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History of Migration and Diversity (10 EC)


Admission requirements

This course is part of the LDE Master’s degree Governance of Migration and Diversity. It is not accessible for BA students, or MA students from other specialisations.

  1. Students from the tracks Sociology, Public Administration and Development Studies of the programme mentioned above follow this course for 5 EC (5774LDE01).
  2. Students from the History track of the programme mentioned above will follow this course for 10 EC (5774IMG07).


This course is given at and by Leiden University, and is part of the Governance of Migration and Diversity Master programme.

From the early 2000s onwards, the term migration governance started to replace migration control. This was done in order to emphasise the fact that more parties were involved in managing migration, than only national governments. The term migration governance was new, but attempts to control migration were not. Governance of migration goes back centuries. How did authorities try to manage or control migration? Who was trying to manage migration in the past?

In the past also non-state actors – such as public and private organisations including religious organisations, shipping companies, and employers – played a crucial role in these attempts. How, when and why was this migration governance different from current forms of migration governance? What can we learn from the past? How would you advice policy makers?

Migration led to shifts in the differences that made a difference within society. In the past, migration led to the introduction of new religions, new ethnic groups, new gender roles, and shifts in class relations. We will analyse how, when and why societies changed because of migration, and how migration changed because of changes in society. There were shifts in differences that made a difference because of developments that had little or nothing to do with migration, such as the rise and demise of emancipatory movements (feminist, religious, class), secularisation, colonisation and decolonisation, geo-political changes (i.e. Cold War) and economic changes.

In this master we will study shifts in the governance of diversity from a longitudinal perspective and within the context of large scale developments. For the class history students can choose from a large number of very diverse sources: government white papers, newspapers articles, interviews, archives of organisations (local, national, or European).

Course objectives

General learning objectives

The student has acquired:

  1. The ability to independently identify and select literature, using traditional and modern techniques;
  2. The ability to independently identify and select sources, using traditional and modern techniques;
  3. The ability to analyse and evaluate a corpus of sources with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
  4. The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
  5. The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and method of the field and to reduce this question to accessible and manageable sub-questions;
  6. The ability to independently set up and carry out an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
  7. The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
  8. The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
  9. The ability to provide constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of the work of others and the ability to evaluate the value of such criticism and feedback on one’s own work and incorporate it;
  10. (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

The student has acquired:

  1. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subspecialisations as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following;
    -in the specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence: the manner in which migrations (of people, goods and ideas) between and within states have led to shifts (in cohesion, ethnic composition, policies, imaging, culture, and power relations) in the period 1600-2000, with a focus on (urban) networks (within and across borders);
  2. Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialisation or subspecialisation in question, with a particular focus on the following:
    -in the specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence: the interdisciplinary approach (application of theories and methods from social sciences), the comparative perspective (diachronic and synchronic) and working with a large variety of primary sources;

Learning objectives, pertaining to this Research Seminar

The student has acquired:

  1. The ability to employ a interdisciplinary approach (application of theories and methods from social sciences);
  2. The ability to study migration from a comparative perspective (diachronic and synchronic);
  3. The ability to work with a large variety of primary sources;
  4. (ResMA only): The ability to interpret a potentially complex corpus of sources; the ability to identify new approaches within existing academic debates.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is not able to attend, the student is required to notify the teacher beforehand. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If specific restrictions apply to a particular course, the teacher will notify the students at the beginning of the semester. If a student does not comply with the aforementioned requirements, the student will be excluded from the seminar.

The first six weeks all students (history students and non-history students) will attend a joint class. In the second week only the history students will attend a seminar.

Assessment method

Assessment 10 EC

  • Written paper (ca. 7500 words, based on research in primary sources, including footnotes and bibliography)
    measured learning objectives: 1-9, 12-15 (ResMA also 10 and 16)

  • Oral presentation
    measured learning objectives: 3-7

  • Participation and assignments
    measured learning objectives: 11-12, 13-15 (ResMA also 16)

Additional requirements for the ResMa students:
The paper has to be based on more extensive archival research or research based on primary sources. The student has to show (especially in the paper) innovative insights.


  • Written paper: 70%

  • Oral presentation: 20%

  • Class participation: 10%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.


Assignments and written papers should be handed in within the deadline as provided in the relevant course outline on Brightspace.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.

Inspection and feedback

How and when a review of the written paper will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the results, a review of the written paper will have to be organised.

Reading list

Literature will be announced via Brightspace.
No books need to be bought.


Registration for this course is done by the Coordinator of Studies. Please contact if you have any questions.


  • For course related questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga.