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Transnational Migration

There is increasing human mobility in the world today, but diminishing opportunities for unskilled migrants to cross national borders legally. This has led to intensifying illegal migration, attempts by governments to control this movement under the guise of national security, as well as debates concerning human rights abuses against transnational migrants.

These processes must be understood in relation to the shifting global political landscape since the end of the Cold War. In this context, the emergence of phenomena such as ‘human trafficking’ and the ’war on terror’ are the most recent developments that affect the regulation of transnational mobility. This course will investigate the changing relationship between transnational mobility, state regulation, and migrant subjectivity. It offers a global and historical overview using case studies from around the world.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.


    Parthiban Muniandy (2018) From the pasar to the mamak stall: refugees and migrants as surplus ghost labor in Malaysia’s food service industry.  Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-16 (16)

    Prem Kumar Rajaram (2018) Refugees as Surplus Population: Race, Migration and Capitalist Value Regimes, New Political Economy, Vol 23(5): 627-639 (12)

    Sylvie Bredeloup (2013) The Figure of the Adventurer as an African Migrant. Journal of African Cultural Studies, Vol 25(2): 170-182 (12)

    Gendering Migration 

    Grisel, Jillian (2017). Bodies of Hope and Disruption. Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research Vol. 3 (1): 78-92 (14) 

    Giulia Scalettaris, Alessandro Monsutti & Antonio Donini (2019) Young Afghans at the doorsteps of Europe: the difficult art of being a successful migrant, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (17)


    El-Shaarawi, Nadia (2015) Living an Uncertain Future: Temporality, Uncertainty and Well-Being among Iraqi Refugees in Egypt. Social Analysis 59 (1): 38–56. (18)

    Henrik Vigh, 2009, Wayward Migration: On Imagined Futures and Technological Voids, Ethnos Vol 71(1): 91-109

    Melanie B.E. Griffiths (2014) Out of Time: The Temporal Uncertainties of Refused Asylum Seekers and Immigration Detainees, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40:12, 1991-2009, 


    Nadia El-Shaarawi & Maple Razsa (2018): Movements upon Movements: Refugee and Activist Struggles to Open the Balkan Route to Europe. History and Anthropology, 30(1): 91-112 (21)

    Jason De León (2015), The Land of Open Graves, University of California Press
    380 pages (Book)


    Walters, William (2015) Migration, Vehicles, and Politics: Three Theses on Viapolitics. European Journal of Social Theory 18 (4): 469–488. (19)

    Sanaa Alimia (2019) Performing the Afghanistan–Pakistan Border Through Refugee ID Cards. Geopolitics, 24:2, 391-425 (34)

    Hattam, Victoria (2016)  Imperial designs: remembering Vietnam at the US–Mexico border wall.  Memory Studies 9: 27–47. (20)

    Radhika Viyas Mongia (1999) Race, Nationality, Mobility: A History of the Passport Public Culture, 11 (3): 527-555.

    Methodology and Ethnography 

    Ramsay, G. (2019). Time and the other in crisis: How anthropology makes its displaced object. Anthropological Theory. (28)

    Heath Cabot 2019 The Business of Anthropology and the European Refugee Regime. American Ethnologists, Vol 46(3):  261-275 (14)

    Olayinka Akanle , Olabisi Sherifat Yusuff , Qudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo & Kamorudeen Adegboyega (2013) African Scholarship and Visa Challenges for Nigerian Academics, International Journal of Sociology, 43:1, 79-95