A Keldysh-contour effective field theory is derived for magnetic vortices in the presence of current flow. The effect of adiabatic and non-adiabatic spin transfer torques on vortex motion is highlighted. Similarities to and differences from the superconducting case are presented and explained. Current flow across a magnetically ordered state is shown to lead to a defect-unbinding phase transition which is intrinsically nonequilibrium in the sense of not being driven by a variation in effective temperature. The dependence of the density of vortices on the current density is determined.Comment: 13 pages. Minor changes, to appear in PR
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