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Migration and Anti-Immigration since 1900


Admission requirements

BSA norm and a pass for both first year Themacolleges.


Dutch anti-immigration politicians, most notably Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders, have featured prominently in discussions about migration and integration in the Netherlands since the early 2000s. But anti-immigration has a much longer history. This course will examine anti-immigration since 1900 around the world. Particular attention will be paid to Europe and North America, but examples from Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa will also be discussed. We will look, for instance, at Australia’s imposition of its infamous White Australia Policy, the United States’ move to restrictionism in the 1910s, the hostile reception that German Jewish refugees often met with during the Depression-hit 1930s, and the varying treatment Vietnamese boat people received from Southeast Asian states in the 1970s. We will also study the rise of anti-immigration parties across Europe in more recent decades. This course will try to understand why anti-immigration rhetoric became prominent in some countries but not in others. Is anti-immigration a result of class or cultural differences? How important is the welfare state in explaining the success and failure of anti-immigration? Is anti-immigration inevitable when extensive immigration takes place? Most readings will take the form of journal articles, but speeches will sometimes be provided to enable us to examine the rhetoric used by prominent anti-immigrant voices.
This course will be connected to the Kerncollege ‘Global Conections’.

Course objectives

General learning objectives

    1. carry out a common assignment
    1. divise and conduct research of limited scope, including
      a. searching, selecting and ordering relevant literature:
      b. organising and using relatively large amounts of information:
      c. an analysis of a scholarly debate:
      d. placing the research within the context of a scholarly debate.
    1. reflect on the primary sources on which the scholarly literature is based;
    1. write a problem solving essay and give an oral presentation after the format defined in the Themacolleges, including
      a. using a realistic schedule of work;
      b. formulating a research question and subquestions;
      c. formulating a well-argued conclusion;
      d. giving and receiving feedback;
      e. responding to instructions of the lecturer.
    1. participate in discussions during class.

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

    1. The student has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically of
    • in the specialisation Social History the explanation(s) of differences between groups from a comparative perspective (local, regional or international; of class, gender, ethnicity and religion) and the role of individuals, groups, companies and (intenational) organisations (including churches) in processes of inclusion and inclusion from ca. 1500 until the present day.
    1. Knowledge and insight in the main concepts, the research methods and techniques of the specialisation, more specifically of
    • in the specialisation Social History the application of concepts from the social sciences and the acquisition of insight in the interaction in social processes ased on research in both qualitative and quantitative sources.
  • Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific seminar*

    1. Knowledge of social theories related to race and anti-immigrant movements
    1. Ability to compare the political and public reaction to immigration in different countries
    1. Ability to relate past political and public immigration debates with more recent discussions.


See Rooster Geschiedenis (in Dutch)

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hrs = 280 hours

  • Seminar attendance: 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory weekly literature (6 hours per week): 84 hours

  • Time spent preparing for seminar presentations (8 hours x 2): 16 hours

  • Time for completing assignments (8 hours per week x 3): 24 hours

  • Time for research the final paper: 80 hours

  • Time to write the paper: 48 hours

Assessment method


  • Written paper (ca. 6000 words, based on historiography, including footnotes and bibliography)
    Measured learning objectives: 2-4, 8-10

  • Oral presentation
    Measured learning objectives: 2-7

  • Participation
    Measured learning objectives: 3, 5, 8-10

  • Assignment 1 (Literature review)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-3, 8-10

  • Assignment 2 (Literature review)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-3, 8-10

  • Assignment 3 (Literature review)
    Measured learning objectives: 1-3, 8-10

Written paper: 60%
Oral presentations: 20%
Participation: 5%
Assignment 1: 5%
Assignment 2: 5%
Assignment 3: 5%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.

Written papers should be handed in within the given deadline

The written paper can be revised, when marked insufficient. Revision should be carried out within the given deadline


The course outline and seminar readings (or links to the literature) will be posted on Blackboard. Assignments will be submitted via Blackboard.

Reading list

Most of the readings will take the form of articles that can be downloaded from the university library. The list will be distributed in advance of the first meeting via Blackboard.


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


mr. Dr. I.A. (Irial) Glynn


This course will be taught in English. It will give students the added advantage of enhancing their language skills. Assignments and papers are to be written in English.