• Ph.D., Princeton University
  • M.A., Baylor University
  • B.A., Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Canada)


  • International Relations Theory
  • Border Security
  • Human Rights
  • Causes of War
  • International Political Economy
  • Religion and International Affairs
  • Research and Writing in International Relations
  • Ethics in International Relations
  • National Security
  • Citizenship and Global Inequality
  • U.S. Immigration and Social Justice

Research Interests

  • Ethics (normative theory)
  • Immigration law and policy (human security)
  • Citizenship studies
  • International political theory
  • Religion and politics
  • Human rights


Professor Michael Sullivan’s research interests focus on the ethics of immigration enforcement, care ethics, civil-military relations, and the rights and obligations of citizenship. He is also interested in the interstate coordination of responses to unauthorized migration and settlement and efforts to balance the securitization of migration with international human rights commitments. At St. Mary’s, professor Sullivan teaches courses in International Relations Theory, World Religions, Ethics and International Relations, Human Rights, Causes of War, Border Security, National Security, and Citizenship and Global Inequality. Prof. Sullivan also has training and teaching experience in public law and American politics.


2019. Earned Citizenship. Oxford University Press.

2023 Born Innocent: Protecting the Dependents of Accused Caregivers, Oxford University Press.


2024 “Caring for Society: The Ethics of Military and Health Care Vaccine Mandates,” Quinnipiac Health Law Journal 27, no. 3 (forthcoming,

2023 “A Limited Defence of Public Health Exit Restrictions,” International Migration (online first): DOI:

2022 “The Border Crossed Us: Enhancing Indigenous International Mobility Rights,” Journal of Borderlands Studies (online first): DOI: 10.1080/08865655.2022.2101140

2022 “Protecting Minorities from De Facto Statelessness,” Statelessness and Citizenship Review 4, no. 1: 66-87.

2022 “John Witherspoon: Religious Educator to the American Founding Generation.” Religious Education 117, no. 1: 74-87.

2021 “Labor Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century.” Seattle Journal of Social Justice 19, no. 3: 809-840.

2018. “Labouring for Citizenship,” Left History 22, no. 1: 111-135.

2018. “Beyond Allegiance: Toward a Right to Canadian Citizenship Status,” American Review of Canadian Studies 48, no. 3: 327-343.

2018. “Keeping the Golden Door Ajar: The Business Case for Mexican Labour Migration to the United States in the 1920s,” Canadian Review of American Studies (online first):

2017 “Family Immigration as an Immigration Policy Priority,” Studies in Social Justice 11, no. 2: 369-388.

2017 “A Restorative Justice Approach to Legalising Unauthorized Immigrants.” Restorative Justice: An International Journal 5, no. 1: 70-92.

2016 “Legalizing Parents and Other Caregivers: A Family Immigration Policy Guided by a Public Ethic of Care.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society 23, no. 2: 263-283

2016 “Impact of Interior Enforcement on Mixed-Status Families,” Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice 36, no. 1: 33-57 (with Roger Enriquez).

2014 “Conditional Residence for Unauthorized Immigrant Parents.” International Journal of Children’s Rights 22, no. 4: 776-806.

2014 “By Right of Service: The Military as a Pathway to Earned Citizenship.” Politics, Groups and Identities 2, no. 2: 245-259.

2012 “Which Prospective Immigrants Are Political Communities Morally Obliged to Include,” Journal of Identity and Migration Studies 6, no. 2: 18-35.

2005 “An Assessment of John Rawls’ Theory of Public Reason,” Philosophia Christi 7, no. 1: 61-86.

Book Reviews
2016 “Immigrant Neighbors, Workers, and Caregivers in Our Midst: What We Owe Each Other,” Texas Law Review 95, no. 1 (November, 2016): 80-99.

2003 “Blessed Are the Cynical: How Original Sin Can Make America a Better Place,” Journal of Church and State 45, no. 4 (Fall, 2003): 823-825.

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