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DDRO 2030A - Philosophy of Migration Law

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course introduces students to the philosophical foundations and implications of migration law. Through an interdisciplinary perspective, mobilizing law and philosophy, the sessions will question the rationale of migration law in constitutional states, mostly in Europe. Immigration law determines the condition of migrants in various ways: it primarily founds the distinction between nationals and aliens, it establishes the law of border policing and it delimits the rights of foreigners within the state territory. To this extent, migration law does not only define a set of rights and duties, it also enables a person to be part – or not – of a political community; it thus lies at the core of the foundations and the functioning of contemporary liberal states. We will dedicate a substantive part of the course to the analysis of the standing of foreigners and migrants in international, European and domestic law. This will invite us to reflect on a series of questions including the following: Is there a legal status of foreigners? Are migrants structurally excluded from the framework of the rule of law? To what extent do counter-terrorism measures and the use of states of exception undermine the condition of migrants in constitutional states? What do these reflections tell us about our political societies?


CHARAUDEAU, Bastien (Doctorant contractuel)

Course validation

Students will be graded based on their general oral participation during classes (10%), the overall quality of their one-page reaction papers or reading notes (20%), one oral presentation (30%), and a final paper (40%).

Required reading

  • DEMBOUR M.-B. et KELLY T.(eds.) (2012), Are human rights for migrants? critical reflections on the status of irregular migrants in Europe and the United States, London, Routledge, (abstracts)
  • ARENDT H. (1951), “Chapter Nine: The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man” in The Origins of Totalitarianism (Meridian Books 1962), pp. 267-302
  • GÜNDOGDU A. (2015), Rightlessness in an age of rights: Hannah Arendt and the contemporary struggles of migrants, Oxford ; New York, Oxford University Press (abstracts)

Additional required reading

  • Fire at Sea (2016, Documentary)
  • Les messagers (2014, Documentary with English subtitles) by Hélène Crouzillat et Lætitia Tura
  • “Passeur – Comment j'ai fait passé la frontière à des réfugiés” (2015, Radio documentary)