Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Adam Hosein

Second Advisor

Ajume Wingo

Third Advisor

Alison Jaggar


With an argument by analogy, I propose a framework of ‘adverse occupation’ as both a compromise to the proponents of the affiliation view and the autonomy view as well as an applicable solution within non-ideal theory. The components of this framework should be able to account for previous concerns addressed by these proponents by advancing a method of acquisition of certain rights by occupying a county under certain conditions. ‘Adverse occupation’ has five elements that must be established: the occupation must be (1) open, (2) continuous for the statutory period, (3) exhibiting the breadth of an established, contributing lifestyle, (4) adverse to the currently occupied country’s interests, and (5) firm. These just provisos will require that the state grants the full set of rights that come with citizenship to qualifying illegal immigrants.