Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Global Migration History Programme

To fully understand the causes and effects of migration and settlement processes in the current globalising world, a long timeframe and a global perspective are essential. Historical migration studies have long focused primarily on the European and Atlantic worlds. In this programmatic and long term project, we aim to broaden the perspective to include the full migration experience of the non-Western world while proposing both a short and long term series of studies to further this goal.

A short-term programme: three exploratory workshops (2005-2010)

  • A first, interdisciplinary conference ("Setting the Agenda for a Long-Term World Migration History", Wassenaar, The Netherlands, December 2005) brought together mainstream migration historians and scholars from the fields of historical linguistics, population genetics, paleoarcheology and anthropology, whose methods allow them to make reconstructions of migrations as far back as 80,000 years.
  • The second conference ("Belonging, Membership and Mobility in Global History", Minneapolis, USA, April 2008) focused on settlement and membership regimes and concentrated on the period 3000 BC-1800 AD. It brought together scholars with expertise on the way societies deal with newcomers, and vice versa.
  • The third conference ("Migration and mobility in a global historical perspective", Taiwan, August 2010) was dedicated to the process of migration itself, concentrating on the determinants of geographical mobility, again in a spatial and temporal comparative framework. 

A long-term programme (2010-2015)

Drawing on the insights obtained from the three conferences, it is the intention of the organising committee to launch a package of initiatives to promote future development of the field of global migration history. This will include a website, a fund for organising follow-up conferences, a book series on Global Migration History, and a global PhD training programme.

The organising committee

  • Ulbe BOSMA, International Institute of Social History (Asian history)
  • Gijs KESSLER, International Institute of Social History, Moscow branch, (social and economic history of Russia and the Soviet Union)
  • Jelle VAN LOTTUM, University of Birmingham (Department of History)
  • Jan LUCASSEN, International Institute of Social History, (global and comparative labour history)
  • Leo LUCASSEN, International Institute of Social History (Research Director)
  • Patrick MANNING, University of Pittsburgh (Department of History)

Advisory Board

Key Publications

  • Jan Lucassen, Leo Lucassen & Patrick Manning (eds.), Migration History. Multidisciplinary Approaches, Studies in Global Social History, 3 (Leiden and Boston, Brill Publishers, 2010).
  • Ulbe Bosma, Gijs Kessler & Leo Lucassen (eds.), Migration and Membership Regimes in Global and Historical Perspective (Leiden and Boston, Brill Publishers, 2012)
  • Jan Lucassen & Leo Lucassen (eds.), Globalising Migration History. The Eurasian experience (16th-21st centuries) (Leiden and Boston, Brill Publishers, 2014)
  • Jan Lucassen & Leo Lucassen, The mobility transition in Europe revisited, 1500-1900 (IISH Research Paper no. 46, 2010) 129 pp.
  • Leo Lucassen, Jan Lucassen, Rick de Jong & Mark van de Water, Cross-cultural migration in Western Europe. 1901-2000 (IISH Research Paper no. 52, 2014) 104 pp.
  • Lucassen, Jan & Leo Lucassen, ‘"The Mobility Transition Revisited, 1500-1900: What the Case of Europe Can Offer to Global History." The Journal of Global History 4, no. 4 (2009): 347-77.
  • Lucassen, Jan & Leo Lucassen, ‘From mobility transition to comparative global migration history’, The Journal of Global History 6 (2011) 2,  299-307.
  • Lucassen, Jan & Lucassen, Leo, ‘Migration’, in:  Friedrich Jaeger (ed.), Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit (Stuttgart and Weimar, Verlag J.N. Metzler 2012) 961-974.
  • Leo Lucassen & Jan Lucassen, ‘Quantifying and qualifying cross-cultural migrations in Europe since 1500: a plea for a broader view’, in: Francesca Fauri (ed.), The History of Migration in Europe: Perspectives from economics, politics and sociology. (London and New York, Routledge, 2015) 13-38.


Prof. dr. Leo Lucassen, Director of Research of the International Institute of Social History,