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Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (MA)

In Leiden University’s master Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence you will study processes of migration, urbanisation, economic development and global interaction through time.

A comparative and historical perspective to the study of migration

Do you want to explain the refugee crisis? The economic crisis? Persistent inequality (according to gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality)? Crime and urbanisation?  In this master’s programme you will focus on processes that are subjects of heated current societal and political debates. You will study them from a comparative and historical perspective (covering the period 1500 until today) and place them in the wider frameworks of the development of trade networks, the emergence of multinationals, economic growth and stagnation, and regional unification.

Learn from leading academics

Leiden University has a long tradition of studying migration and ethnicity and you will benefit from the expertise of a large team of enthusiastic and very diverse teachers. You will learn to understand and contribute to current debates about migration, urbanisation, globalisation, economic growth and inequality.  You will also analyse urban and state institutions and their effects on inclusion and exclusion, urban crime and criminal behaviour, and the development of freedoms and un-freedoms.

Choose from three specialisations

The Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence programme offers three specialisations:

This specialisation is focused on urbanisation, migration and economic development in a global and comparative context. Its central question is: how did people’s lives in the past half millennium change,  by processes of urbanisation, increased mobility, economic change, and global interaction? How did key transformations in various parts of the world change people’s lives? Key transformations were globalisation, (de)colonisation, industrialisation, migration, state formation, urbanisation and changing gender patterns. We focus both on the local and the global level.

We are interested in the way people, both men and women, cause and are affected by social, cultural and economic processes. How did ordinary people experience major changes of the past? Why did some societies achieve more economic growth than others? Why are some inequalities more persistent than others? Who had access to power and how did certain groups manage to exclude others from power? When and why did collective action occur? Within the specialisation Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence (CMGI), you will look at the movement of people, goods, services, capital, and ideas. You will study the means by which actors influence these changes, but also the restrictions they encounter, which can be demographic, physical, spatial, political, institutional, legal, technical, financial, and imagined.

In short, this specialisation focuses on the ways that men and women created social, cultural, and economic processes and how these processes affected them. Without losing sight of the value of individual experiences in historical analysis, CMGI attempts to analyse the aggregate or structural level of social groups, networks, and polities, and tries to understand how people are empowered and limited by both formal and informal institutions.

Find out more about the this programme.

Economic history studies from many different angles a very elementary question: how did economies manage to unleash an unprecedented increase in affluence? Economic growth has been a blessing for many, is a hope for many more and a challenge for future generations. But economies are unequal and unstable. Which measures were taken in the past to provide a better income for lower income groups, to expand international economic activities, and to prevent periodic downfall?

Finding empirical data helps us to understand these issues. Applying methods and concepts from economic theory helps to observe causal relationships that deepen our understanding of the economic past.

Learn more about our Economic History specialisation.

Please note: You can only choose to do Economic History only if you start in September.

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).

Find out more about the Governance of Migration and Diversity programme.

Study migration through the ages, like Dutch immigration to Australia in 1954.