Global Migration: Trends and Analysis

Institution: Carleton University
Category: Faculty of Public Affairs
Language: English

Course Description

What leads people to migrate? How do states respond to this? What are the effects of migration on receiving societies and on migrants themselves? What is the difference between a migrant and a refugee? How will climate change affect migration trends? What is Canada’s role in this?
In recent decades, migration has emerged as a relevant subject in the international agenda and has played a relevant role in the domestic political conversation. Notably, each year, more and more people migrate from their habitual countries of residence, either spontaneously or forcibly, as a result of external forces. Meanwhile, Canada appears to open its doors to them. Why is that so, and how do we understand this phenomenon?

Drawing from the academic disciplines of political science, public policy, and refugee and migration studies, this EMCP course aims to introduce and familiarize young students to the complex phenomenon that global migration is. As this course will highlight, in spite of often being framed in a negative manner, migration is also associated with economic growth and development, being a key factor behind the prosperity of several societies. As such, this course will also shine a light on the uncertainty and misinformation surrounding the topic, giving students a clearer picture of the phenomenon. Aiming for a more participatory and immersive approach, the course will also engage with students through several group dynamics and role-play activities. A tentative course program follows:

#Monday, May 1: Introduction; Why do people move?

Introduction to global migration trends, drivers of migration, and current debates.

Students will tell their stories relating to migration (e.g.: their family migration journeys, how they have helped migrants or know the story of someone who is, etc.).

#Tuesday, May 2: Who is a ‘Migrant’, who is a ‘Refugee’?

How can we tell a refugee and a voluntary migrant apart? How is the ‘refugee’ definition linked to World War II?

Students will role-play as international protection officers and assess different asylum application cases.

#Wednesday, May 3: Immigration in Canada

What is Canada’s approach towards migration? How has immigration ‘changed’ the country? How Canadians help migrants and refugees, and how you and your family can make a difference?

Students will reflect on how immigrants contribute to the country, and how it would do without them.

#Thursday, May 4: Citizenship, Belonging, and Multiculturalism

How migration affects migrants’ sense of self? What is Can one be Canadian and have another citizenship or cultural affiliation? What does being Canadian mean?

#Friday, May 5: Current and Future Trends

Review of current and future trends.

Students will reflect on what their predictions for the future are, and what actions need to be taken to ameliorate it; Students will also be encouraged to share their main takeaways from the course.