Refugee politics

Course Dates: 01/10/19 - 19/11/19
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: International House
Oana Parvan

Forced migration comprises one of the most contentious issues in UK politics today. As contemporary political discourse continues to centre around migration, this module provides an opportunity to unpack the politics of refugee crises and resettlement.


What is the course about?

This course will examine forced migration and policies of refugee and resettlement in the UK and in international politics in the aftermath of the Second World War. We will be looking at policies put in place by states, international organisations (UN, UNHCR, but also NGOs), while also analysing the attitudes of hosting communities and the experience of the refugees themselves.

Forced migration, refugees and migration more generally represent a crucial focus of the current political debate, so this course will reflect on the development of policies and attitudes towards people escaping war, conflicts and disasters. We will discuss the contemporary refugee ‘crisis,’ while examining specific case studies like the refugee crises from Palestine, India/Pakistan, Hungary, Iraq, Syria and Libya, but also the debates about transit spaces like the Mediterranean or Calais.

The goal is for students on this course to come away with a much deeper understanding of the foundations of contemporary policy and debates.

Please note that this course has been postponed by two weeks and will now run from Tuesday 1 October 2019 to Tuesday 19 November 2019.

What will we cover?

- Main refugee laws throughout modern history, including 1951 Refugee Convention, 1967 Refugee Protocol
- Role of the UN, EU and other major international organisations with regards to refugees
- UK attitudes to refugees
- The meaning of today’s ‘refugee crisis’
- Refugee and Migrant Justice movements.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Explain the historical and political logic of the international refugee laws and their purpose after the Second World War
- Analyse the impact and limits of refugee laws on the lived experience of asylum seekers by looking at their personal memoirs and the discussed case studies
- Understand the current ‘refugee crisis’ and reflect on the necessary changes to protect the people who might seek refuge in the future (especially due to climate change).

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course. There is no previous knowledge required or expected. A good level of English will be required to keep up with the course. As with all of our courses curiosity, an open mind, and willingness to engage is more important than any particular skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class will be taught through a combination of tutor presentations and class discussion. There may be some in- class reading, and engagement with maps, testimonies, and relevant videos.
There will be no work outside of class, although reading can be recommended for those who wish to look at the subject in further detail

Suggested reading:

Peter Gatrell, The Making of the Modern Refugee (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Reece Jones, Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (Verso, 2016).

Frances Webber, Borderline Justice: The Fight for Refugee and Migrant Rights (Pluto Press, 2012).

The Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (Edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, and Nando Sigona) (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Alexander Betts and Paul Collier, Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (Penguin, 2017).

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no other costs.
A pen and paper, or laptop, to write notes may be useful.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Check out our range of politics, economics and history courses on our website or in our prospectus.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details.

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

This course has now started

Course Code: HPC02

Started Tue, eve, 01 Oct - 19 Nov '19

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Full fee: £119.00
Senior fee: £119.00
Concession: £52.00

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.