Refugees and asylum seekers


We will first focus on better understanding the condition of refugees throughout the world. What does this term mean? Who takes care of refugees, what do those who are not taken care of by international agencies do? How are the latter organized? What is a "camp"? how does one live there? Is a refugee on the move or fixed in place? We will then attempt to describe Europe’s main migration policies before focusing on the case of France, with a particular emphasis on asylum policies. We will also provide tools for understanding and analyzing the condition of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, particularly as regards their access to fundamental rights (housing, health, education). One session will focus more specifically on migrant minors, whether they are with their families or unaccompanied. Finally, we will end the semester with a more conceptual session on the notion of minority and a presentation of approaches to inter-ethnic relations.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

This class is open to students interested in this topic and with basic knowledge in political science, international politics, geography, sociology, or anthropology, and the ability to internalize the legal information presented in class. The topics covered are illustrated through examples and presented from a cross-disciplinary perspective.


  • Agier M., Gérer les indésirables. Des camps de réfugiés au gouvernement humanitaire, Paris, Flammarion, 2008.
  • Lendaro A., Rodier C., Vertongen Y.L. (éds.), La crise de l’accueil. Frontières, droits, résistances, Paris, La Découverte, coll. Recherches, 2019.
  • Menjivar C., Ruiz M., Ness I. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Migration Crises, New York, Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • Migreurop, Atlas des migrants en Europe. Approche critique des politiques migratoires, Paris, Armand Colin, 3e ed., 2017.
  •  Wihtol de Wenden C., Atlas des migrations. Un équilibre mondial à inventer. Paris, Éditions Autrement. 2018.

Educational formula

The first part of this class (refugees outside Europe) is delivered by Alice Corbet, and the second (refugees in Europe) by Isabelle Rigoni. It involves several disciplines and uses a large variety of pedagogical documents: texts, maps, film extracts, etc. Active participation by students is expected, particularly in analyzing current events using the knowledge acquired through this class.

In brief

Year Fifth year

Teaching languageFrench

ECTS credits 4.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activitySeminar

ValidationFinal written examination

Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Corbet Alice [+]

Rigoni Isabelle [+]