International Relations and International Law in a Refugee Context

2021/2022

Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

This module covers three focus areas:

  1. Governing Refugees
  2. Theories of International Relations
  3. International organizations, human rights and international law in the context of refugees

Objectives

Governing refugees: The objective is to provide students with different theoretical perspectives on how refugees and immigrants are governed from the perspective of political philosophy, social science and anthropology. The course aims at providing students with knowledge of how refugees and migrants are governed by sovereign nation-states, humanitarian actors, and private and public industries. The course enable students to discuss different theories in relation to empirical cases.

International relations: To provide students with knowledge on traditional theories of international relations (IR) such as realism or liberalism as well as theories of international political economy (IPE). To provide students with knowledge on new approaches to IR and IPE. This includes alternative theories as well as critical approaches, i.e. extended versions of traditional theories. To enable students to discuss key elements of IR and IPE theories in relation to empirical cases.

International organizations, human rights and international law in the context of refugees. The objective is to provide students with thorough knowledge of international legislation and international organisations relevant to international refugee law; this will include knowledge of the UN system, providing a framework for understanding and analysing human rights and other conventions relevant to international refugee law. The module aims at providing students with basic knowledge of international refugee law.

Contents

Governing refugees

  • Introduction to central theories and concepts on governance within political philosophy, social science and anthropology.
  • Discussion of empirical cases on how nation-states, humanitarian NGOs and private and public industries govern refugees and immigrants.

Theories of International Relations

  • In the lectures, students will work with the history and development of the field. The main theoretical approaches to international relations will be presented and discussed. Furthermore, students will be introduced to alternative approaches. The theories will form the basis for further theoretical and practical work within the field in the project module of the semester.

International organizations, human rights and international law in the context of refugees.

  • Basic knowledge of law related to refugee issues
  • The Refugee Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, EU legislation and nation-state legislation related to refugees and migrants.

Learning objectives

Knowledge

  • possess knowledge of and can critically reflect on central theories on how refugees and migrants are governed
  • possess a critical understanding of different ways in which nation-states, humanitarian NGO’s and different industries govern refugees and migrants.
  • possess knowledge and a critical understanding of political, economic and social processes of change at various levels of analysis
  • possess knowledge of relevant theories within international development studies as well as various development strategies in this context.
  • possess knowledge of theories and practices within the field of international relations and can reflect on these on a scientific basis
  • possess knowledge and understanding of themes within the field of international relations and various approaches to the study of these.
  • have knowledge of and understand basic law
  • have knowledge of and can reflect on the legal aspects of international law pertaining to refugees and migrants.
  • can reflect on and discuss legal aspects in the context of related themes within refugee and migration issues.

Skills

  • can discuss concepts on governance in relation to empirical cases
  • can apply their knowledge within the module’s subject areas to select theories that serve the analytical purpose and at the same time remain critical to these theories.
  • can apply their knowledge within the module’s subject areas to select legal aspects that serve the analytical purpose and at the same time remain critical to these aspects
  • can analyse, interpret and contextualise on legal aspects of refugee and migration issues in an international context.

Competences

  • can reflect upon and analyse international development processes from a practical and theoretical perspective
  • can work independently on concrete projects within international legal aspects in the context of refugee and migration issues.
  • can reflect and argue on the basis of scientific knowledge.

Type of instruction

The module consists of lectures and seminars, exercises and student contributions.

Exam

Exams

Name of examInternational Relations and International Law in a Refugee Context
Type of exam
Oral exam
The three focus areas will be jointly evaluated in an oral examination.
ECTS15
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleInternational Relations and International Law in a Refugee Context
Module codeGRS2025
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
SemesterAutumn
ECTS15
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Copenhagen
Responsible for the module

Organisation

Study BoardStudy Board of International Affairs
DepartmentDepartment of Politics and Society
FacultyThe Faculty of Social Sciences