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Meet the Expert | Leo Lucassen

Meet the Expert | Leo Lucassen

Leo Lucassen is Professor of Global Labour and Migration History and director of the International Institute of Social History (IISH). His research focuses on Global Migration History, Integration, Migration Systems, Migration Controls, Gypsies and the state, State Formation and Modernity, and Urban History.

Leo Lucassen (1959) studied Social and Economic History at Leiden University. In 1990 he was granted a PhD (cum laude) from Leiden for his dissertation on the history of Gypsies in the Netherlands 1850-1940. Since he returned to Leiden in 2005, he held several positions; Chair of Social History, Professor of Social and Economic History and Academic Director of the Leiden University Institute for History.

Recently the topic of migration was widely discussed in the news, which led to the appearance of Prof. dr. Leo Lucassen in multiple media (all in Dutch):


Leo Lucassen often participates in public debates on his specialist field. If there is talk of a 'flood of migration', he feels compelled to give the issue some historical perspective, as can be read in the Leiden University's free alumni magazine Leidraad. In May Leo was also interviewed by newspaper NRC together with researcher Annemarike Stremmelaar, discussing the manner in which antisemitism manifests in The Netherlands.

Eight years ago the book ‘Winnaars en verliezers’ by Leo and his brother Jan Lucassen on five ages of migration in The Netherlands was published. Both were interviewed at the radio program ‘Met het Oog op Morgen’ of the NOS on June 16th in regards to the new edition of the book. And another interview with Leo on Radio1. According to the brothers a new edition was urgently needed.

Furthermore NU.nl interviewed Leo on the manner in which the EU handled the Aquarius, a refugee boat that was denied access by Italy. Afterwards BNR radio show ‘Ask me Anything’ let listeners ask questions to Leo on the European migration crisis to any of the experts.

Finally Belgium news outlet Knack recently interviewed Leo where he kept a positive outlook on migration: ‘Economies can only function properly due to work migration’.