The purpose of the course is to explore the evolution of asylum after the Second World War from a political and legal perspective, as well as a practical one, leading to the current complex and unequal situation, and what may be expected in the short and medium term.

Thus, the course aims at assisting the students develop and apply a rigorous as well as compassionate approach to analysing and understanding the complex nature of refugee and other forced movements, and the challenges -including difficult dilemmas-, that individuals in need of international protection, but also countries responsible for providing this protection and supportive organizations/institutions, face.

Ultimately, it should support students in acquiring the knowledge that may equip them to contribute to alleviate the suffering of refugees and other forcibly displaced people.
The course will start with an analysis of the legal framework and the political developments that led to the adoption of the 1951 Convention on the status of refugees.

It will then proceed to study the evolution of asylum through the analysis of paradigmatic past and current refugee situations including Afghanistan, Uganda, the Americas and Central Europe, and the roles played by the different stakeholders from diverse viewpoints starting with the refugees and other forcibly displaced people´s. This will be followed by the views of governments, humanitarian assistance providers, including civil society, faith-based entities, international organisations, and donors.