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

Undergraduate Course: Europe and International Migration (PLIT10068)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines immigration and integration policies in European countries and the EU. While the main focus is on the impact of immigration, the course also 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 of migrants and their dependents (post-WW2 patterns; current debates and challenges to border control), efforts at integrating immigrants and ethnic minority groups (citizenship; conceptualising integration and contesting the immigration issue) and the supra- and trans-national dimension of immigration and asylum (role of the EU; refugee law and human rights). 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 Academic 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:

Please note that this an indicative list of topics that may change depending on teaching team expertise.

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 during a hearing.

Student Learning Experience:

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 Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012) OR Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates (PLIT08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who lack the compulsory pre-requisites but have completed comparable courses should contact the Course Organiser to confirm if they are eligible to take this course.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Section for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 177 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course is assessed by a short assignment (e.g. a policy-brief or a non-specialist audience article) (ca, 30%); a long assignment (answering a set question from a choice of 6-9 options, ca. 60%); and preparation and presentation during the policy exercise workshop (ca. 10%). This first assignment constitutes the formative assessment.
Feedback Guidance and suggestions for the short assignment are provided in the form or a Pointers-document (available on LEARN). Students are encouraged to discuss the long-assignment with a relevant member of the teaching team. Additional information relating to seminar activities and the policy exercise are also available on LEARN.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe, analyse and explain migration policy responses in Europe.
  2. Apply different theories and concepts from political science, international relations and sociology to migration policy issues.
  3. Use comparative methodology to explain national divergence and convergence in policy and policy change over time.
  4. Understand the supra-national dimension to immigration and asylum.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and IR students.
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus 1 hr tutorial per week
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Pontus Odmalm
Tel: (0131 6)50 3926
Course secretaryMs Agata Lebiedzinska
Tel: (01316) 515197
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