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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Displacement and Development (PGSP11369)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines some of the key questions that displacement raises for those concerned with development. How should the international community respond to refugee crises? Can transnational diaspora help build peace - or ferment war? Should we distinguish between migrants from poverty, those fleeing conflict or other civilians trapped in crisis? Do labels like "refugee" "IDP" and "asylum seeker" serve to provide humanitarian protection - or legitimise political containment?

Development and Displacement will provide students with the necessary tools to frame their own critical answers to such questions, through examining theory and a number of case studies including (but not limited to) Afghanistan, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kosovo, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Syria. Examining key issues in Forced Migration studies - with a particular focus on movements in conflict and crisis - the course will allow students to analyse not only the dynamics of acute displacement crises, but also the policy responses that have helped to shape the longer-term politics of "migration management".
Course description Week 1: What is forced migration? Labels, categories and "the refugee problem"

Week 2: Legal approaches: Conventions, soft law and humanitarian protection

Week 3: The dynamics of displacement: causes and consequences

Week 4: The journey: choices in flight (smuggling, trafficking)

Week 5: From emergency to everydaylife: from the camp to the city

Week 6: Innovative learning week

Week 7: From humanitarianism to development: unlocking protracted displacement?

Week 8: Towards durable solutions: Resettlement and experiences of displacement in the West

Week 9: Local integration

Week 10: Repatriation and peace-building

Week 11: Migration as a solution?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. At the end of the course students will be able to:
    -Critically examine the complex causes and policy categorisations of displacement
    - Assess the scope of international laws and conventions governing the protection of the displacement
    -Analyse and critique humanitarian and development responses to displacement
    -Critically assess the relationship between "migration" and "displacement" and policy implications of this framework
Reading List
Betts, A. (2009), Forced Migration and Global Politics, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford

Gibney, M. (2004) The Ethics and Politics of Asylum: Liberal Democracy and the Response to Refugees, Cambridge University Press

Goodwin-Gill, G. and McAdam, J. (2007) The Refugee in International Law, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press

Harrell-Bond, B., (1986) Imposing Aid. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Loescher, G. (2001). The UNHCR and world politics: A perilous path. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Loescher, G., Betts, A. and Milner. J., The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): the politics and practice of refugee protection into the 21st century. Routledge, 2012 (2nd edition).

Long, K., The Point of No Return: Refugees, Rights and Repatriation, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Malkki, L.H. (1995) Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory and National Cosmology Among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania, University of Chicago Press, Chicago

Price, M. (2009) Rethinking Asylum: History, Purpose, Limits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Zolberg, A., Suhrke, A and Aguayo, S. (1989) Escape From Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World. Oxford University Press: New York

Many working papers and other resources are free online (often earlier versions of the same papers!):

New Issues in Refugee Research (UNHCR) -
Refugee Studies Centre Working Papers, University of Oxford -
Forced Migration Online Digital Library -

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Catherine Long
Course secretaryMr Fraser Maxwell
Tel: (0131 6)51 1183
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