Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Plsc 102 International Relations in an Age of Globalization

Spring 2014

 Professor: Lorenzo Rinelli


International Relations in an Age of Globalization


Mediterranean Crossings


John Felice Rome Center

Loyola University Chicago

Spring 2014


E-mail: rinellilorenzo@gmail.com

Time and Day of class: TBA




In recent years, the refugee and immigrant movements have unmistakably come to the fore. Enormous political, social, and technological transformations and numerous ethnic conflicts trigger steady movements of people in search of "better" and "safer" places. As immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees  move "within" and across borders, their movements impact the familiar and, in the words of the German novelist Gunter Grass, "the rigid orders of the self" thus, inciting an array of responses in different contexts and forms in terms of International Relations and Globalization. Refugee and immigrant movements have both resistant  (disruptive) and accommodative  (recuperative) effects  on a wide range of relations and institutions -- state, community, identity, citizenship, democracy, and welfare -- that goes to the heart of imagining and practicing of stable and secure national governance throughout the world. This is very much true when we speak of the Mediterranean basin.


This course concentrates on movements of people -- post-colonial populations, refugees, and immigrants of all variety within and across  the Mediterranean.   It focuses  on human migrations with a view to exploring their impact  on the "many worlds" in which we live. Its focus is inter-disciplinary, oriented to investigate "the political and cultural economy of international migration." This course is divided into three sections all of which posit

‘security’ as a central feature in how we think about migration. These are ‘Political and Legal Security’, ‘Cultural and  Identity  Security’,  and  ‘Personal  and  Economic  Security’.  It  proceeds  by  asking  the  question  of  how international migrations come to constitute specific popular and governmental fields of security and conduct.


By now, as the beginning of October 2013, we will all have seen the tragedy that has occurred just off the coast of Lampedusa. You can read the reports in The Guardian -"Italy boat wreck: scores of migrants die as boat sinks off Lampedusa. Children among dead as boat thought to have been carrying as many as 500 migrants sinks" -


This  underlines the  importance  of  this  course.  Thus far  national  governments,  the  EU and  international   /

intergovernmental  organizations  have  either  ignored  what’s  going  on  or  adopted  only  ad  hoc  short-term

‘solutions’. The conduct of coherent, in-depth analysis is surely the first step in seeking out long-term and just approach. In this direction this course put the movement of people at the core of phenomenon of globalization and start asking how states and people influence each others posing a set of interesting questions, such as:




• How does migration impact the physical security of the countries and regions in which we live?

• How are our understandings of citizenship is impacted by the immigration and integration (or lack of integration) of newcomers who are non-citizens?

• How do national and international laws impact immigrants, regulate their actions, and regulate the reactions of states and receiving societies?

•  What  is  the  likelihood  that  immigrants  will  be  more  criminal  than,  or  pose  terrorist  threats  to, receiving societies?


These are the types of issues that arise in thinking about immigration in the context of globalization and International Relations. Thinking about the challenges and opportunities, the threats and the benefits of a social phenomenon such as migration entails thinking about our sense of security and insecurity, and definitely about our identity.


Recommended Texts:

Albert, Mathias et al. 2001. Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International  Relations Theory. University of

Minnesota Press.


Elspeth Guild. 2009. Security and Migration in the 21st Century


Huysmans, Jef. 2006. The Politics of Insecurity: Fear, Migration and Asylum in the EU. 1st ed. Routledge. Koser, Khalid. 2007. International Migration: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, USA.

Rajaram, Prem Kumar, and Carl Grundy-Warr. 2008. Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory's

Edge. illustrated edition. Univ Of Minnesota Press.




Course Description:

The course is divided in two parts. The first part addresses general issues of International Relation (IR) theory security, and globalization In particular it raises analytical and critical questions about how knowledge is produced, what concepts are important, and how the discipline changes in response to major historical events. It provides an overview of  critical  approaches  to  IR and Globalization, from constructivism to post-colonialism which will be then used in the second part of the course.


The second part of the course explores past and current perceptions of the Mediterranean and its geopolitical role in relation to Europe and Italy in particular. It examines the multitude of local, national and regional identities that coexist around the Mediterranean basin with migrants' trajectories. Students will look at citizenship law and immigration policy in the Mediterranean and then move on to examine the ways that immigration is influencing definitions of nationality and “European-ness.”


Course Objectives

•    Understand how our individual and global self concepts form as a complex interaction of the biological, familial, societal, and cultural contexts in which politics and international relations develop.

•    Understand the politics, cultures and societies of the Mediterranean.

•    Exposure to a variety of disciplines in the study of social sciences.

•    Improve your analytical skills.

•    Practice and improve your research skills.


Course Outcomes




Students will be able to:

•    Demonstrate  an  understanding of  the  relationships  among  cultural,  economic,  political,  and  social forces, and their impact on human behavior.

•    Demonstrate understanding of the main ways of studying international politics.

•    Compare and contrast major competing approaches to the field.

•    Examine individual regions and countries from the perspective of these approaches.

•     Demonstrate an understanding of  differences of  class, gender, and  race  in societies, states, and cultures.

•    Differentiate among historical and contemporary perspectives about the world with a view to fashioning a humane and just world.


Required Materials:

You will not have to purchase any textbook for the class. The majority of the readings consists of journal articles and selections from books, and will be available at the website dedicated to our course.


Some of the assigned readings in the syllabus are challenging, some of you probably haven’t seen this sort of writing in your collegiate  experience yet. Read them closely, underline, highlight, write in the margins, take notes, etc., and if you have questions or comments do not hesitate to stop by my office to run them by me, or come to class prepared to ask them.


Homework & Assignments:

• PARTICIPATION 20%. This course will be rely heavily on your ability to discuss assigned readings.  You must participate actively, however points may be deducted for not facilitating discussions. Students are expected to attend classes regularly and complete the readings assigned for each meeting so as to contribute effectively to class discussions.  BRINGING THE TEXT TO CLASS is considered  part of your participation. Finally, attendance will periodically be conducted by submission of in-class exercises. More below.


• UNIT REFLECTIONS 30%: At the beginning of each unit, students will be required to submit a 2 to 3 page paper (single spaced) summarizing the readings of the previous unit and briefly reflecting upon them. Please come with two Xerox copies of your paper. Do not be afraid to get personal with your essays.  Personal experiences and opinions can strengthen your essay as long as you explicitly point out that these are your personal experiences

or opinions and not “facts”  per se. You will be asked to give one to me and one to another seminar participant and you are encouraged to offer thoughts on one another’s paper.



Students will be asked to prepare discussion questions for assigned readings. It will be your responsibility to start the discussion of the article with the questions and comments you will have prepared and to guide your fellow students through the reading. Even if you are not leading the discussion, be ready to answer questions on the article in class.


– Each discussion will be accompanied by two written reports (5%): one before the actual presentation, and another after the presentation.

– The one before the presentation should be more of an outline [generally the length of an email] of what might be included both in the presentation and in the final report. This outline will be emailed to the instructor at least one day before the discussion date. The one after the presentation(1-2 pages, typed, double-spaced) will be turned in with the instructor within two (2) weeks after the presentation.



A final exam will take place in the final class on the 2nd of May.  You will be asked to write a response to a news




related to the topic of the course, a sort of op-ed, making use of texts we have been using in class. The length of your should be 8 to the 10 pages.



Visit to the headquarters of the NGO Asinitas that has been active in promoting and fostering cultural and political participation of African immigrants and Italian marginalized individuals since 2005. These headquarters are the main location where most dialogues of the movie Like a Man on Earth were filmed.


Grading Scale

All assignments will be graded on a one hundred-point scale. There is no curve and I do not assign letter grades until I post the final grades. Your final grade will be determined by a weighted average of all of the assignments

– i.e. when the scores on all of your assignments are added together they will come out to some percent of 100 points.































Academic Honesty

In addition to the Loyola University Chicago Academic Integrity policy outlined at http://www.luc.edu/academics/

catalog/undergrad/reg_academicintegrity.shtml , the following apply:

1.   Students may not use automated translators to write their compositions in Italian classes.

2.   Students may not ask friends, relatives or native speakers to complete their assignments.

3.   Students may not recycle their own or other people’s work.




4.   Students must explicitly cite any material that has been taken from the Internet or other sources.


Please note that any single instance of Academic Dishonesty will result in a grade of “0” on the assignment or exam in question.  A pattern of failure to comply with these standards will result in a failing grade.



Students with documented disabilities who wish to discuss academic accommodations  should contact me the first week of class, as well as the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.


Attendance & Participation: Classes  will be divided between lecture, video, and in-class discussions. Students are expected complete the readings assigned for each meeting beforehand so as to contribute effectively to class discussions. You are required to attend all lectures throughout the semester. It is understandable that you might need to miss a class occasionally, and therefore you are allowed up to two absences without penalty. For each additional absence 2 points will be deducted from your total score. Please note that you will fail the entire course if you accumulate a total of six or more absences.



This course will not be using Blackboard.


Email Communication

I will do my best to reply to emails sent during business hours M-F within 2 days. Emails sent after 7 pm will be considered received the next business day.  I will/will not answer emails on the weekend.


Computer & Internet Use in the Classroom

Use of laptop computers during class time for note taking is permitted.  There may be times when you will be asked to put your laptop away for various exercises/lessons.  Use of the internet is not permitted unless specifically directed by the instructor.  This includes checking of email and use of instant messengers.


Cell Phone Use

Cell phones use is not permitted during class time.  This includes sending and reading of Text Messages.  All cellphones brought into the class room must be set to silent.  In the case of a personal emergency, students should quietly exit the classroom.


Food & Drink

Drinks in sealable containers are permitted in the classroom.  Food is not to be eaten during class unless required for a medical condition.




January 20, Monday  Class starts

February 3, Monday Deadline to convert

February 5, Wednesday– Papal audience (no classes)




February 7, Friday – Make up: Monday/Wednesday & Wednesday only classes

March 21, Friday– Make up: Monday/Wednesday & Monday only classes

March 7 – 16 Spring Break

March 31 Monday Deadline to drop without W April 18 – 21 Easter Recess

April 26 – May 1  Final Examination




Class Schedule

Week 1

January 20

Intro to the class - International Relations of peoples and states in the age of Globalization.

The 21st  century has brought new and challenging dimensions to our understanding of  International Relations in terms of security and migration. The old Cold War framework of security as related to war and peace, international relations and foreign affairs has given way to a multiplicity of competing notions, including internal security, human security and even social security. At the same time, migration has become a hotly contested issue, characterized by an enormous difference of views and objectives.



Unit 1 Political and Legal dimension

In order to define the foreigner we need to understand the citizen. This unit will focus on the political and social dimension of the individual in relation to the state.


Week 2

January 27


Week 3

February 3


Unit 2 Cultural and Identity dimension

Often overlooked within the discipline of IR, the dimension of culture, race and gender, plays a crucial role in terms of state security and foreign policy as it lays at the heart of idea of people and nation. Week 4

February 10


Week 5

February 17


Unit 3 Economic dimension

This unit will focus on the economic dimension of the migrant worker and the importance of the state of vulnerability of her within the contemporary phenomenon of globalization.

Week 6

February 24


Week 7

March 3


Week 8

***** March 7 – 16 Spring Break *****





UniGovernance      and    Networks     in    the    Mediterranean   

This unit outlines the latest change in immigration law and policies at national and European level in the

Mediterranean and the crucial role of Lampedusa in the European and Italian policy of migration control.


Week 9

March 17


Week 10

March 24



Unit 5 To Navigate the Great Sea of Sand

Week 11

March 31

This section will look into Italian and Libyan economic and security treaties and their colonial history in relation to migrants’ routes through the desert to understand the dialectic relations between a vast migration control apparatus and migrants’ agency in the era of globalization.


Week 12

April 7

Today trans-Saharan trajectories are more alive than ever, revitalized by sub-Saharan migrants who, led or carried by skillful Bedouins, traverse the sand’s vast sea. At the same time, Europe and Italy’s policies of migration control have been “externalized” beyond the shores of the Mediterranean to take effect even within the sand dunes of the Sahara desert.


Unit 6  Contemporary Italian Identity and Migration.

Week 13

April 14

This final unit examines immigration to Italy in the past twenty years and explores the processes of cultural hybridization that have occurred. In terms of migration, Italy is often thought of as a source country—a place from which people came rather than one to which people go. However, in the past few decades, Italy has indeed become a destination for many people from poor or war-torn countries seeking a better life in a stable environment.


Week 14

April 21

Once the migrant becomes visible, once s/he has navigated the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, s/he comes to be incorporated in spaces others, more often than not, as a multicultural ingredient that

serves to promote the image of a tolerant and multiethnic society. The latter has to be contextualized within the strict relation between market and labor and the city of Rome.


April 18 – 21 Easter Recess


Week 15

April 28

We will conclude our course with Chambers’ evocative and erudite prose, that renders the Mediterranean a mutable space, profoundly marked by the linguistic, literary, culinary, musical, and intellectual dissemination of Arab, Jewish, Turkish, and Latin cultures. He brings to light histories of




Mediterranean crossings—of people, goods, melodies, thought—that are rarely part of orthodox understandings in a way that reflects the fluidity of the exchanges that have formed the region. A sea of endlessly overlapping cultural and historical currents, the Mediterranean, is a theater of migrants’ performances whose trajectories perforate and exceed the immediate constraints of nationalism and inflexible identity as in Like a Man on Earth


Video documentary: Like a Man on Earth (Segre and Yimer 2008) Listen to: Almamegretta Animamigrante. 1998


April 26 – May 1 Final Examination


*The instructor reserves the right to make changes such as changes in the assigned readings and the schedule of lectures, etc., as the instructor deems necessary. The students will be fully informed about the changes in due time.