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OEUR 3070 - Sociology of Free Movement

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

European integration has created an almost borderless continent-wide space in which the traditional power of nation states to control individuals' options of travel and settlement has been largely curbed. Globally, the EU free movement regime is a unique arrangement entailing the legal equalization of migrants' rights under the aegis of a common supranational citizenship. As such, it is at the same time a flagship policy of the Union and a primary target of anti-EU movements – so much so that in 2016 it triggered Brexit in the UK. This master-level course-seminar explores the historical underpinnings of free movement in the EU, its theoretical foundations and empirical consequences. In particular, the course focuses on the experience and impact of intra-EU migration in different realms: social and economic integration, political participation, identification and EU support. Ultimately, it discusses the future prospects of free movement both within and outside the European Union. Ultimately, it discusses the future prospects of free movement both within and outside the European Union.


RECCHI, Ettore (Professor at Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

This is a 'cours-seminar', based on short lectures, presentations and class discussions.

Course validation

Each session includes a discussion of compulsory readings, students' presentations and debates on selected topics, and a short lecture. Attendance is mandatory (no more than two absences admitted). Students' evaluation is based on participation to class discussions (20%), presentations (30%) and a final essay (50%). The final essay should tackle an original research question linked to free movement issues (length: 20-25,000 characters).


Students are expected to do the compulsory readings before each session (see detailed syllabus), present one-two research papers and comment on presentations at every session.

Required reading

E. Recchi (2015) Mobile Europe: The Theory and Practice of Free Movement in the EU, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

Additional required reading

  • See detailed syllabus with full list of readings

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Séance 1. Introduction: Course rationale and organization

  • Required readings: None

Séance 2. Globalization, social change and free movement
Required readings:

  • Recchi, E. (2015) Mobile Europe, introduction and conclusion.

Additional readings:

  • Deutschmann, E. (2016) ‘The Spatial Structure of Transnational Human Activity’, Social Science Research, online.
  • Recchi, E. (2016) ‘Space, Mobility and Legitimacy’, in Thompson, W.R. (ed) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Joppke, C. (2010) ‘The inevitable lightening of citizenship’, European Journal of Sociology, 51, 9-32.

Séance 3. The free movement regime in post-war Europe
Required readings:

  • Maas, W. (2005) ‘The Genesis of European Rights’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 43, 1009-1025.

Additional readings:

  • Torpey, J. (2000) The invention of the passport. Cambridge: CUP, chapters 1 and 3.
  • Olsen, E.D.H. (2008) ‘The origins of European citizenship in the first two decades of European integration’, Journal of European Public Policy, 15, 40-57.
  • Bloom, T., and Tonkiss, K. (2013) ‘European Union and Commonwealth Free Movement: A Historical-Comparative Perspective’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39, 1067-1085.

Séance 4. The demography of intra-EU migration
Required readings:

  • Recchi, E. (2015) Mobile Europe, chapter 3.

Additional readings:

  • Castro-Martín, T. and Cortina, C. (2015) ‘Demographic Issues of Intra-European Migration: Destinations, Family and Settlement’, European Journal of Population, 31, 109-125.
  • Schroedter, J. H., De Winter, T., and Koelet, S. (2015) ‘Beyond l’Auberge Espagnole: The Effect of Individual Mobility on the Formation of Intra-European Couples’, European Journal of Population, 31, 181-206.
  • Kleinepier, T., de Valk, H. A., and van Gaalen, R. (2015) ‘Life paths of migrants: a sequence analysis of Polish migrants’ family life trajectories’, European Journal of Population, 31, 155-179.

Séance 5. EU movers’ integration in receiving countries
Required readings:

  • Recchi, E. (2015) Mobile Europe, chapter 4.

Additional readings:

  • Krings, T., Bobek, A., Moriarty, E., Salamońska, J. and Wickham, J. (2013) ‘Polish Migration to Ireland: ‘Free Movers’ in the New European Mobility Space’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39, 87-103.
  • Benson, M.C. (2010) ‘The context and trajectory of lifestyle migration: the case of the British residents of Southwest France’, European Societies, 12, 45-64.
  • Dubucs, H., Pfirsch, T., Recchi, E., and Schmoll, C. (2017) ‘Je suis un Italien de Paris: Italian migrants’ incorporation in a European capital city’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43, 578-595.

Séance 6. The subjectivity of migration: motivations, aspirations and personal well-being
Required readings:

  • Favell, A. (2008) Eurostars and Eurocities. Free movement and mobility in an integrating Europe, Oxford: Blackwell, chapters 6, 7 and 13.

Additional readings:

  • Bartram, D. (2013) ‘Happiness and ‘economic migration’: A comparison of Eastern European migrants and stayers’, Migration Studies, 1, 156-175.
  • Ralph, D. (2014) ‘Always on the Move, but Going Nowhere Fast’: Motivations for ‘Eurocommuting’ between the Republic of Ireland and Other EU States’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41, 176-195.
  • Van Mol, C. (2016) ‘Migration Aspirations of European Youth in Times of Crisis’, Journal of Youth Studies, online.

Séance 7. Free movement and politics
Required readings:

  • Doherty, M. (2016) ‘Through the Looking Glass: Brexit, Free Movement and the Future’, King's Law Journal, 27, 375-386.

Additional readings:

  • Bygnes, S. and Flipo, A. (2016) ‘Political Motivations for Intra-EU Migration’, Acta Sociologica, online.
  • Ciornei, I. (2016) ‘European mobility and local political incorporation: The case of British and Romanian residents in Spain’, Migration Studies, 4, 38-58.
  • Thomas, A. (2015) ‘Degrees of Inclusion: Free Movement of Labour and the Unionization of Migrant Workers in the European Union’, Journal of Common Market Studies, online.

Séance 8. Transnational mobility and identities
Required readings:

  • Recchi, E. (2015) Mobile Europe, chapter 6.

Additional readings:

  • Kuhn, T. (2015) Experiencing European Integration: Transnational Lives and European Identity. Oxford University Press, chapters 6 and 7.
  • Ciornei, I., and Recchi, E. (2017) ‘At the Source of European Solidarity: Assessing the Effects of Cross‐border Practices and Political Attitudes’, JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 55, 468-485.
  • Teney, C., Hanquinet, L. and Bürkin, K. (2016) ‘Feeling European: an exploration of ethnic disparities among immigrants’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42, 2182-2204.

Séance 9. Mobility without migration: cross-border practices in the EU
Required readings:

  • Mau, S. and Mewes, J. (2012) ‘Horizontal Europeanisation in Contextual Perspective’, European Societies, 14, 7-34.

Additional readings:

  • Delhey, J. et alii (2014) ‘Measuring the Europeanization of Everyday Life: Three New Indices and an Empirical Application’, European Societies, 16, 355-377.
  • Andreotti, A., Le Galès, P., and Moreno-Fuentes, F.J. (2013) ‘Transnational mobility and rootedness: the upper middle classes in European cities’, Global Networks, 13, 41-59.
  • Kuhn, T. (2016) ‘The Social Stratification of European Schoolchildren’s Transnational Experiences: A Cross-Country Analysis of the International Civics and Citizenship Study’, European Sociological Review 32, 266-279.

Séance 10. Free movement, welfare and labour markets
Required readings:

  • Geddes, A., & Hadj-Abdou, L. (2016) ‘An unstable equilibrium: freedom of movement and the welfare state in the European Union’, Handbook on Migration and Social Policy, 222.

Additional readings:

  • Carmel, E., Sojka, B. and Papiez, K. (2016) Free to move, right to work, entitled to claim? Governing social security portability for mobile Europeans, Working Paper, Welfare State Futures, NORFACE, Berlin (pages 1-40).
  • Janicka, A. and Kaczmarczyk, P. (2016) ‘Mobilities in the crisis and post-crisis times: migration strategies of Poles on the EU labour market’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, online.
  • J. M. Lafleur and M. Stanek (eds) (2017) South-North Migration of EU Citizens in Times of Crisis. Springer, 193-214.

Séance 11. Critiques and limits to free movement
Required readings:

  • Favell, A. (2014) ‘The fourth freedom: Theories of migration and mobilities in 'neo-liberal' Europe’, European Journal of Social Theory, 17, 1-15.

Additional readings:

  • Gehring, J. S. (2013) ‘Free Movement for Some: The Treatment of the Roma after the European Union’s Eastern Expansion’, European Journal of Migration and Law, 15, 7-28.
  • Cornelisse, G. (2014) ‘What's Wrong with Schengen? Border Disputes and the Nature of Integration in the Area Without Internal Borders’, Common Market Law Review, 51.
  • Heindlmaier, A., and Blauberger, M. (2017) ‘Enter at your own risk: free movement of EU citizens in practice’, West European Politics, 1-20.

Séance 12. Free movement across state borders: European exceptionalism?
Required readings:

  • Bauböck, R. (2009) ‘Global justice, freedom of movement and democratic citizenship’, European Journal of Sociology, 50, 1-31.

Additional readings:

  • Carens, J. H. (1987) ‘Aliens and citizens: the case for open borders’, The Review of Politics, 49, 251-273.
  • Maas, W. (2013) ‘Free Movement and Discrimination: Evidence from Europe, the United States, and Canada’, European Journal of Migration and Law, 15, 91-110.
  • McMillan, K. (2014) ‘Political and social rights for second country nationals: freedom of movement and citizenship in Australasia’, Citizenship Studies, 18, 349-364.