SO4C4      Half Unit
Global Mobilities: International Migration

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Kristin Surak STC S105


This course is available on the MSc in Political Sociology and MSc in Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). Places are allocated based on a written statement. Priority will be given to students who have this course listed in their programme regulations. This may mean that not all students who apply will be able to get a place on this course.

Course content

International migration is one of the fastest growing subfields of the social sciences. If phenomenon is hardly new (and indeed not as common as many assume - only 3% of the world’s population falls under the UN’s definition of international migrant), it nonetheless grabs newspaper headlines, impacts political outcomes, transforms economies, and has profound consequences for many people.  To unpack these complexities and the stakes at play, this class will cover key facets of international migration, addressing a different angle every week.  Because the field is so wide, we will focus mainly on macropolitical aspects of international migration: specifically why, when, how crossing a nation-state border matters.  It’s the politics of borders that make it a very different wager to move 5000 kilometers between New York and Los Angeles, that then the mere 50 kilometers between San Diego in the US and Tijuana in Mexico, one of the busiest border-crossings in the world.  In unpacking these cross-border dynamics, we will examine international migration processes in different parts of the world, such as the Gulf, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.


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

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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Indicative reading

  • Massey, Douglas. 2009.  “The Political Economy of Migration in an Age of Globalization.”  In Samuel Martinez, ed. International Migration and Human Rights: The Global Repercussions of US Policy.  Berkeley: UC Press.
  • Jamal, Manal. 2015. “The ‘tiering’ of citizenship and residency and the ‘hierarchization’ of migrant communities: The United Arab Emirates in historical context.” International Migration Review 49(3): 601-32.
  • Kashiwazaki, Chikako. 2013. “Incorporating Immigrants as Foreigners: Multicultural Politics in Japan.” Citizenship Studies. 17(1): 31-47.
  • FitzGerald, David, Rawan Arar. 2018. “The Sociology of Refugee Migration,” Annual Review of Sociology.
  • Acacio, Kristel. “Managing Labor Migration: Philippine State Policy and International Migration Flows.  Asian Pacific Migration Journal. 103-32.
  • Lubkemann, Stephen. 2000. “Transformation of Transnationality among Mozambican Migrants in South Africa.” Canadian Journal of African Studies. 34(1): 41-63.
  • Adamson, Fiona and Gerasimos Tsourapas. 2019. “The Migration State in the Global South: Nationalizing, Developmental, and Neoliberal Models of Migration Management.” International Migration Review.
  • De Haas, Hein. 2005.  “International Migration, Remittances, and Development: Myths and Facts.”  Third World Quarterly. 1269-184.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the second Thursday of Summer Term.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Communication