“International Labour Migration: Economics, Politics and Ethics”

I have authored a ten-week online course on international labour migration, offered by Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education Class size is limited to 32. The course activities and class discussions will be guided by a course tutor. The course runs three times a year starting in September, January and April. The course is now open for registration


This global course analyses one of the most controversial public policy issues of the 21st century: how to regulate international labour migration and the rights of migrant workers. Integrating economics, politics and ethics, the course comprehensively discusses the determinants, impacts and regulation of labour immigration and emigration around the world.

Listen to a short podcast about the course


The regulation of labour immigration and the rights of migrant workers are among the most controversial policy issues around the world. In public and media debates, migrants can be development ‘heroes’ for their countries of origin, ‘villains’ that threaten the jobs and welfare of workers in host countries, and/or ‘victims’ of exploitation by people traffickers, recruiters and employers.

This global course discusses key facts and fiction in debates about international labour migration. It comprehensively analyses the determinants and consequences of labour migration for host countries, migrants and their countries of origin. Drawing on economics, politics and ethics, the course debates the fundamental policy questions, trade-offs and moral dilemmas that are inescapable in the regulation of labour immigration and emigration.

Written by Martin Ruhs, Associate Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University and migration advisor to a wide range of national governments and international organisations, the course includes interviews with over fifteen global experts on international migration, migrant rights and development.

Overview of course units

1 International labour migration: Global trends and determinants

2 Beyond control? Objectives and limitations of the immigration state

3 Burden or benefit? The impacts of migrant workers in receiving countries

4 Opening doors: Labour immigration policies in high-income countries

5 Labour emigration and rights abroad: The perspectives of migrants and their countries of origin

6 Temporary labour migration programmes: Past, present and future

7 Open borders: The economics and politics of free movement agreements

8 Illegal and exploited? Functions and impacts of illegality in labour migration

9 Inclusion and exclusion: The ethics of labour immigration policy

10 Toward a World Migration Organisation? The global governance of international labour migration

The course includes two Q&A sessions with the course author (Martin Ruhs), in weeks 5 and 9.


Home/EU Fee: £245.00
Non-EU Fee: £295.00

How to apply

Click here for more information and details about how to apply for this course.