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What’s the problem? Old and New Debates on Migration


Admission requirements


In current political and public debates migration is often presented as a problem. In this course we look from a historical and global comparative perspective at how, why and by whom migration has been problematised in the last decades.
We analyse the moral panics the media and NGO’s created about issues such as migrant illegality, prostitution, deportations, ethnic riots, criminality and terrorism, and the responses these panics generated in the political arena. Unlike some politicians and journalists believe, these moral panics are not new. Issues are as easily made important as they are forgotten.

After a survey of recent literature, students can do research based on primary source materials such as newspaper articles, visual material (cartoons and photo’s), parliamentary papers or interviews.

Course objectives

Knowledge of current and older academic and public debates on migration; ability to do research with a variety of primary and secondary sources; ability to present research findings.


See course-schedule

Method of Instruction

  • Lecture

  • Tutorial

Assessment method

Two essays and a final presentation.


Reading list

To be announced.


See enrolment-procedure

Contact Information

With the tutor: Dr. M.L.J.C. Schrover