Germany, Berlin

Europe, Migration, Refugees

when 21 July 2018 - 18 August 2018
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 4 ECTS
fee EUR 1100

Regarding transnational migration, the EU promotes a political reasoning between processes of consolidation and necessary conflict, between sovereignty and shared responsibility, between the right to define and delimit and the duty to negotiate. In ongoing economic crisis and facing unprecedented movements of people, the timeless normalcy of migration is often framed as crisis per se. Populist claims for cultural homogeneity und for closed borders undercut efforts for a common migration policy.

As the visibility of migration increases in various ways, migrants are often represented and imagined as a homogenous mass of ‘the other’. This leads to a problematic understanding of migration as something to be controlled and governed from a top-down perspective alone. But the respective processes of negotiation on migration policy, within and across the outer borders of the Union, take place not only between the official institutions of nation-states, but on all scales of European populations. They also take place from a bottom-up perspective in the centres and at the margins of societies alike.

Departing from concepts of the anthropology of the state and of migration, we will first gain an overview of EU-level migration polity. Diving deeper into historical as well as recent migration- and border-management policies, we will analyse the conflicts, debates and discourses around the last years of increased immigration. Scaling further down to the legalization-market of Almería/Spain, we will encounter migrants’ positions and perspectives, which reach beyond the usual framings of ‘the poor migrant’ as ‘passive victim’, as a threat or as the ‘(anti-)hero’ of globalization. How do refugees themselves perceive EU-migration policies and what do they make of their public positioning as a ‘problem’ or as a ‘burden’ to European societies? And what policies do they follow themselves on the individual level as well as collectively? We will encounter viewpoints on the EU, which will constructively criticize as well as graciously affirm the spirit of the EU. We will encounter viewpoints of hope.

Course leader

Felix Hoffmann

Target group

This course is designed for all students having a professional, political or personal interest in a deeper and thus more differentiated understanding of transnational migration. No prior knowledge is required – but the willingness to think beyond the usual perspectives on migration.

Credits info


Participation & Day's Summaries: 40%
Presentations: 30%
Final Examination: 30%

Fee info

EUR 1100: Tuition
EUR 250: Program fee