Not available in 2019/20
IR447      Half Unit
Political Economy of International Labour Migration

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Covadonga Meseguer CBG.9.13


This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Political Economy (Research), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research) and MSc in International Relations Theory. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed


No pre-requisites

Course content

The mobility of workers is one of the pillars of globalization. However and surprisingly, international political economists have paid less attention to the political causes and consequences of international migration in comparison to that paid to other aspects of globalization such as trade or finance. In this course, we shall employ a political economy perspective to study the historical evolution of migration policy, the relationship between trade and migration, and the political causes and consequences of migration flows. I shall place special emphasis on the study of the political consequences of migration for sending (rather than receiving) countries. We shall also pay attention to an important capital flow associated to international migration: remittances. Rather than focusing on the economic/developmental consequences of remittances, we shall discuss how remittances impact political outcomes as diverse as democratization, the survival of dictatorships, political clientelism, corruption, political participation, and political accountability.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay and 1 presentation in the LT.

Students are expected to write one essay of 2000 words and make one class presentation.

Indicative reading

  • Rosenblum, M and Tichenor, D (eds). 2012. The Oxford Handbook of the Politics of International Migration. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hatton, T and J. Williamson. 2005. Global Migration and World Economy. Two Centuries of Policy and Performance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Moses, J.W. 2011. Emigration and Political Development. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kapur, D. 2010. Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Essay (100%, 3500 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.6
Merit 58.9
Pass 23.3
Fail 2.2

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2018/19: 30

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information