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Admission requirements

Students who want to take this course need to be admitted to the Criminal Justice master’s program


Over the past years, migration policy and criminal law and policy have increasingly become merged. Whereas this trend has first been noted and labeled as crimmigration in the United States, it is visible across the globe. On the one hand immigration law violations are increasingly addressed as criminal offenses, on the other hand immigration law is also increasingly used as an instrument of crime control: rather than being rehabilitated and re-integrated in the country of residence, non-citizen criminals may lose their residence permits, in order to be excluded from the territory with the help of immigration law. Rising rates of immigration detention, an increase in the number of declared ‘undesirable aliens’ and increasing rates of human smuggling and human trafficking are some manifestations of the crimmigration-trend in the Europe and surrounding countries. Strongly related to the crimmigration trend in Europe is the development of a political and public discourse in which immigrants are increasingly seen and addressed as ‘dangerous others’ if not as criminals. Although this ‘othering’ or framing of immigrants as a potentially risky group dates back to the late 1990s, the post 9/11 global war on terror and the rise of the security state seem to have intensified this negative stereotyping of immigrants.
Besides raising questions on the legitimacy of the use of criminal law (and criminal law-like) instruments to control migration, and immigration law instruments to control crime, this course aims to address questions on the extent, the process and rationale of crimmigration in Europe and the US. In doing so, this course will not only focus on abstract theoretical notions that have been claimed to explain the crimmigration trend, but also on the practical implications and (un)intended consequences of crimmigration on the various criminal justice processes and actors. In this course, we therefore specifically address the issues of migrant overrepresentation in crime, ethnic profiling, selective law enforcement and the framing of immigration as a security issue in media and policy debates.

Course objectives

Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe and critically analyze the interplay between criminal law and policy and immigration law and policy as well as the underlying phenomena of crime and migration in different national contexts, both in theory and in practice;

  • Summarize reflections on the crimmigration and securitization literature into concept maps;

  • Identify and further explore a particular national or international subtheme related to crimmigration and its relation to the wider societal context on the basis of the literature;

  • Collect and analyze primary and / or secondary sources with respect to the relation between crime and migration in a country or region of choice;

  • Orally present and defend the research findings in a conference setting and respond to the findings of others.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction

Seminars and Working Groups

  • There are 5 6-hour seminars (in which lecture and working group formats alternate).

  • In the seminars, articles and chapters will be discussed based on assignments prepared by you.

  • Next to exploring relevant theories and literature, you will conduct desk research with respect to a particular aspect of the relation between crime and migration in a chosen country or region which you have to present in the final conference (consisting of a 6-hour working group), and on which you write a paper.

  • After the course, you integrate your 3 assignments and your presentation hand out into a portfolio .

  • All assignments have to be submitted through Blackboard (with SafeAssign check) and a printed version has to be handed over to the course coordinator.

Assessment method

  • Because this course contains a practical exercise, attendance and participation are an integral part of the course. If you miss 2 seminars or an assignment deadline, an extra assignment follows. Absence at 3 or more seminars implies that you cannot complete the course successfully.

  • The final grade consist of:

  1. 30 % for the portfolio;
  2. 30% for the presentation ;
  3. 40 % for the paper.
  • All three components should be at least a 5.5 in order to complete the course successfully and all grades only hold for the present academic year.

  • There will be a retake for each of the three components.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list


Mandatory literature

  • Dario Melossi (newest edition) Crime, Punishment and Migration. Los Angeles: Sage.

  • Links to additional mandatory literate will be provided through Blackboard.

  • The course outline will be provided through Blackboard

Recommended literature

  • Bachman, R. and Schutt, R.K. (newest edition) Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Los Angeles: Sage

Employability and (academic) carreer

The course will include a fieldtrip in which students will meet professionals in the field and be introduced to a potential work environment;

The following skills that play a central role during this course are directly transferrable to the labor market:

  • Writing skills

  • Oral presentation skills

  • Critical thinking

Contact information

  • Course co-ordinator: Mw. Dr. M.J. van Meeteren

  • Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, through the secretariat

  • Telefoon: +31 71 5277462

  • E-mail:


  • Institute: Criminal Law and Criminology

  • Department: Criminology

  • Opening hours: 09.00 to 12.30

  • Telephone secretariat: 071 – 527 74 62

  • E-mail: