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Watch this presentation from the Determinants of International Migration – DEMIG Conference, 23–25 September 2014.

Leo Lucassen presents his paper ‘Beyond the state: cross-cultural migrations in Europe and Asia since 1500' as the Day 2 Keynote for the Determinants of International Migration – DEMIG Conference, held at the University of Oxford from 23–25 September 2014.


This paper, which builds on our ongoing research project on global migration history, deals with the problem that there is no agreed upon definition of what migration precisely is, which makes it very difficult to make comparisons through time and space. But also to use it as a structural variable in wider debates on cultural and economic change. To solve this problem the paper will propose a new method to define, measure and quantify cross-cultural migrations (inspired by Patrick Manning’s definition of this concept). This method and typology has been tested so far for Europe in the period 1500-1900 ( and recently (in a forthcoming edited volume on Eurasia, Brill Publishers April 2014) for Asia and Europe (at the level of Europe, Russia, China, Japan and India in the period 1600-2000). Apart from introducing a new definition and typology (which also includes, internal, high skilled an temporary movers), the paper will also discuss the differential impact of various types of cross-cultural on the migrants, the area of destination and the region of origin.

About the speaker

Leo Lucassen studied Social and Economic History at the University of Leiden, MA (1985). In 1990 he was granted a PhD from Leiden for his dissertation on the history of Gypsies in the Netherlands 1850-1940. In 1989-1990 he was attached to the Law Faculty of the University of Nijmegen and in 1990-1991 to the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Leiden. Between 1991 and 1996 he worked as fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) at the History Department in Leiden and in 1996 received the D.J. Veegensprijs of the Hollandse Maatschappij van Wetenschappen. In 1998 he moved to the University of Amsterdam (UvA) where he directed a NWO pioneer project on the assimilation of immigrants in the Netherlands. In the year 2002-2003 he was fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar. In 2005 he returned to Leiden, where he shares the chair of Social History with Professor Wim Willems. From September 2007 Leo worked as a professor of Social History at the Leiden History Department, while still retaining this role part-time, in September 2014 he moved to work as the director of research at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.