The Public Philosopher

Episode 1. Immigration

Radio Times
Review by:
Scott Bryan

You don’t even need to follow the US presidential election that closely to realise that America is incredibly politically divided at the moment. And what is one of the most divisive issues? Immigration. But why should that be, in a nation that has been built and relies upon a system of immigration in the first place?

As Texas has approximately 1.4 million illegal undocumented migrants, the popular political philosopher and former Reith lecturer Michael Sandel decides to bring together under one roof Texans who are either for or against immigration, and ask them how far an open society can go in accepting outsiders.

It’s political coverage like you’ve never heard it before, a format mixing politics and philosophy that tries to dig deeper into the reasoning behind people’s arguments, rather than simply taking them at face value.

About this programme

As America prepares for its presidential elections, political philosopher Michael Sandel discusses immigration issues with an audience at the University of Dallas in Texas, comparing Republican and Democrat policies, and asks how far an open society should be prepared to go in receiving foreign migrants.

Cast and crew


Michael Sandel


Mukul Devichand