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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will deliver a 3500-word coursework essay (80%) and complete a portfolio activity of between 800 to 1000 words (20%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key categorisation(s) and types of forced migrations, and their implication for humanitarian assistance to and durable solutions for refugees.
  2. Apply the analytical toolbox gained in the course (knowledge, skills, and understanding) to academic and day-to-day engagement with research and news about forced migration. Be able to de-construct (forced) migrations ¿myths¿.
  3. Critically analyse, synthesize, and evaluate research and contemporary debates about the ¿solutions¿ for refugee crises.
  4. Be able to communicate your analysis of forced migration issues to a lay and academic audience.
  5. Be able to initiate autonomous research about refugee situations and issues that are not covered in the course (demonstrate some acquaintance with the main sources of information and research methodologies).
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

Nyers, P. 2013. Rethinking Refugees: Beyond State of Emergency. London: Routledge.

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

Main journals and working paper series:

The Journal of Refugee Studies, Oxford University Press

Refugee Studies Quarterly, Oxford University Press

Migration Studies, Oxford University Press

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Taylor and Francis

Forced Migration Review, Refugee Studies Programme, University of Oxford

Two working paper series are also worth looking at:

New Issues in Refugee Research (UNHCR, now discontinued)

Refugee Studies Centre Working Papers, University of Oxford

More references can also be found through the Forced Migration Online Digital Library

Blogs and media:
A few blog are worth checking from time to time: Migration and Citizens from Katy Long, the former convenor of this course, the Migrationist, the World Bank blogs on refugees and migrations, etc.

Finally, a few games have been developed to help the general audience understand the experiences of the refugees, feel free to have a look. The focus is often on the journey. The first one, Against all Odds, was developed by UNHCR. The BBC and the Guardian recently developed their own, focussing on the Syrian refugees.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Samuel Spiegel
Course secretaryMr Adam Petras
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