nl en

Migration and Development: Globalisation, Livelihoods and Conflicts


Entry requirements

This course is part of the LDE Master’s degree Governance of Migration and Diversity. It is not accessible for BA students, or MA students from other specialisations.


This course is given at the Institute for Social Studies (The Hague), and is part of the Governance of Migration and Diversity Master programme.

The course examines the processes and structures of migration, both internal and international and South-South as well as South-North, combining a holistic focus on people’s lives and a global political economy perspective. It notes multiple causes of migration (including conflict and environmental change, demand for labour and differences in economic opportunities between regions); and some of the consequences (e.g. money remittances, changed balance of genders and generations, cultural and political impacts). The dynamics of migration must be analysed in the context of, first, the globalized economic system, and, second, the system of nation-states. The impact of economic globalization and other economic restructuring and change is felt within countries too; overwhelmingly most migration takes place within countries.

Migration is of people not things. This makes it not just one more resource flow in the global economy. It brings major social impacts, tensions and opportunities, worldwide. Besides labour migration, and huge flows for family re-union and education, there is large-scale forced migration from regions in situations of conflict. These various flows are partly linked to ‘side-effects’ (cultural, environmental, climatic, political) of the transformations wrought by global economic developments.

Within this perspective, the course considers how state and non-state actors in various parts of the globe seek to manage migration of various types, in diverse migratory regimes that have emerged within and across countries and regions. It gives special attention to the lives of labour migrants, and also to the governance regimes around forced migration. It raises the question of how far do responses to migration give serious attention to its causes.

Course objectives

This course enables students to:

  • understand migration processes, systems and life experiences, in relation to interactions of economic systems, nation-states, and migrant strategies for coping and livelihood

  • explore holistically migrants’ livelihood situations, well-being and ill-being, using a human security framework

  • be exposed to life experiences of migrant workers, their labour market situations, struggles for labour rights, and (lack of) access to social security arrangements

  • consider specifically the situations of women in migration systems, and the distinctive and extra demands and risks they may face

  • consider specifically the situations of asylum seekers and refugees, including as a result of the shift in recent decades to increasingly harsh and restrictive policies; and the counter-attempts to forward refugee rights

  • introduce contemporary positions on the ethics of migration and migration policies.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Not applicable.

Assessment method

  • Assignment(s): 85%

  • Group assignment: 15%

Reading List

Will be announced at the start of the course.


Not applicable.


EUR course description


Not applicable.