• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International Relations
  • Areas of interest International Relations
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course explores the apparent contradiction between the global flows of capital, goods and culture and the assertion by states that they maintain the right to control the flow of peoples across their borders. We begin with a study of the bases of sovereignty claims made by modern, territorially based states and the way in which this model of legitimate political authority was globalised during the course of the twentieth century. We then turn to an investigation of the way in which such sovereignty claims work to legitimate particular forms of authority, both domestically and internationally; the relationship between such claims and the politics of identity and, in turn, the construction of the boundaries of states as both moral and physical boundaries. We will then consider the contradictions in the system through investigation of a number of issue areas in which we focus on the vulnerabilities inherent in movement within a system predicated on state authority. These include forced displacement resulting in the creation of refugees and internal displaced persons; labour migration, including the feminisation of such migration; people smuggling and trafficking; and the securitisation of migration, particularly in Western states.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the key political and social issues in global and local movements of peoples
  2. Interpret and utilize multiple approaches and types of knowledge to inform their arguments about migration and forced displacement
  3. Develop an understanding of borders, identity politics and belonging and study some of the specific conflicts, refugee and displacement situations in greater detail
  4. Develop research, writing and analytical skills as well as a collaborative approach to learning, including oral and written communication skills
  5. Develop the ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge, including assessment of evidence leading to independently formed arguments and conclusions

Indicative Assessment

  1. Please note that this assessment is indicative only. The actual assessment for the course is provided in the Class Summary prior to the commencement of the semester in which the course is being conducted and may differ from this assessment. (null) [LO null]
  2. Course Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Research Essay (Key frameworks) (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research Essay (Topic of students' choice) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  5. Case Study Review (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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Approximately 130 hours comprising seminars as well as associated preparation, independent study, and assessment time.

Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

To be advised


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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