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Migrations and Tolerance in a Globalized World


Admission requirements

This course is open for all students that are enrolled in the Minor Ecology, Migration and Tolerance: Limits to Cooperation.


Our world is a globalized world, defined by the interconnections of the local and the global and the continuous flow of goods, information, services, technology, capital and cultural influences. This contemporary context comes with its own challenges, amongst which tolerance and migration rank high on the socio-political agenda. This course analyses these two interconnected themes.


In today’s societies, people from different cultural backgrounds, often holding different religious and moral beliefs, interact more frequently. In some cases, these interactions lead to tension, discrimination, or violence. How do we deal with such issues relating to human plurality? How do societies ensure that differences between communities and individuals do not stand in the way of peaceful, harmonious coexistence? In this segment of the course students will explore the topic of tolerance, and religious tolerance in particular, through:

  • An in-depth analysis of liberal secularism, which today is the most dominant theory on and policy-tool for religious tolerance. Both the historical roots of liberal secular theory and its limitations will be discussed.

  • A global perspective on religious violence and intolerance by analyzing several case studies from different regions of the globe. The ensuing comparison provides substance for the analysis of the limitations inherent to the liberal secular model of tolerance.

  • A consideration of alternatives to the dominant model. Are there different ways in which societies have safeguarded human flourishing from the perils of intolerance?


While global flows of goods, services, capital, ideas, technology, culture are seen as a necessity, the free movement of people across national borders is often perceived as problematic and remains largely unregulated internationally. Moreover, within societies of origin and destination human diversity raises issues of integration and tolerance. In this section, we examine the role of human migration and migrants in modern economies and societies. Can cross-border migrations, which play such a powerful and transformational role in both origin and destination societies, remain largely unregulated on the international level? Students will engage with this issue as follows:

  • A theoretical and historical introduction to migrations: Why do people move? What are major historical and contemporary trends? We will consider push factors such as conflict, poverty and environmental change.

  • International refuge regime: Why and how is this kind of migration regulated internationally? What kind of protection is available to people fleeing violence, discrimination and persecution? We will explore historical origins of the international refugee regime and its evolution, as well as the current situation in different parts of the world.

  • Major policy debates today: What is the role of migrations in economic and technological progress? How do they impact labour markets? How do migrations change societies and cultures? And to what extent do they contribute to the sustainability of societies and economies?

Course objectives

Concise description of the course objectives formulated in terms of knowledge, insight and skills students will have acquired at the end of the course. The relationship between these objectives and achievement levels for the programme should be evident.

  • The student will gain a global overview of the problems and issues related to migration and tolerance.

  • The students will become familiar with a variety of sources that are relevant to current issues of migration and tolerance.

  • The student will get in-depth knowledge of several theories related to migration and tolerance.

  • The student will be able engage with academic discussions regarding migration and tolerance.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Eight lectures held every first and second week, with the exception of the Midterm Exam week.

  • Four seminars, with students divided into 2-3 groups held every third week.

Assessment method


  • 2 papers

  • Midterm Exam: Take home examination

  • Final Exam: Oral examination

  • Resit: Oral examination


Partial grade Weighing
Paper Tolerance 20%
Paper Migration 20%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%

End Grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of two Paper grades, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.

  • This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with high Paper grades.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final Exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 60% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for either of the two papers is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the Paper grades.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2023 – 2024.

Exam review and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

To be announced.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.



All other information.