution
“In this excellent book, Somin makes a compelling case that migration — or foot voting — provides far more political power than voting. A single voter can only alter the outcome of an election in a very small way, however any individual household is able to change their state or local government just by moving. This realization suggests that local government devolution will give rise to a greater political voice than any reform of national elections. A greater freedom of international migration could allow more people the ability to select their own government. Somin is persuasive, clear in his thinking, and his writing style is elegant. — Edward GlaeserFred and Eleanor Glimp, Harvard University Professor of Economics and author The Triumph of the City
Ilya Somin demonstrates that mobility, the freedom to travel from one place to another-is the foundation of any free society. This is particularly important for America where there are many states that can work together to create social policies which support enterprise and freedom. It is vital to vote; Somin refers to it as “foot voting.”–George F. WillColumnist: Washington PostAuthor of Conservative Sensibility
“First rate.”—Robert GuestThe Foreign Editor EconomistAuthor of Economic Freedom without Borders
“You are free to move shows that foot voting works better than we think, is more common than we think, and that there are many opportunities to improve political freedom by encouraging foot voting…. Chapter 5…. Chapter 5…. It offers as clear and convincing a rejection of discrimination based on parentage and place of birth as this author has ever seen… One of the outstanding features of the book is that it is robust to criticism. Somin is fair in dealing with criticisms. You won’t find strawman arguments.” — Ilia Murtazashvili The Public Choice
“A powerful book.” — Richard A. EpsteinAuthor of a New York University School of Law article The Classical Liberal Constitution
“Ilya Smin’s book, is fantastic.” — Guy-Uriel CharlesLaw professor at Duke Law School and codirector of the Center on Law, Race, and Politics. Twitter
“IlyaSomin provides a theoretical framework for Federalism that is applicable internationally: This book is outstanding.” — Roderick HillNYU School of Law
“Somin offers a compelling and ingenious justification for free global movement … The book’s combination of rigorous thought and engaging argument makes “Free to Move” a must-read for those interested in the future of immigration law and policy.” Peter Margulies Lawfare