Exodus: Conflict, Migration and Refugees (Lilli Banholzer, Fall 2015)

Seminar, Fall 2015: Advanced Topics in International Politics: Exodus: Conflict, Migration and Refugees

Instructor: Lilli Banholzer

HWS 2015
ECTS: 10
SWS: 2


The seminar addresses a burning issue in international relations: the linkage between displacement, refugee flows, international migration and conflict. According to a June 2015 report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), worldwide displacement has now hit an alltime high, with close to 60 million people forced to leave home and seek safety elsewhere. To come to grips with the complex relation between conflict and displacement, we start off with some fact-finding and definitions: Who is a refugee, an asylum seeker and an economic migrant? Which overlaps exist between the different concepts and how can they be separated? What are recent global and regional trends and how do they compare to past records? In a second step, we will examine those factors that lead people to leave home and flee across boarders or even seas. What are the major causes of displacements and refugees flows, and how do they compare to other patterns of international migration? When and how do people seek refugee in another country? What are the motives behind migration? What are the inter-linkages between conflict and migration? In addition, we will have a closer look at the effects of humanitarian aid and assess possible risks associated with the establishment of refugees camp especially, notably the recruitment of combatants. In the light of the current mass refugee movements, we also study the consequences that refugee and migration flows have in the recipient countries. We look at direct neighbors of conflict-ridden regions, notably the EU and other developed countries. What are their policies towards refugees and migrants? Which social and economic issues are at stake? What instruments have been or are being put in place at the international level to address displacement, and how effective are they? In a final part of the seminar, we will apply the knowledge and insights gained and deep-dive into several case studies.

Office hours: By appointment

Dates and times:

Thursday, 12:00–13:30 (weekly), Room: A5, 6 B317