Summer Timetable

POL380H1S L5101

Topics in International Politics

The International Politics of Mobility: Understanding Migration in a Time of 'Crisis'


The 2015 refugee crisis brought the international politics of mobility to the front page. This course is designed to give students an in-depth introduction to the history, laws, institutions, and changing political dynamics of international migration. The course places a special emphasis on forced migration, refugee flows, and irregular migration given the unique challenges these trends present for the international system. Students will develop the substantive knowledge and analytical tools necessary for understanding the complexities of international mobility in a world of states. Each session will be centred on lectures to frame course discussion. A specific emphasis will be given to case studies and contemporary examples in order to better inform our theoretical discussions.

Students who wish to get a feel for the course themes might want to listen to the following CBC Ideas podcast, which focuses on the research of the course instructors:


Texts consist of academic articles and book chapters. Course readings will be provided electronically via Blackboard or in a course pack.

Format and Requirements

Students will receive a lecture designed to complement and contextualize their assigned readings. Students will then engage in collective or breakaway group discussion, or participate in mock scenarios, debates, or other engagement activities. Emphasis will be on applying learning rather than passively absorbing information.

Assignments will consist of a (short) critical reflection paper, 8-10 page research paper, and a final exam.


POL208Y1 or POL208Y5 or (POLB80H3 and POLB81H3)