Not available in 2016/17
EH408      Half Unit
International Migration, 1500-2000: from slavery to asylum

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Christopher Minns SAR 512


This course is available on the MA Global Studies: A European Perspective, MRes in Quantitative Economic History, MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in Global History, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course examines major issues in international migration over the last 500 years. The course will consider free and coerced migration in the early modern period, the emergence (and eventual decline) of mass migration in the later 19th century, and the rise of "managed" migration in the post World War II period. The course will examine the economic foundations of indentured servitude and slavery in the early modern period, and the interactions between these two types of labour. The contribtion of economic and demographic forces to the rise of mass migration on destination and source labour markets, the determinants of immigrant destination choice, and the interplay between migration and exogenous crises in Europe. In the post World War II environment, the focus will be on the political impact of mass migration on developing economies in the present day. In this part of the course, we will consider how historical episodes of migration can inform the present day.


20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy. 

Indicative reading

D Baines, Emigration from Europe (1991); G Borjas, Heaven's Door: immigration policy and the American economy (1999)*; T Boeri, G Hanson, and B McCormick (eds), Immigration policy and the welfare state 2002)*; D Galenson, White servitude in colonial America: an economic analysis (1981)*; T J Hatton and J G Williamson, The age of mass migration (1998): T J Hatton and J G Williamson, Global migration and the world economy: two centuries of policy and performance (2005)*.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2015/16: 17

Average class size 2015/16: 17

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills