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Border Criminologies: Mobility and Criminalization (combivak/HC Law variant)


Admission requirements

Admitted to the Honours College Law.

Note: this course is also available to elective and exchange students (click here to go to the elective/exchange Border Criminologies: The Criminalization of Mobility).


In this course, we discuss the emerging field of border criminologies as we seek to better understand today’s borders and their effects. Borders are often depicted as geographical lines that separate nation-states; physical places, seas, mountain ranges, barbed wire fences, checkpoints, and police patrols. Beneath these physical borders lie less tangible legal, institutional, and technological infrastructures, such as databases, visa regimes, and complex links between residence status and access to legal work and social services. These borders are “everyday and everywhere,” stretching far beyond the geographical edges of states. They continuously categorise people, as they sort us into those for whom mobility is becoming increasingly easy, cheap, and routine, and those who are forced to live, move, and work in the shadows. Borders are thus fundamentally entangled with other forms of inequality (nationality, race, class, gender, sexuality, ability), as they enforce and reconstitute existing power relations, shaping the way we see each other and ourselves.

We explore and problematise the stratification and criminalisation of mobility by discussing and reflecting on ideas and concepts from written academic publications, but also on cases and experiences portrayed in other types of materials, such as documentaries and podcasts. In this way, we aim to encourage students to critically reflect on the complex and convoluted processes of migration and border control, as well as on the multiplicity of actors, interests, and voices involved in these processes.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • identify connections between global inequalities, border regimes and im/mobility;

  • apply key concepts in the field of border criminologies to examine the interplay between mobility and border control management;

  • connect theoretical concepts discussed in class to current affairs;

  • combine knowledge of different sources, formats, contexts, and disciplinary approaches when analysing immigration and border policies.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Methods of instruction

  • Description: Lectures and Workgroup (documentary) sessions

  • Names of instructors: Amalia Campos Delgado and Neske Baerwaldt

  • Required preparation by students: Reading the prescribed literature and audio and audio-visual class materials.

Attendance at and participation in this course is, of course, mandatory. As with all courses of HC Law. This is partly due to the character and structure of HC Law and its courses, which therefore also have the status of practical exercises.

Assessment method

Examination forms

  • Evaluation is based on a portfolio of written assignments both made before and during class (40%), a final essay (35% of grade), and a podcast episode (25% of grade).
    The podcast episode assignment is designed exclusively for honours students. In this way, students will have the opportunity to develop and practice the skill of podcasting as a form of knowledge production and dissemination.

  • Instructions on assignments will be available in the course syllabus.

  • All grades only hold for the present academic year with one retake option.

Submission procedures
Turn it in (Brightspace).

Reading list

Course materials
Mandatory and recommended reading, audio, and audio-visual materials will be distributed through Brightspace.


Honours students have to register via the administration of Honours College Law:

Contact details

  • Coordinator: Dr. A.E. Campos Delgado

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25, room A 1.051

  • Contact information: Secretariat Van Vollenhoven Institute

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7260

  • Email:


  • Institute: Interdisciplinary Study of the Law

  • Department: Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance & Society

  • Room number secretary: B1.14

  • Opening hours: Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays from 08.30 tot 16.30 hrs.

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 7260

  • Email: