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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Postgraduate Course: The Politics of Migration in Europe (PLIT11012)

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
SummaryThe course examines immigration and integration policies in European countries and the EU. It charts changing patterns of migration and refugee flows to Europe since the Second World War, and analyses how different states have responded to the challenge of large-scale immigration. Policy responses are dealt with under three main themes: state attempts to control and regulate entry, including labour migration and asylum; efforts at integrating immigrants and ethnic minority groups; and regional cooperation in the context of EU Immigration and Asylum Policy. The course explores some of the broader challenges immigration has raised for state sovereignty, the welfare state, and conceptions of citizenship and national identity.
Course description This course explores how different European states have responded to the challenges of increasing immigration. It examines the causes and dynamics of migration and asylum flows to Western Europe since WWII, and compares supra-/nation-state responses with respect to entry controls and philosophies of integration. By the end of the course, students should be able to 1) understand and explain evolving patterns, and changing types, of immigration; 2) analyse and explain migration and integration policy responses in Western Europe, and 3) use comparative approaches to explain national similarities and differences regarding policy and policy change over time.

Outline Content

Theorising Migration -- this week explores some of the theories behind why people decide to migrate in the first place.

Labour Migration in Post-War Europe (and Today) ¿ this week covers the history of labour migration (from 1945-1973), and what similarities and differences exist today.

Asylum Seekers and the EU¿ this week covers the origins of the refugee convention, and how it has developed and changed over time. We consider how the changing politics of asylum is affecting EU integration in this area, and the emergence of a common European asylum policy.

Citizenship and Philosophies of Integration ¿ starting this week, focus shifts from ¿patterns¿ to ¿impacts¿ of immigration. We start off by considering how large-scale movements of people challenge ideas of who the ¿we¿; how states go about ¿constructing¿ new citizens and some of the challenges involved in
doing so.

The Return of Assimilation? ¿ this week explores an on-going debate in the field, namely, whether assimilation is returning as a preferred mode of incorporating migrants and ethnic minorities into host societies.

Patterns of Political Integration --- this week covers different types of political activities that migrants can participate in. We consider whether there is a ¿crisis of representation¿ and the changing understandings of whether migrant and ethnic minority participation is necessarily a ¿good¿ thing.

The Party Politics of Immigration --- this week covers immigration and integration as increasingly contested issues and the role of mainstream as well as niche parties in this process.

Irregular Migration and the External Dimension of Immigration --- this week covers one of the most rapidly growing areas of EU Cooperation, and an intriguing area of study for political scientists, namely, the so-called ¿external dimension¿ of immigration and asylum.

The Use of Knowledge in Immigration Policy ¿ this week covers the role(s) of expertise and research in debates and policy-making on immigration and asylum. Since immigration is a notoriously populist area, and often characterised by highly polemical and emotive debates, it raises questions of what role ¿experts¿ play here.

Policy exercise: [topic updated yearly] ¿ during this session students are divided into groups and asked to put forward evidence and policy suggestions to a minister.

During seminars, students will engage in several interactive exercises. These include considering ways of measuring stocks and flows of migrants; providing country specific examples of public policy; filling in a ¿Citizenship Test¿, and participating a claims-making exercise.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and explain migration policy responses in Europe
  2. Apply different theories and concepts from political science, international relations, law and sociology to migration policy issues.
  3. Use comparative methods to explain national divergence in policy, as well as policy change over time.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Pontus Odmalm
Tel: (0131 6)50 3926
Course secretaryMrs Gillian MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
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