Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Human Security, Forced Migration and Humanitarian Action

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will comprise of a series of lectures that will explore a range of social science perspectives on the core issues related to the study of forced migration and provide a thematic analysis of debates related to forced migration. Highlighting the link between theory and practice, with an emphasis on praxis, the lectures will include empirical case studies as a tool for providing the space for critical engagement and reflexivity. The study-unit will also include national and international perspectives (including for example policy development, national and personal security, personal narratives) in relation to the field of forced migration and forced migrants.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of the study-unit are to:

- Provide students with a foundation for developing critical insight into the field of forced migration, and consider its theoretical contributions to the study of International Relations, with a special focus on human security and humanitarian action;
- Provide a thematic analysis of debates related to forced migration, including inter alia asylum, protection and durable solutions, the UNHCR mandate, mixed flows, humanitarian action;
- Look at the geopolitics of ‘illegal’ immigration, the impact of restrictive immigration policies in the EU, and reflection on local policy development and practice;
- Consider the institutional response to forced migration and explore the humanitarian function of IOs, INGOs and NGOs in protecting refugees and IDPs;
- Provide students with a ‘bottom up’ perspective, with an emphasis on the lived experiences of ‘refugees’ and the forced migratory experience;
- Provide students with a space to consider, and give importance to the ‘refugee’ experience, and to critically engage with the victim/agent dichotomy.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Understand the field of forced migration and understand the link between theory and policy issues in forced migration;
- Situate the study of forced migration within the discipline of international relations;
- Critically engage with the concept of ‘human security’ within the context of forced migration;
- Understand the institutional response to forced migration and how practice has developed and continues to evolve;
- Understand forced migration as a lived experience.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Engage in a debate on theories of forced migration and relate to policy development;
- Engage directly and competently with practitioners in the field of forced migration and humanitarian action;
- Reflect on the gap between theory and current practice in forced migration and humanitarian action.

Main Text/s:

- Anderson, B., & Andrijasevic, R. (2008). Sex, slaves and citizens:the politics of anti-trafficking. Soundings (40) , 135-145
- Betts, A. (2009). Forced Migration and Global Politics. Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell
- Castles, C., & Miller, M. (2003). The Age of Migration: International Population Movements inthe Modern world. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
- Castles, S. (2003 Vol. 77). Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation. Sociology , 13-34
- Frost, M. (2003). Thinking ethically about refugees: a case for the transformation of global governance. In E. Newman, & J. van Selm, Refugees and Forced Displacement: international Security, Human Vulnerability, and the State (pp. 109-`129). Tokyo: United Nations University Press
- Gerard, A., & Pickering, S. (2012). The Crime and Punishment of Somali Women’s Extra-Legal Arrival in Malta. British Journal of Criminology
- Koser, K. (2005). Irregular migration, state security and human security. London: GCIM
- Pisani, M. (2011). There's an elephant in the room, and she's 'rejected' and black: observations on rejected female asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa in Malta. Open Citizenship, Spring , 24-51
- Van Hear, N., & McDowell, C. (2006). Catching fire:containing forced migration in a volatile world. Lanham: Lexington Books
- Xuereb, P. G. (2012). Migration and Asylum in Malta and the European Union: Rights and Realities. Malta: Malta University Press.

Supplementary readings:

- UNHCR. The State of the World’s Refugees: In Search of Solidarity. 2012. Geneva: UNHCR.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Co-requisite Study-unit: As prescribed within MA in Humanitarian Action.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Jean Pierre Gauci
Maria Pisani
Patricia Vella de Fremeaux

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.