85488 - Political Power Beyond State Boundaries: Migration, Development and Human Rights

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gender equality Reduced inequalities Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to analyze from a historical-political point the impact phenomena such as migration, international legislation on human rights and foreign aid policies, commonly known as development cooperation policies, have had on the traditional conceptualization(s) of political power. The course will address and discuss the main traditional doctrines and models of citizenship and human rights, State sovereignty and international relations together with the more recent critical approaches to them. Particular attention will be paid to the investigation of cross-cutting issues such as the relationship between universalism and cultural differences, order and justice, exclusion and inclusion, political and humanitarian spaces and actors. At the end of the course the student knows the main theoretical approaches to citizenship and human rights, State sovereignty and international relations and he/she is able to critically discuss their assumptions and limitations in relation to global issues such as migration, foreign aid policies and human rights.

Course contents

The course investigates the impact phenomena such as migration, human rights and development have had on the conceptualization and practice of political power by using the Foucauldian notion of discourse.

Starting from the analysis of their historical origins and evolution from the Enlightenment to the contemporary age, the course analyses and discusses in which ways those concepts, and the related discourses and practices, have been linked to the domestic construction and external projection of State political power. A special attention is thus devoted to the analysis of the mutual link they have established with some other key, and strictly related, political concepts such as sovereignty, security, borders, justice, political order, citizenship, inclusion/exclusion, equality/difference, universalism/cultural difference.

The course is articulated in three parts.

Starting from the reconstruction of the Western genealogy of the concept of development, the first part critically assesses the most important doctrines and theories of development (modernization theory, dependency theory, basic needs approach, human development, sustainable development, etc.), focusing not only on the discussion of their colonial origin, political function and contemporary evolutions but also, and particularly, on their impact on the reshaping of the concept of sovereignty, security and global dis/order.

The second part provides an overview of the Western history and evolution of human rights, with particular attention to the main traditional and contemporary criticisms that have been formulated against them – e.g. in relation to their ethnocentrism, gender-biased nature, political weakness and paternalistic application - as well as to their impact on the concept of sovereignty and to the possible alternatives to human rights discourse (e.g. human capabilities).

The third part concerns the analysis of migration intended as a res politica. Starting from the analysis of the traditional ways in which the figure of the foreigner/migrant has been conceived of by modern and contemporary political thinkers, this part investigates, on the one hand, how this conception is intrinsically linked with the political notions of citizenship/nationality, inclusion/exclusion, mobility, order and security; on the other, it discusses some recent approaches (e.g. Critical Citizenship Studies, Autonomy of Migration) and case studies that focus on the impact migration has had on the process of reshaping of those very same concepts.

Readings/Bibliography

The bibliography for attending students is composed of the books, chapters and essays listed under letter A and B.

The materials listed under letter B will be the object of class discussions and could be slightly amended or supplemented with additional references, provided by the instructor at the beginning of the class, depending on the number of attending students and thus on the discussion methods that will be adopted (see Teaching methods section).

The specific sections within the texts under letter A and B to be prepared for class discussions and the final exam will be indicated at the beginning of the class.

The bibliography for non-attending students is partially different from that to be prepared by the attending ones. For this reason non-attending students are kindly requested to contact the instructor in due time before the exam.

 

A.

  1. A. Furia, The Foreign Aid Regime. Gift-giving, States and Global Dis/Order, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  2. G. Rist, The History of Development. From Western Origins to Global Faith, 3rdedition, Zed Books, 2008.
  3. A. Sayad, The Suffering of the Immigrant, Translated by David Macey, Polity Press, 2004.
  4. T. Evans, The Politics of Human Rights. A global perspective, 2ndedition, Pluto Press, 2005.

B.

  1. A. Escobar, Encountering Development: the Making and Unmaking of the Third World. With a new preface by the author, Princeton University Press, 2011.
  2. A. Furia, “Victims or Criminals? The Vulnerability of Separated Children in the Context of Migration in the United Kingdom and Italy”, Brighton, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, 2012 (available on-line).
  3. K. Ataç Rygiel and M. Stierl, “Introduction: The Contentious Politics of Refugee and Migrant Protest and Solidarity Movements: Remaking Citizenship from the Margins”, inCitizenship Studies, vol. 20, no. 5, 2016, 527-544.
  4. H. Schwiertz, “Transformations of the undocumented youth movement and radical egalitarian citizenship”, in Citizenship Studies, 20:5, 2016, 610-628.

  5. E. Balibar, We, the people of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship, Translation/Transnation, 2004.

  6. H. Morgenthau, "A Political Theory of Foreign Aid”, in The American Political Science Review, vol. 56, no. 2, 1962, 301-309.

  7. Human Development Report 1990: Concept and measurement of Human Development (available on-line).

  8. J. Huysmans and V. Squire, “Migration and Security”, in The RoutledgeHandbook of Security Studies, edited by M. Dunn Cavelty and V. Mauer, Routledge, 2009.

  9. J. Tronto, “Care as the Work of Citizens: A Modest Proposal”, in Women and Citizenship, edited by M. Friedman, Oxford University Press, 2005, 130-145.

  10. J. Waldron (ed. by), Nonsense upon Stilts: Bentham, Burke and Marx on the Rights of Man, Routledge, 2014.

  11. M. C. Nussbaum, Capabilities and Human Rights, Fordham L. Rev., 273, 66, 1997 (available on-line).

  12. N. De Genova, “The European Question. Migration, Race, and Postcoloniality in Europe”, in Social Text128, Vol. 34, No. 3, September 2016, 75-102.

  13. P. Alston and M. Robinson (ed. by), Human Rights and Development. Towards Mutual Reinforcement, Oxford University Press, 2005.

  14. R. King, “Theories and Typologies of Migration: An Overview and a Primer”, in Willy Brandt Series of Working Papers in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, no. 3, 2012 (available on-line).

  15. R. Salih, “From Bare Lives To Political Agents: Palestinian Refugees As Avant-Garde”, in Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2013, pp. 66–91.

  16. S. Benhabib, The Rights of Others. Aliens, Residents, and Citizens, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

  17. S. Latouche,The Westernization of the World. Significance, Scope and Limits of the Drive Towards Global Uniformity, Polity Press, 1996 (selected parts).

  18. S. Moller Okin, “Feminism, Women’s Human Rights, and Cultural Differences”, in Hypatia, vol. 13, no. 2, 1998, 32-52.

  19. The 1975 Dag Hammarskjöld Report: What now? (available on-line).

  20. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Trasforming our world (A/RES/70/1) (available on-line).

  21. U. Kothari, “From colonial administration to development studies: a post-colonial critique of the history of development studies”, in A radical history of development studies: individuals, institutions and ideologies, edited by U. Kothari, Zed Books, 2005, 47-65.

  22. V. Pupavac, “A Critical of Children’s Rights in Context” (paper available on-line).

  23. W. Sachs (ed. by), The Development Dictionary. A guide to knowledge as power, 2ndedition, Zed Books, 2010.

  24. World Bank Report 2014: Risk and Opportunity. Managing Risk for Development (available on-line).

 

Teaching methods

The course will be based on both lectures and class discussions.

Lectures will include readings of texts, seminars by external experts, projection of materials and documentaries.

The methodology adopted for class discussions (group discussion, whole class discussion, presentations, Q&A) will be defined at the beginning of the class taking into consideration the size of the class.

The aim of the teaching methodology adopted by the course is to activate the informed critical discussion of topics among students and to facilitate the interaction between the instructor and the students.

 

Assessment methods

Attending students

The assessment of the acquisition of expected knowledge and abilities by the attending students is based on the following three components: 1. Intermediate written exam; 2. Final written exam; 3. (Optional) oral exam

The intermediate and final written exams are a ninety-minute text that consists of 5/6 open questions on the topics discussed in class and are aimed at monitoring and assessing the acquisition of the expected knowledge as well as of methodological and critical skills by the student. There will be no makeup exam throughout the course.

Attending students who miss or fail one of the written exams will undergo a makeup oral exam after the end of the class only if their average grade is sufficient.

Attending students who have not obtained a sufficient average grade will undergo a oral exam on the entire syllabus after the end of the class

The (optional) oral exam will take place after the end of the class and will consist of three/four questions aimed at assessing the student’s level of knowledge of some of the most important topics addressed by the course, as well as her/his ability to critically analyse and verbally articulate them and her/his level of understanding of the texts under letter A.

The final evaluation will be the weighted average of the written and the oral exam scores.

The ability of the student to achieve a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed by the course, to critically assess them and to use an appropriate language will be evaluated with the highest grades (A = 27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of the course's contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will result in grades ranging from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

A low level of knowledge of the course’s contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will be considered as ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20) or result in a fail grading (E).

Non-attending students

Non-attending students will undergo an oral exam on the dedicated syllabus provided by the instructor.

The oral exam will consist of three/four questions aimed at assessing the student’s level of knowledge of some of the most important topics addressed by the course, as well as her/his ability to critically analyse and verbally articulate them and her/his level of understanding of the texts.

The ability of the student to achieve a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed by the course, to critically assess them and to use an appropriate language will be evaluated with the highest grades (A = 27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of the course's contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will result in grades ranging from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

A low level of knowledge of the course’s contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will be considered as ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20) or result in a fail grading (E).



Teaching tools

Lectures and class discussions/debates will be hold with the support of audio-visual tools (ppt, web, short documentaries).

Office hours

See the website of Annalisa Furia