Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence

Do you want to explain the refugee crisis? The economic crisis? Persistent inequality? Crime and urbanisation? Within Leiden University’s MA History specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence you study processes of migration, urbanisation, economic development and changes in global interaction. You will put these subjects of heated current societal and political debates in a comparative and historical perspective (covering the period 1500 until now). Within this specialisation, you can either choose the general programme, or focus on Economic History, or choose the interdisciplinary LDE programme Governance of Migration and Diversity, offered in cooperation with two other universities.

Choose Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence at Leiden University:

  • Learn to understand 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

In the general programme you will make comparisons over time and space, combine historical research with methods and theories from other disciplines like social sciences, linguistics, and economics, and address categories of analysis such as gender, religion, and ethnicity.

Economic History

In Economic History you can study changing labour relations in the 20th century, the role of institutions and their relation to economic development, and the economic history of Europe and the EU. For the early modern period, you can focus on cross-cultural commercial networks, cultural exchange, and comparative socio-economic systems in the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial world. We are particularly interested in Systems of Empires. You can choose Economic History only if you start in September.

See the programme page for more details about the general programme and Economic History.

Governance of Migration and Diversity

Become a migration expert! Migration (including refugee migration) is a key issue in current and past political and societal debates. The interdisciplinary programme ‘Governance of Migration and Diversity’ offers you the knowledge of migration experts in several fields of study, from Leiden University, Delft University and Erasmus University Rotterdam (LDE).

You will attend courses at all participating universities and become an all-round migration expert who is able to analyse and assess migration and diversity from multiple angles (history, sociology, politics, international development and urbanism). You will build up an extensive academic and professional network.

For more information, course contents and the admission procedure, please see the webpage of Governance of Migration and Diversity.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: History
  • Degree Master of Arts in History
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 1 year
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 66034

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.”

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