The University of Southampton

PAIR3028 The Politics of Transnational Migration

Module Overview

This course builds on interdisciplinary literature to overview the political dimension of transnational migration today. Case studies from all regions of the world are used to illustrate current trends and policy challenges.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This course aims at providing students with an introduction to the study of international migration from a cutting-edge interdisciplinary perspective in social sciences: transnational studies, with an emphasis on the political actors and processes involved in the movement of people across North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse and apply the main theories and concepts concerning international migration
  • Build on case studies across regions to assess policy alternatives
  • Critically evaluate migration-related debates
  • Engage with ongoing discussions about political aspects of human mobility


The content includes a historical overview of major waves of migration in various regions; detailed consideration is given to the links between migration trends and colonialism, the formation of nation-states, economic strategies, and regional integration. Some sessions are devoted to a critical analysis of theories of international migration in general, and the contribution of transnational studies to the understanding of the political dimension of it in particular. Also, the course discusses how the notions of sovereignty, citizenship, and belonging are being redefined under globalisation and the dilemmas that nation-states face today at the local, national, and regional levels in connection with the movement of people. Several case studies are examined to illustrate how migrants, states, and non-state actors are contributing to the formation of transnational spaces.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This class will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Student engagement, research skills, and participation in discussions and presentations are crucial to do well in the class.

Independent Study84
Total study time120

Resources & Reading list

Hollifield, James F. (2004). “The Emerging Migration State.”. International Migration Review. ,38 , pp. 885-912.

Castles, Stephen et al. (2013). The Age of Migration. 

Vertovec, Steven. (2009). Transnationalism. 

Bauböck, Rainer (2005).  “Expansive Citizenship - Voting beyond Territory and Membership.”. Political Science and Politics. ,0 , pp. 683-687.

Castles, Stephen and Alastair Davidson. (2000). Citizenship and Migration. Globalization and the Politics of Belonging. 

Messina, Anthony M. and Gallya Lahav (eds.) (2006). The Migration Reader. Exploring Politics and Policies.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Group project 40%
Quizzes  () 20%
Research paper  (1500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PAIR1001 Introduction To International Relations 2016-17

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