European migration and refugee policies

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts underpinning today's European migration and refugee policies. Parallel to the development of the European welfare state in the decades following the Second World War, European nation-states developed public policies meant to regulate immigration. Crucially, national models differed in how citizenship was defined, and in their method and level of state intervention towards those ends. Understanding migration policy developments, in turn, is crucial for understanding how states govern their membership (sovereignty) and national cohesion (integration).
In addition to the historical development of national models, students will consider other variables that condition contemporary migration and refugee policies. Although the state continues to play the most important functions in framing and implementing these policies, transnational political and economic forces have transformed the role of the nation-state. These changes have created conditions that encroach on the state's regulatory role and its autonomy, and shifted policymaking to the European Union within broader frameworks enshrined in international law. Student will look at how these supranational frameworks play into the policy mix. Taken together, these dynamics provide the basis for understanding the current state of the social contract in Europe.

Finally, given the historical magnitude of the events currently unfolding in Europe and whenever appropriate, the course will strive to relate to the recent European migrant and refugee crisis. Throughout the course, academic texts, gray literature and primary sources will therefore be used to critically analyze Europe's current migration and refugee policies.

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