Marit Hovdal Moan

Guest Researcher

Marit Hovdal Moan left PRIO in 2007. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons.

Research Interests

image(migration-research-at-PRIO-small) Migration Research at PRIO
is presented in a separate section of the web site.

I am currently working towards a PhD in Applied Ethics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Programme for Applied Ethics,Philosophy Department.

My project focuses on liberal democratic states' moral duties towards persons who reside on their territory without the necessary authorization to do so (resident irregular migrants).

The purpose of the project is twofold:

(1) to evaluate the moral legitimacy of Europe’s internal borders by looking at whether there are social goods and services that resident irregular migrants cannot - from an ethical viewpoint - be excluded from.

I take as my starting point that there are moral limits to the range of migration control mechanisms that a state committed to liberal democratic principles and values may legitimately implement to prevent irregular migrants from remaining or settling on its territory.

I conceptualize these limits in terms of moral duties and consider what these moral duties are. The aim is to delimit the scope of legitimate practices open to liberal democratic states in their efforts to fight irregular migration.

(2) to consider at which point resident irregular migrants should be given some form of official membership in the state in which they reside, and on the basis of which moral principle.

I take as my starting point the notion that a state committed to liberal democratic principles and values can not legitimately exclude an irregular migrant from the sphere of legality over an indeffinite period of time. At one point the state has a moral duty to formally recognize that person as a member of society by legalizing his or her status. The project considers the extent to which the passing of time or the establising of social bonds, or both, can provide a moral basis for claiming such membership.


Languages spoken:

Norwegian, English, Spanish, French

Working experience:

Academic visitorships:

2006/2007: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford

2007: International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

2005: University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Institute of Political Science and Sociology


2005: Teaching assistant, NTNU, Department of Sociology and Political Science

1999: Lecturer during the annual High School international week, Norway. Focus on girls’ and women’s educational and health situation in developing countries.

1998/1999: Solidarity worker in Matagalpa, Nicaragua for the NGO The Latin-American Groups in Norway.


2005-2009. PhD research fellow, applied ethics
NTNU, Program for Applied Ethics, Philosophy Department

2003-2004. Master of Economics and Social Studies in International Politics. University of Wales, Aberystwyth, International Politics Department

2000–2002. Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and History. Vesalius College -Vrije Universiteit, Brussels