Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Anthropology of Displacement and Migration (PGSP11457)

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
SummaryThe Anthropology of Displacement and Migration explores major approaches to researching the wider field of human mobility, stretching from the forced movements of refugees into the world of labour migrants and political exiles. The course equips students with a critical understanding of human mobilities that reaches beyond public discourses and policy-oriented debates on 'migrants' and 'refugees'.
Course description This course explores the fascinating field of human mobility. It does so by following the trajectories of several interlinked journeys: from the forced movements of refugees into the world of labour migrants, political exiles and immigrants. These diverse settings are explored from a shared perspective of mobility as a key concept that helps us to critically unpack debates around ¿refugees¿, ¿migrants¿ and other ¿moving¿ people. Combining a close examination of concrete research with discussions of theoretical approaches, the course will improve students¿ understanding of the anthropology of mobility, displacement and migration in theory and practice. Rather than thinking within predetermined policy fields, such as immigration or displacement, the course is critical towards these labels and policy metaphors and explores important analytical alternatives.

The course entails a weekly two-hour session divided into a lecture and participative group work, and a weekly one-hour seminar for close discussion of key readings.

Students read the Key Readings for discussion at the compulsory weekly seminar. Essential Readings enable students to develop a thorough understanding of the topic, and students are encouraged to read the Essential Readings for every session. Further Readings help students to explore the wider literature on their preferred topics; students are not expected to read all the references every week, but must demonstrate that they have read many, if not all, of the suggested readings for their essay topic.

Students will be assessed via two pieces of coursework: a mid-term short formative essay and an end-term longer summative essay in the form of a discursive anthropological essay, requiring students to engage with the relevant bodies of anthropological literature in order to delve into one or more of the course themes in more depth.
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. Demonstrate detailed knowledge and advanced critical understanding of specialised theories, concepts and principles in the history and forefront of anthropology of displacement, migration and mobility studies
  2. Critically evaluate different theoretical and conceptual approaches to studying displacement and migration in comparison.
  3. Develop original and creative responses by applying insights from anthropology of displacement and migration studies to related development and human rights issues.
  4. Engage constructively with others during class debates and online discussions, and exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in individual assessment activities.
  5. Effectively communicate their extensive, detailed, and critical knowledge of complex debates in the anthropology of displacement and migration studies in discursive essays.
Reading List
Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago.

Betts, A., & Collier, P. (2017). Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System. London: Allen Lane.

Betts, A., Bloom, L., Kaplan, J., & Omata, N. (2016). Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coutin, S. B. (2007). Nations of Emigrants: Shifting Boundaries of Citizenship in El Salvador and the United States. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Retrieved from

Cresswell, T. (2006). On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World. Taylor & Francis.

Fiddian-qasmiyeh, E., Loescher, G., Long, K., Sigona, N., Long, K., & Sigona, N. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

Hackl, A. (2018). Mobility equity in a globalized world: Reducing inequalities in the sustainable development agenda. World Development, 112, 150¿162.

Hackl, A., Schwarz, J. S., Gutekunst, M., & Leoncini, S. (2016). Bounded Mobilities: Ethnographic Perspectives on Social Hierarchies and Global Inequalities. Berlin: Transcript.

Khalaf, A., AlShehabi, O., & Hanieh, A. (2014). Transit States: Labour, Migration and Citizenship in the Gulf. London: Pluto Press.

Malkki, L. H. (1995). Refugees and Exile: From ¿Refugee Studies¿ to the National Order of Things. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24(1), 493¿523.

Salazar, N. B. (2017). Key figures of mobility: an introduction. In Social Anthropology(Vol. 25, pp. 5¿12). (see individual articles in this issue for different ¿key figures¿)

Salazar, N. B., & Glick Schiller, N. (2014). Regimes of mobility: Imaginaries and relationalities of power. London and New York: Routledge.

Saunders, D. (2011). Arrival city: How the largest migration in history is reshaping our world. New York: Vintage Books.

Urry, J. 2007. Mobilities. Cambridge, [England] ; Malden, MA: Polity.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course and its assessments will equip students to take an anthropological approach to understanding the socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic implications of displacement, migration, and associated development and human rights issues. Students will be able to:

Use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views.
Make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.
Seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness.
Transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Laura Jeffery
Tel: (0131 6)51 3865
Course secretaryMr Dave Nicol
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information