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INT6130 Contemporary Issues in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Challenges within the Context of the European Union (10 sp)

In this course students examine the particular challenges faced by societies and states within the European Union. 

This research-based course will develop topics discussed in FK6110 Introduction to Migration and Refugee Studies in a Globalizing World (LINK) and FK6120 Forced Migration and Refugee Studies (LINK) (requirements), but with a focus on the issues faced within the context of Europe. As part of the course, students will be expected to develop a major research topic as part of the assessment process. Topics that will be examined include: 

  1. Numbers – does Europe face an unprecedented challenge? What do the figures suggest? 
  2. Responding to migration: The politics of migration – how have the various states within the EU responded? Is the European Union becoming more or less intolerant? 
  3. The demographic argument. Does the European Union need inward migration? Assessing the economic arguments in favor of managed migration. 
  4. Obligations in an age of Austerity: what are the legal and ethical obligations and are European states responding acceptably? – Greece and Italy as case studies. 
  5. The media and perceptions of migratory flows into the union. How does the mainstream press report immigration, and with what consequences? 
  6. Co-ordinated chaos? – Should policy responses be collectively at the EU level? 
  7. Policing migration flows – case study Libya. 
  8. Internal movements within the Union – case study Denmark and the UK. 


Learning outcomes 

The candidate shall be able to… 


  • develop a detailed empirical understanding of the scope and trends associated with today´s migratory movements within and in to the European Union
  • develop an understanding of the various debates regarding the causes and consequences of forced migration, both at the academic level and at the level of the public realm within the EU
  • on a case by case basis, develop an awareness of the variety of public policy challenges peculiar to the varying countries within the EU


  • critically engage with the ethical and political challenges associated with refugee movements including developing a critical awareness of the public policy challenges associated with EU wide migration flows
  • develop a critical awareness of the roles played by key institutions and actor within the EU, including the media, the institutions of the EU, NGOs and political parties
  • understand the political consequences of the migratory flows, including the apparent ´rise of the right´ within many European states 


  • gain knowledge of some of the key contemporary issues associated with migratory flows in the EU context
  • develop a research agenda, and produce a major piece of work on one the specific topics examined
  • develop an awareness of the ethical controversies, and the political sensitivities associated with the pros and cons of migratory flows within the context of the EU




Compulsory participation in discussions in the digital classroom. 


Take home exam (individual essay); memo: 5000 words (+/- 10 % excluding front page and reference list) (100 % of the grade, grading system A – F)