Spring 2023  |  PA 5890 Section 003: Topics in Foreign Policy and International Affairs -- Migration, Human Rights, and the Southern Border (65714)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Repeat Credit Limit:
15 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option No Audit
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person
Class Attributes:
Online Course
Topics Course
Enrollment Requirements:
Grad or Masters or Law
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
01/17/2023 - 05/01/2023
Tue, Thu 09:45AM - 11:00AM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 35
Enrollment Status:
Open (11 of 15 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Selected topics.
Class Notes:
Class Description:
Professor Eric Schwartz, who has recently completed a five year tenure as president of Refugees International in Washington, DC, will return to full-time status at the Humphrey School and teach this course in the spring of 2023. Before serving as Dean of the Humphrey School from 2011 to 2017, Professor Schwartz served in the White House and the State Department in the Clinton and Obama Administrations, as well as the United Nations and with Human Rights Watch.

This three credit seminar will examine the range of policy issues surrounding forced migration from Central America to Mexico and the United States, human rights, and the southern border of the United States.

The Biden administration came into office with the intention to reverse the closure of asylum space that was accelerated in the prior presidential administration. And administration officials and advocates have promoted measures that include new immigration "pathways" for individuals and families from Central America; expanded refugee processing that would benefit individuals from the Northern Triangle region; and assistance programs to address the so-called root causes forced migration from Central America. While some new measures reflecting these objectives have been implemented, the administration has not moved forward as quickly as urged by refugee and asylum advocates. At the same time, critics of the already limited measures that have been taken point to what they contend are record numbers of unauthorized arrivals at the southern border and urge greater law enforcement measures.

In this seminar, we will examine and assess the policies and practices of the current administration and consider the positions of the administration's critics. In particular, and among other issues, we will explore the values that underlie various definitions of policy success or failure.

Who Should Take This Class?:
Students with interests in migration, forced migration, refugee issues, Mexico and Central America, and human rights and development.
Learning Objectives:
Students will obtain deeper understanding of U.S. asylum policy and practices (especially with respect to the border), the factors driving migration from Central America, including their human rights and humanitarian dimensions, U.S. foreign policy issues relating to the Northern Triangle region, and the policy challenges surrounding each (and all) of these sets of issues.
Class participation (25%)
Short policy memo based on assigned class readings (middle of term) (15%)
Largely in-class group project toward end of semester (20%)
Final individual project: class presentation (15%) and final paper (25%)

Exam Format:
No exam.
Class Format:
Combination of short lectures by professor, class discussion, guest lectures, class presentation.
About 130-150 pages per week. (See also grading section, above.)
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/eschwart_PA5890_Fall2021.pdf (Fall 2021)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
30 December 2022

ClassInfo Links - Spring 2023 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Eric Schwartz

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