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Author/Instructor: Barbara Dietz
Credits: 8

Main goals

  • To introduce students to the interdisciplinary nature of the migration phenomena and to explain causes and perspectives of international migration.
  • To study the variety of migration movements in Eastern Europe, ranging from asylum and refugee movements to labor and undocumented migration.
  • To understand the debate on migration politics and on East-West migration perspectives in the context of the Eastern enlargement of the European Union.

General topics

  • Economic, political and social aspects of international migration in Eastern Europe, especially focusing on the period after the political transformation and the break up of the USSR
  • Basic theoretical concepts explaining migration from different disciplines
  • The newly emerging migration space in Eastern Europe
  • Future migration tendencies in an enlarged Europe


Students will have to hand in tasks and write an essay.

Example task from the Migration Module

Present your view on the basic determinants and developments of East-West migration after the Enlargements of the European Union in May 2004 and January 2007. Did the movements behave as predicted, and if not, why? Please write not more than 1,000 words and submit your answer via the assignment function.

1. Chapter
Introduction to Migration

"In recent years international migration has been at the center of public and scientific attention. This is due to the fact that more and more people leave their countries of origin to live and work abroad. According to the United Nations 200 million people, or 3 percent of the world’s population, reside in a country where they were not born (UNDP 2009: 2). The reasons for these worldwide increasing movements are manifold: first of all, economic factors and family reunification have to be named. Likewise important, the escape from (civil) wars, forced resettlement, political repression and ethnic or religious discrimination drive international population movements. Furthermore, international migration is perceived to rise as a side effect of globalization.

For a number of years, global migrations have been characterized by new patterns. Many countries are sending and receiving countries alike, and many additionally experience transit movements. In the worldwide context, a feminization of migration has occurred and the number of short-term and repeated migrations has grown. This contributes to the emergence of transnational networks and transnational social spaces.

The overall topic of the Migration Module is to explore migration movements in Eastern Europe, where a new migration space has developed since the political transformation at the end of the eighties. To get a basic understanding of the issues addressed by migration research, the first part of the Migration Module will look at the determinants of international migrations in a theoretical perspective. In addition, it will be shown that migrations can only be understood in a historical and political context. As an introduction to this subject, fundamental questions in the field of international migration will be presented."

Barbara Dietz: Introduction to the Subject. 1st Chapter of Unit 1 of the Migration Module. © East European Studies Online; 2010.