KRIM2958 – Migration Control, Borders and Citizenship

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Course content

Criminologists increasingly take an interest in the ways that destination states seek to control migration, including through criminal law, imprisonment, detention and return. While goods are allowed to circulate comparatively freely in modern capitalism, people are not. Migration control has changed contemporary penal systems.

Aspiring migrants face a variety of obstacles to international mobility. Actual migrants are subjected to border control but also a range of other policies upon entry, sifted into legal-bureaucratic categories that determine the lawfulness of their stay and deportability. Migrants who find themselves unwelcome by the authorities are not without agency, however, and may seek to resist policing and circumvent the legal obligation to return as non-members of society.

This course both explores how Norway and other destination states construct the influx of migrants and respond to it, and how migrants experience and resist being governed. It looks at the legal, ethical and practical limits of state power to control migration, and the myriad state, supra-state and non-state actors that shape the outcomes of migration control. The course is interdisciplinary, approaching migration control from multiple vantage points to unpack some of its complexity in an age of (im)mobility.

Key concepts that will be discussed in this course include

  • Migration management/control
  • Policing
  • Detention
  • Assisted return and deportation
  • Migration theory
  • Border control
  • Citizenship

Learning outcome


At the end of the course, BA students are expected to have basic knowledge of

  • The main theoretical perspectives on migration.
  • The legal, ethical and practical limits of states’ power to control migration.
  • Some domestic and international actors involved in the design and implementation of migration policies.
  • The reasons why migrants may seek to resist states’ attempts to control mobility, and what challenges this creates for law enforcement.


At the end of the course, BA students are expected to be able to

  • Account for central theoretical themes and empirical examples addressed during the course.
  • Identify some of the underlying reasons why migration policy and border control dominate public discourse and policy debate.
  • Engage critically in a discussion on the capacity and desire for migration control in liberal democracies.



At the end of the course, BA students are expected to

  • Understand that labels, categories and terminology may be used as tools of migration control.
  • Draw on both criminological theory and migration theory to reflect critically on issues related to migration control, borders and citizenship.
  • Reflect on some of the intended and unintended effects of various types of border control.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with KRIM4958 – Migration Control, Borders and Citizenship




Students are graded on the basis of a 5-day take-home exam that they deliver electronically in Inspera.

Size: Maximum 2400 words (roughly 6 pages). Front page, contents page (optional) and bibliography are not included. If footnotes are used in the text (at the bottom of each page), they are included in the 2400 word limit. Papers that exceed the 2400 word limit will be disallowed.

Any exam at the University of Oslo are being checked for both correct word count and incidents of cheating.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

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