UCL Department of Geography
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Dr JoAnn McGregor, Dr Claire Dwyer, Dr P Mateos

Unit value: 0.5 unit Year 3 Term 2

Brief Course Description

The course explores the politics of migration and asylum in a globalised world, and examines the shaping of transnational and diasporic identities. It reviews theoretical perspectives and engages with on-going policy debates.

Course Aims

The course aims to cultivate an understanding of migration and mobility in the world today, in relationship to political, economic and cultural processes. It aims to foster an understanding of theoretical approaches, to develop critical insight into a range of policy debates, and provide an appreciation of existing official data sources and their limitations.

Course content

The course is oriented to contemporary politics, policy and cultural processes, takes a global approach, but also looks in detail at British and European contexts. It covers topics including:

  • Theoretical approaches to migration, transnationalism and diaspora
  • Critical analysis of data sources on migration and ethnicity
  • The politics of asylum, legal status and ‘irregularity’
  • Globalised markets in skilled and unskilled work and migrants’ strategies
  • The shaping of transnational families, social networks and remittances
  • Mobility and cultural identities
  • Debates over multiculturalism, integration and cohesion

The sessions develop qualitative analytical skills, provide students with the capacity to critically analyse official data sources and policy documents, and the intellectual tools to situate and reflect on current political and theoretical debate. Method of Teaching

The teaching will be split between lectures and seminars, in which there will be opportunities for students to work together in small groups, engage in discussion and make presentations.

Form of Assessment

There will be one three-hour examination accounting for 50%, plus an extended essay based on individual research and writing.

Pre-requisites and Relationships with other courses

The course will progress from a number of second year courses, including GIS and Geodemographics.

Suggested Reading

Al-Ali, N. and Koser, K (eds), New Approaches to Migration, Routledge, 2003.

Borjas G., Friends or Strangers, New York, 1990.

Borjas, G. J. and Crisp, J. (eds), Poverty, International Migration and Aslyum, Palgrave 2005.

Castles S. and Miller M., The Age of Migration, Basingstoke, 2nd edition 1998.

Cohen R. (ed), The Cambridge Survey of World Migration, Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Hannerz, U, Transnational Connections, Routledge, 1996.

Massey, D. Arango, J. Hugo, G. Kouaouci, A. Pellegrino and E. Taylor, Worlds in Motion. Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millenium, Oxford University Press, 2005.

International Organisation for Migration, Migrant Trafficking and Human Smuggling in Europe, 10m, Geneva 2000.

Papastergiadis, N, The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity, Cambridge University Pres, 2000