SubjectsSubjects(version: 867)
Course, academic year 2019/2020
Borders and International Migration - JSM062
Title: Borders and International Migration
Guaranteed by: Department of Sociology (23-KS)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2019
Semester: summer
Points: 8
E-Credits: 8
Examination process: summer s.:combined
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:2/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: 30 / unknown (30)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Additional information:
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: doc. Mgr. Jakub Grygar, Ph.D.
doc. PhDr. Zdeněk Uherek, CSc.
Teacher(s): doc. Mgr. Jakub Grygar, Ph.D.
doc. PhDr. Zdeněk Uherek, CSc.
Interchangeability : JSM061
Annotation -
Last update: doc. PhDr. Zdeněk Uherek, CSc. (27.10.2019)
The course provides a survey of main ideas underlying debates on international borders, cross-border migration, and politics of national/state belonging and control thereof. This course will consider the border politics involved in the making of state power, migrant strategies, and local and (trans) national communities based on assigned weekly reading. Using the EU/non-EU border as our primary loci of inquiry, we will explore the rights and reception of those who cross borders: not only geopolitical, but also linguistic, racial, economic, and cultural. Examining immigration policy and admissions policy, law enforcement along the border, media representations of migrants, and stories of border crossers, we will attempt to understand the forces that expand and constrain membership rights in these intersecting communities. How are borders constructed and contested by groups on both sides of the border? How are the rights of belonging and membership transformed by migrants and “trespassers”? Border politics will be considered from an anthropological perspective allowing us to consider a wide variety of scholarly work in fiction and non-fiction, contemporary media, and border studies.
Aim of the course
Last update: doc. Mgr. Jakub Grygar, Ph.D. (27.01.2019)

Course Objectives

Students will gain a broadened perspective on the EU/non-EU border and an awareness of the ways border politics are enacted locally as well as internationally. In particular, the students will:

  • understand the border as a social construction, shaped by historical, political, social and cultural contexts;
  • understand structural conditions that push people to cross borders;
  • understand the unique experiences and perspectives of border crossers; and
  • gain basic knowledge and understanding of the relationship between changing borders and identities, and changing patterns of migration and citizenship in Europe.
Literature -
Last update: doc. Mgr. Martin Hájek, Ph.D. (03.12.2019)

Core Obligatory reading:

BRETTELL, Caroline B. 2016. Perspectives on Migration Theory - Anthropology. In International Handbook of Migration and Population Distribution, ed. by Michael J. White. Springer Netherlands. Pp. 41-68.

DONNAN, Hastings - Thomas M. WILSON. 1999. Frontiers of Identity, Nation and State. London: Berg.

FITZGERALD, David Scott - Rawan ARAR. 2018. The Sociology of Refugee Migration. Annual Review of Sociology, 44:8.1–8.20.


Required reading:

ADEY, PETER. 2009. Facing airport security: affects, biopolitics, and the preemptive securisation of the mobile body. Environment and Planing D: Society and Space (27): 274-295.

ANDERSSON, RUBEN. 2014. Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe. University of California Press. Pp. 137 -176.

Anne Harris: Food Experiences of Forced Migrants in the UK

Castles, M., Miller, M.: The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. New York, Guilford Press. chapter 1

Castles, M., Miller, M.: The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. New York, Guilford Press.

DE GENEVA, NICHOLAS. 2002. Migrant “Illegality” and deportability in everyday life. Annual Review of Anthropology (31): 419-447.

DONNAN, HASTINGS; WILSON, THOMAS M. 1998. ‚Nation, state and identity at international borders‘, in Border Identities. Nation and State at International Frontiers. Donnan, Hastings; Wilson, Thomas M. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1-30.

GUPTA, Akhil – FERGUSON, James. 1992. Beyond „Culture“: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference. Cultural Anthropology, 7(1): 6-23.

CHAVEZ, Leo R. 2006. Spectacle in the Desert. The Minuteman Project on the U.S-Mexico Border.

John Borneman, Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi 2017. The concept of Stimmung: From indifference to xenophobia in Germany´s refugee crisis. | Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7 (3): 105–135

Lee, Everett 1966. Theory of Migration. Demography 3(1): 47–57.

MASSEY, Douglas S. , Joaquin ARANGO, Graeme HUGO, Ali KOUAOUCI, Adela PELLEGRINO,J. Edward TAYLOR. 1993. Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal. Population and Development Review 19(3): 431-466.

PETERSEN, William 1958. A general typology of migration. American Sociological Review, 23(3): 256-266.

Ravenstein, E. G. 1885. Laws of Migration. Journal of the Statistical Society, 48(2): 167–235.

Simone Cinotto: The Taste of Place: Italian Immigrants in New York Shape a Foodscape, 1900-1950

Vertovec, Steven 2009: Transnationalism. New York: Routledge.


Recommended reading:

BIERMANN, URSULA. 2002. Performing the Border: On Gender, Transnational Bodies and Technology. Globalization on the Line. Sadowski-Smith, Claudia (eds.) Palgrave.

BOURDIEU, PIERRE. 1991. Identity and representation. Elements for a critical reflection on the idea of region.  In: Language and Symbolic Power, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

FARMAN, Abou. (2017) The Political Aesthetics of Border Walls, Anthropology Now, 9:3, 3-5

GLENNY, MISHA. 2008. McMafia. A Crime Without Frontiers. NY: Vintage House.

HEINZ Bude 2017: What does Stimmung Mean? Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7 (3): 137-139.

JANSEN C. J. 1970. Readings in the Sociology of Migration. London: Pergamon Press.

MASSEY, Douglas S. (ed.). 2005. Worlds in Motion. Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millenium. New York, Oxford University Press.

UHEREK, Zdeněk 2018. Czech and Slovak Romani on the path abroad: Migration and human personality. Romani Studies (Liverpool University Press) 28/5 (1): 79–108.



Teaching methods
Last update: doc. Mgr. Jakub Grygar, Ph.D. (27.01.2019)

Lectures, work in the seminars, a fieldtrip.

Requirements to the exam -
Last update: doc. Mgr. Martin Hájek, Ph.D. (26.11.2019)

Course Requirements

Class participation.

Research paper.

Critical book review based on knowledge of obligatory and required reading (2,000 - 2,500 words). For instructions how to write a critical book review please look here and here.


Course Policies

Class begins on time; students are expected to be present at every session from the start to the end.

Students are encouraged to participate regularly in class discussions and bring the relevant readings and notes to the classes.

Students are expected to come to class every day having read texts indicated in the syllabus and ready to discuss them.

Students are expected to engage in academic honesty in all forms of work for this course.

Collaborating with other students is encouraged in cases of exchanging rough drafts for constructive criticism or brainstorming ideas for homework assignments, etc.; however, it is NOT allowed to take ideas from other students or from their works and call them your own, or to write homework assignments or take-home exams together.

It is NOT allowed to take ideas from any source without putting them in quotations and citing them, or by paraphrasing them.

Any student who misses more than two seminars without a valid medical excuse or due to other serious reasons will automatically be excluded from the course.

No late work is accepted unless the student asks for deadline extension in advance. Extensions are provided only in cases of emergency (such as medical or serious family reasons).


The final grade for the class will be determined by: 

class attendance and participation: 10%;

research paper: 30%;

critical book review: 60%.


100 - 91: A 
81 - 90: B 
71 - 80: C
61 - 70: D
51 - 60: E
50 - 0: F

Syllabus -
Last update: doc. Mgr. Martin Hájek, Ph.D. (03.12.2019)



General strucure of the course:

Week 1: Introduction to the curse

Week 2 - 6: Key debates of international migration

Week 7: Reading week, no class

Week 8 - 12: Border studies & Anthropology of borders: concepts, approaches, theories and case studies

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