Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (research)

Within Leiden University’s research MA History specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (research) you study processes of migration, urbanisation, economic development and the increase in global interaction. You will study these processes, which are subjects of heated current societal and political debates, from a comparative and historical perspective (covering the period 1350 until 2000). You will be able to focus on social history, on economic history or a combination of both.

Choose Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (research) at Leiden University:

  • Learn to understand and contribute to current debates about migration, urbanisation, globalisation, economic growth and inequality from a historical and comparative perspective;
  • Analyse urban and state institutions and their effects on inclusion and exclusion, urban crime and criminal behaviour, and the development of freedoms and unfreedoms (including slavery);
  • Look at the intersections between gender, class, religion, sexuality and race/ethnicity;
  • Benefit from the expertise of a large team of enthusiastic and very diverse teachers.

Topics you might study are:

  • The (gendered) interaction between migration and membership regimes in different parts of the world and the effects of societal categorisation in making distinctions between migrants and non-migrants;
  • Urban and state institutions and their effects on inclusion and exclusion;
  • Social engineering, criminality and urban subcultures;
  • Changing labour relations in capitalist institutions and their relations to economic development;
  • Economic history of Europe and the EU, economic policy, the welfare state, and economic co-operation between countries.
  • Development of freedoms and unfreedoms;
  • Cross-cultural commercial networks, cultural exchanges and comparative socio-economic systems in the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial world and Systems of Empires.

See for more details the programme page.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: History (research)
  • Degree Master of Arts in History (research)
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English. Classes for which reading knowledge of Dutch is required may be taught in Dutch.
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60139

Prof. Marlou Schrover

Marlou Schrover

“We can only truly study migration by comparing today’s immigration to immigration in the past.”

“Leiden University has a long tradition of studying migration and ethnicity. This tradition can be traced all the way back to such sources as nineteenth-century Leiden Arabist and ethnographer C. Snouck Hurgronje. What I find so interesting about Leiden is that on the one hand this tradition is continuously being further expanded on, while on the other hand, migration research is being carried out within many different disciplines (history, for example, as well as broadly outside this field). This allows for a comparative approach. What I try to do is promote the collaboration as well as benefit from it.

Migration is the most important subject in current debates. If we consider migration and integration from a historical, long-term perspective, we see patterns emerging. The fear of newcomers was the same in the past, and what’s more, the fate of Dutch immigrants abroad hardly differed from that of modern-day immigrants in the Netherlands. The world in the Netherlands can only be understood by also looking at the Netherlands in the world.

We can only really study migration and integration if we place the similarities and differences side by side: today’s immigration has to be compared with immigration in the past, and immigration has to be compared with emigration. Migration and integration have to be placed in the wider frameworks of the development of trade networks, the emergence of multinationals, economic growth and stagnation, and world unification. Ethnicity needs to be studied in combination with gender and class, as parallel mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, and the formation of identity. Leiden University is in my opinion the ideal place for this approach.”

Find your master's at Leiden University