Global Migration


About this course

Migration is a highly charged subject that incites both hope and fear among those who move, their families and communities and similarly affects receiving societies. Why do people migrate: to seek opportunity or flee poverty and oppression? And who are moving: the poorest or the most entrepreneurial? Which countries and world regions send most migrants, and which ones receives them? And is the number of migrants on the rise across the globe? These are some of immediate questions relating to global migration. Many more will come up when we explore this topic.
Migration links in with many topics in the social and natural sciences, from agriculture to economics, and from health to nature conservation. During this course, you will be provided with the knowledge and analytical tools to analyze migration. The course addresses migration within and between continents and countries, past and present. We approach migration from five thematic angles: history, refugees, development, identity and labor. We draw concepts and theories from different social science disciplines, including history, sociology, geography, development studies, economics, and political science.
Migration themes and approaches are discussed during the lectures and tutorials of a specific week. Week 1 is an introductory week, in which basic concepts are introduced and students are challenged to broaden their scope and develop a comprehensive and shared understanding of the course topic. We investigate numerous aspects of migration through a documentary and article about Nepalese cooks in Japan. In Week 2, we discuss historical and temporal aspects of migration and zoom in on migratory dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region. In week 3 we look into states, refugees and migration policies, and focus on the European region. In week 4 we discuss the link between migration and development, and apply this lense to the African and Middle East regions. Week 5 revolves around migrant identities and integration, with a regional focus on the Americas. Finally, in week 6, we dicuss migrants and labor markets and wrap up the course. Students follow their personal interests and dive into specific cases and aspects of migration through a group presentation and an individual essay.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Identify categories and drivers of migration past and present
  • Recognize different perspectives on and perceptions of migration and migrants in past and present
  • Analyze the role of migration in development processes
  • Appraise the role of migration in shaping political discourse, labor market dynamics and cultural identities
  • Employ social science theory to examine a chosen aspect of migration in a demarcated temporal and geographical context
  • Develop theory-informed argumentation on a chosen aspect of migration in a demarcated temporal and geographical context

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    28 October 2024

    • Ends
      20 December 2024
    • Term *
      Period 2
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 29 Sept 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University