Nation and Migration

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Nation and Migration

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course introduces students to the study of international migration and how the phenomena, perceptions, and policies towards migration reflect and shape the governance and self-perception of nation-states. It is part of the curriculum strand ‘World Making’ and complements the course Identity, Diversity and Inclusion.

    Learning objectives:
    Knowledge and Understanding. Students have acquired knowledge and understanding of:
    (1) key theories, concepts and methods for the study of migration in the social sciences.

    Application. Students have acquired the competences to:
    (2) apply these to analyse migration dynamics in selected case-studies.

    Attitude. Students can demonstrate:
    (3) a critical perspective on current events surrounding migration.

    Today’s debates on migration are often inseparable from nations’ perceptions of themselves and each other. This course discusses the relevance of migration in today’s global world, particularly in relation to: identity concerns (diasporas, transnationalism, nationalism, multicultural societies), development (migration and development) and international political issues (migration governance and ethnography of the state).

    The course introduces students to major theories to understand migration, but privileges the adoption of constructivist approaches. It invites students to look at migration from the perspectives of people engaging in migration directly, of people encountering migrants as new neighbours, or of people tasked with the function of controlling and governing migration. Through this perspective, students engage with processes of community building and belonging, and with the power struggles associated with migration. They acquire a thorough theoretical knowledge and critical understanding of these phenomena and key concepts that can help understand them:
    (1) How do migrants construct their identities on the move?
    (2) How do transnational communities and diasporas develop?
    (3) How do national communities respond to migration and deal with the diversity that derives from it?
    (4) How is migration governed and controlled by state apparatuses in migrant countries of origin and destination?
    (5) How do the bureaucrats and professionals dealing with migration translate migration policies into everyday practices?
    (6) What are the implications of migration for development and social transformation in both origin and destination societies?

    Lectures, case-study presentations, peer discussions

    Final exam (digital)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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