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Elective: Enemies, undesirables, and others: Migration, regulation and the making of the modern world


Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.


In the popular narrative of multicultural nation-states, we often hear about the waves of immigration that shaped the societies we see today. Less celebrated, however, are the programs and policies designed to remove and exclude people from these communities and to regulate their movement within them. In this subject we will examine the link between forced migration, exclusion and regulation, and the construction of the modern world. In particular, we will look at the exclusion and control of enemies, undesirables and Others from certain parts of the world, and the role this exclusion plays in building political communities. We will look at historical examples of exclusion in particular places, as well as responses to migration and attempts to regulate it within the international community.
Although case studies focus on Africa, Europe and the Americas, these are placed in an international context and assessment tasks will be tailored to student’s area preferences. Students will learn how to apply theories and concepts taught in core BAIS subjects to produce historical and political analyses of the link between migration, citizenship and nation building. Weekly readings will be used to complement lectures, which along with student’s own research, will provide the basis for seminar activities. Students will also learn how to do historical research and how to use archival material, and will visit archives in the Hague and Amsterdam. Ultimately, students will learn how to produce a historical and political analysis of migration policy.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.
Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.
Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Seminar and supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours, broken down by:
• Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 24 hours
• Time for studying the compulsory literature: 96 hours
• Completion of short assignments: 48 hours
• Researching and writing final paper: 112 hours

Assessment method


Weekly writing tasks on assigned reading, participation in discussion, take-home exam, final paper.


Final research paper: 50%
Weekly writing assignments: 20%
Participation: 20%
Take-home exam: 10%

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

To pass the course, the weighted average has to be 5.5 at least.


In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

David Bartram, Maritsa V. Poros & Pierre Monforte, Key Concepts in Migration, London, Sage, 2014.
A reading pack will also be made available.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. R. Sheppard


The deadline for submission of the final essay is 9 June 2017.

Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar, elective year 3, and Practising Internatonal Studies.