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2.10 Europe, Migration, Refugees - CANCELLED

Instructor: Nerges Azizi
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours
: 72 (6 per day)
Course days: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 7
Course fee:
€ 1,850
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10); Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)

Course Description

In the last decade, the EU experienced unprecedented migration movements. EU’s response has been shaped by distinguishing between “deserving refugees” and “undeserving economic migrants” and has oscillated between humanitarian and securitarian approaches. Whereas the recent developments on the EU borders, such as pushbacks and the containment of migrants in the hotspots, signalize the abandonment of the humanitarian approach, the quick and less bureaucratic protection of Ukrainian refugees demonstrates more of a selective humanitarian approach.

This form of differential inclusion shaping the migration and asylum policies is the governmental product of an ongoing process of conflict, negotiation, subordination, resistance, and solidarity on the ‘external’ and ‘internal’ borders of something called Europe or of Europe as borderland (Balibar 2009). There are different actors with unequal power relations involved in this process. Departing from critical migration theories, we will focus on the subjectivity of migrants and refugees on different levels by breaking their usual representation as victims/villains from a state-centered or market-centered perspective. 

Starting from a critical overview of EU-level migration and border management policies, we will challenge the metaphor of Fortress Europe. Scaling down, we will learn about the recent changes in the migration/integration policies in Germany and how these are implemented by the local authorities in Berlin and challenged by civil society actors. Analyzing the volatility of the recent public discourse on migration, we will focus on anti-Muslim racism, femonationalism/homonationalism, right-wing populism, and their intersection. Finally, we will examine the transformation of migrant labor and learn about the history of migrant struggles by focusing on the recent refugee movement, which has been described as the movement of the 21st century (Davis 2015). Through a diverse combination of assigned articles, class discussions, and field trips, we will encounter viewpoints on the conflicts, compromises, resistances, solidarity, and social transformation concerning the recent migration movements to Europe.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

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