Critical citizenship studies, migration and the climate

Course content

What is the future of ‘citizenship’ and solidarity in times of global migration, rising uncertainty, and increasing inequality worldwide? In 2020, the UNHCR took a landmark decision ruling that host countries cannot force ‘climate refugees’ home. However, studies on critical citizenship show that access to refugee status, permanent residency or citizenship in Denmark and other EU countries have become restricted to socially privileged individuals. In 2016, the population of non-EU migrants in the European Union grew up to 22 million, with EU member states granting citizenship to less than one million persons. At the same time, In regions affected by rising sea levels and in the Pacific, poor people affected dramatically by rising sea levels are rescuing and hosting refugees; and in the Global North migrants use protest, strike, blockades, or hunger strikes and marches to make public claims for their rights. Migrants’ access to public voice and solidarity by majority citizens is limited through explicit and implicit boundaries of race/ethnicity, language, and ‘deservingness’ standards. Under what conditions does protest, public voice, and self-organized communities of solidarity create new forms of citizenship beyond these boundaries? Connecting empirical case studies with theory, this course is going to focus on migrants’ public protest and people’s solidarity actions through the perspectives of ‘acts of citizenship’ (Isin) and ‘political translation’ (Doerr). The course tries to answer single themes from an interdisciplinary perspective based on empirical, comparative case studies on different regions and based on non-western, feminist, and postcolonial and historical perspectives.


Elective course


Course packages:

Welfare, inequality and mobility 

Knowledge, organisation and policy 

Culture, lifestyle and everyday life

Learning outcome


The course will provide the students with knowledge of

  • the core sociological research literature within the thematic field of the course, and
  • familiarity with the recent literature on Critical Citizenship Studies and Migration, including research on gender, intersectionality, ‘queer migrations’, linguistic justice and translation. 



Students will have trained their ability to

  • compare and contrast key theoretical perspectives that are central to the thematic field of research within the course
  • identify significant historical and contemporary developments in research on citizenship, migrant mobilizations, and climate politics.
  • apply and critically discuss key theoretical concepts within the thematic field of the course
  • review and reflect on the interdisciplinary scientific literature on citizenship, migration, and climate politics acquiring insights into a number of different disciplines and their conceptualization of the themes we discuss as well as their state of the art. 



Further, students should also be able to

  • assess and discuss practical relevance of their analysis for key actors, issues, and problems within and across the organizational and thematic fields addressed by the course.



In carrying out the presentations, projects, and written assignments students demonstrate that they have acquired competencies that allow them to independently

  • identify and analyse empirical cases and settings for research on the themes of the course.


Due to the covid19 situation the teaching in autumn semester 2020 is as follows:

• The teaching are on campus with rotating groups
• The teaching are available online too.

Always remember to check Absalon for the latest updates.

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Lectures, class discussions, student presentations, exercises and written assignments based on the readings. The presentations include project work (either individually or in groups). Students are expected to contribute actively to discussion of core theoretical-analytical tools as well as the more specific analytical examples and case studies. In their written assignments, including the final take home essay, students are expected to identify their own analytical questions and demonstrate their capacity to critically assess and analyse empirical data based on the examples and case studies we discuss in class. Students should also expect to review literature and assess empirical data besides the course texts. Aspects of conducting literature reviews within the relevant field of research will be taught and trained.

Readings include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, NGO and civil society or migrants’ publications, literary narratives and digital media storytelling, newspaper articles and videos. Students are required to read approximately 1000 pages. Students are also expected to choose supplementary reading materials for their presentations, projects, and written assignments (approximately 300 pages).

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Find more information on your study page at KUnet.
Individually or in groups (max 4 students).
Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus.
The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 110
  • Exam
  • 40
  • English
  • 206