Migration, Borders and Citizenship

This course is part of the programme
Humanities (Third level)

Objectives and competences

Students will familiarise themselves with various definitions and aspects of migrations. They will be able to conduct research independently and analyse complex migration processes.


Knowledge of basic concepts and research methods in migration studies.


Students will familiarize themselves with definitions of basic concepts in migration studies and different understandings of those concepts across disciplines. In order to grasp the contemporary situation in the field of theory it is necessary to address the history of migration research and development of different theories until recent times, when we are dealing mostly with multidisciplinary and less with interdisciplinary research approaches.
Let us mention a few basic terms and concepts that the module will be focused on: migration (emigration, immigration, remigration or return migration), migration theories, migration policy, forced migration, diaspora, transnationalism, globalisation, cosmopolitanism, integration, exclusion, deportability, vulnerability, victimization, illegality (De Genova 2010)...
The important part of the module will be focused on Borders and Citizenship. Borders are symbols through which states, nations and localities try to define themselves. Geographical territory and socio-cultural space are defined at the same time. Border is a division between the ‘outside’ and the ‘inside’ and its crossing can deeply affect the lives of migrants. We are also interested citizenship, especially in the "acts of citizenship" by groups of labor migrants with precarious statuses and asylum seekers which are emerging as key protagonists in global struggles concerning freedom of movement, social recognition, worker protection and the right to asylum. (Nyers 2010)
Culture cannot exist if it is traped in ethnically closed, linguistically homogenous and territorially limited areas but are constituted through transformations and challenges, which are deployed through contacts and relationship among them. That is why we will also access the transcultural aspect of migrations.

Intended learning outcomes

With the help of acquired theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge students are going to be able to conduct research projects independently. They will also:

  • Acquire an in-depth overview over historical and contemporary human migration processes, their historical, social and political background and consequences for societies and individuals,
  • Knowledge about migration theories and approaches
  • Knowledge and deeper understanding of contemporary challenges in the field of migrations.
  • Understanding of the basic terms and concepts in migration studies (immigration, emigration, diaspora, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, globalisation, integration)
  • Capability to analyse migration processes and policies from the point of migration theories and concepts in transcultural perspective.


Arango, J. (2000). Global Trends and Issues – Explaining Migration: A Critical View. International Social Sciences Journal, 52,3, pp. 283-296.

Bajadzijev, M., Saint-Saens, I. (2006). Borders, Citizenship, War, Class: A Discussion with Etienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra. New Formations 58, pp. 31-38. (http://www.livingonaborder.net/files/mezzabar.pdf).

Balibar, E (2004). We, The People of Europe? Woodstock, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Castles, S., Miller, J. M. (1994). The Age of Migration. International Population Movements in the Modern World. Macmillan.

Castles, S. (2000). International Migration at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century: Global Trends and Issues. International Social Science Journal, 52, 3, pp. 269-281.

Castles, S. (2003). Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation.Sociology 37, 1, pp. 13-33.

Goss J., Lindquist, B.(1987). Conceptualizing International Labor Migration: A Structuration Perspective, International Migration Review. New York: Center for Migration Studies,29, 2, pp. 317-351.

Haddad, E. (2007). Danger Happens at the Border. In P.K. Rajaram & C. Grundy-Warr (eds.)
Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies at Territory’s Edge. Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 119- 136.

Maalki, L. H. (1995). Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Massey D. S., et al. (1998). Worlds in Motion. Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millennium. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Mezzadra, S. (2001). Citizenship in Motion. http://www.makeworlds.org/node/83


-Final paper (20 pages) 60% of the grade, -Active participation of the students during lectures and writing of the reflection pages after every thematic section (one page/500 words) 40% of the grade.

Lecturer's references

  • Gombač, J. (2000). Novo urejanje socialnega skrbstva v Sloveniji : 1944-1947. Zgod. čas., 54, 1, str. 89-109. [COBISS.SI-ID 1155444]
  • Gombač, J. (2001). Izseljevanje iz Kopra in njegove okolice po sprejetju londonskega memoranduma. Analiza podatkov odhajajočih skozi prizmo narodnosti. Ann, Ser. hist. sociol., 11, 2=26, str. 395-402. [COBISS.SI-ID 458707]
  • Gombač, J. (2002). The last great migration wave from Koper and its surroundings and an attemptto reconstruct the emigrants' social picture. Ann, Ser. hist. sociol., 12, 2, str. 385-396. [COBISS.SI-ID 524243]
  • Gombač, J. (2005). Esuli or optanti? : just another case of different denomination?. AWR bull., 2005, 43(52), 3, str. 213-220. [COBISS.SI-ID 24743981]
  • Gombač, J. (2007). Migration policy in a new Europe from the point of view of Slovenia. AWR bull., 45(54), 4, str. 274-280. [COBISS.SI-ID 27890733]