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Globalization and migration



16:30 – 18:20


2nd semester

Lecture venue
Lecture time
Offer semester
  • This course explores the role of globalization in shaping diverse forms of migration. Key debates about cross-border mobilities provide a framework for understanding contestations around legality and ‘illegality’ in migration, national sovereignty, citizenship and belonging, and how these challenge our conventional understanding of migration across the global North South divide. In particular, we will consider what bodies are produced or required by globalized economies, and how the meaning of bodies or social differences (e.g. sexuality, class, race) change across borders. The course content is centred around diverse voices in current debates about migration, including academics, practitioners, policymakers, activists and civil society. Assessments are geared towards facilitating students’ interaction and engagement with public or community initiatives around globalization and migration.

    Study load


    Number of Hours





    Reading / Self-study


    Group projects, collective research, presentations


    Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation)


    Assessment: In-class tests (incl preparation)


  • On completing the course, students will be able to:

    1. Identify types of globalized human flows, and analyse their causes, motivations, nature, issues and debates in discourses concerning migration, national belonging, identity politics, and national sovereignty.

    2. Demonstrate understanding of globalization in producing diverse forms of labour and dispossessed populations who migrate, and engage with the moral and political discourses shaping people flows across borders.

    3. Participate as active members of a diverse global community through exposure to key issues and debates in transnational mobilities that they will be encouraged to explore in their assignments.

    4. Engage in intensive group activities with their classmates in seeking solutions to existing problems in human flows.

  • Tasks


    Tutorial participation


    Resources reflection


    Group project


    Take-home test


    • CLASS ONE/ Introduction
      No readings this week.

    • CLASS TWO/ Manufacturing illegality
      Required readings
      Pollock, J. (2010). The migrant worker, the refugee, and the trafficked person: What’s in a
      label? Alliance News, 33(July), 19-22.
      Price, M. & Rojas, G. (2021). The ordinary lives and uneven precarity of the DACAmented:
      visualising migrant precarity in metropolitan Washington. Journal of Ethnic and Migration
      Studies, 47(20), 4758-4778.

    • CLASS THREE/ Smugglers and Smuggling
      Required readings
      Scot Watson . 2015.The Criminalization of Human and Humanitarian Smuggling, Archives,

    • CLASS FOUR/: Globalized labor
      Required readings
      Mathews, G. & Yang, Y. (2012). How Africans pursue low-end globalization in Hong Kong
      and Mainland China. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41(2), 95-120.
      Gorden Mathew: Chung King Mansion: A Center of Low End Globalization , Ethnology 46,
      2 : 168-183.

    • CLASS FIVE/ : Globalized Labor
      Required readings :
      One of the following:
      Marina De Regt , 2010. Ways to Comes, Ways to Leave: Gender, Mobility, and Il/Legality
      Among Ethiopian Domestic Worers in Yemen . Gender and Society 24, 2
      Carnay, N.U. (2017). Pictures From the Inside: Investigating Living Accommodation of
      Migrant Domestic Workers Towards Advocacy and Action. Hong Kong: Mission for Migrant
      Workers. Available online at:
      Pande, A. (2012). From “balcony talk” and “practical prayers” to illegal collectives:
      Migrant domestic workers and meso-level resistances in Lebanon. Gender & Society, 26(3),

    • CLASS SIX/ Refugees and asylum-seekers
      Required readings Both of the following:
      Showler, P. (2007). Bridging the Grand Canyon: Deciding refugee claims. Queen’s
      Quarterly: A Canadian Review, 114(1), 29-43.
      Vecchio, F. (2015). Chapter 4: Establishing life at the destination. In Asylum-seeking and the
      global city. Oxon: Routledge.

    • CLASS SEVEN/ : Criminology of mobility
      Required reading
      Stumpf, J. (2006). The crimmigration crisis: Immigrants, crime and sovereign power.
      American University Law Review, 56(2), 367-419. bepress Legal Series Working Paper 1635,

    • CLASS EIGHT/ : ‘Death at the global frontier’
      Required readings
      One of the following:
      De Leon, J. (2015). Chapter 7: The Crossing (pp.167-202) In The Land of Open Graves:
      Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail. Oakland: University of California Press.
      Weber, L. & Pickering, S. (2011). Chapter 5: Suspicious deaths (pp. 119-141). In
      Globalization and borders: Deaths at the global frontier. Oxon: Routledge.

    • CLASS NINE/: Sex work, gender, sexuality and border crossings
      Required readings
      One of the following:
      Hoang, K. K. (2014). Flirting with capital: Negotiating perceptions of pan-Asian ascendency
      and Western decline in global sex work. Social Problems, 61(4), 507-529.
      Pickering, S., & Ham, J. (2014). Hot pants at the border: Sorting sex work from trafficking.
      British Journal of Criminology, 54(1), 2-19.

    • CLASS TEN/ : Human trafficking and anti-trafficking
      Required readings One of the following:
      Andrijasevic, R. (2007). Beautiful dead bodies: Gender, migration and representation in
      antitrafficking campaigns. Feminist Review, 86(1), 24-44.
      Ham, J. (2020). Anti-trafficking in Southeast Asia. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of
      Criminology and Criminal Justice. Oxford University Press.

    • CLASS ELEVEN/: Globalizing humanitarianism
      Required readings
      One of the following:
      Hoang, K.K. (2016) Perverse humanitarianism and the business of rescue: What’s wrong
      with NGOs and what’s right with the johns? Political Power and Social Theory 30(1), 19-43.
      Henriksen, S. (2018). Consuming life after anti-trafficking. Anti-Trafficking Review, (10).

    • CLASS TWELVE /Last class (Summary of class) and Take-home test
      There are no readings this week.

Assistant Professor (African Studies, Faculty of Arts)

Dr Samson A. Bezabeh
Course co-ordinator and teachers
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