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IR3065   Refugees and International Relations

Academic year(s): 2020-2021

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: 1.00 pm Mon

While discourses of globalisation posit a post-national or borderless world and the withering of the nation-state, this is arguably not a condition that the 1 in every 140 people globally who are displaced would recognise. Refugees and other forced migrants raise important questions for dominant understandings of the state, security, sovereignty, citizenship, humanitarianism, intervention, and international regimes, among many others, in International Relations. This module introduces some of the complex issues surrounding refugees and forced migration in global politics today. While oriented toward the role that refugees and the refugee problem play in international relations, the module is inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing on historical, legal, sociological, anthropological, and philosophical works and debates. The primary goal of the module is for students to gain critical awareness of the role and nature of the refugee problem - as a legal, political and moral problem - in global politics. Students will gain an understanding of the history of the refugee problem, the practical functions and workings of the UN refugee system, the asylum process in the EU, and of emerging issues in refugee research.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 office consultative hours (x 12 weeks), 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 21

Guided independent study hours: 279

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 30%, Coursework = 70%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 30%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 70%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr N E G Saunders
Module teaching staff: Dr N Saunders

Intended learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate understanding of the main political, legal and theoretical approaches to the refugee problem
  • Understand the evolution of the refugee problem and international refugee regime
  • Identify international and regional institutions for the control of forced migration
  • Assess the implications of such institutions and regimes for a wide variety of actors, including refugees, the stateless and IDPs, individual citizens, states, and international organisations
  • Articulate reasoned and factually supported arguments both orally and in writing