Since the Rushdie affaire in 1989 the public and political debate about immigration has turned increasingly negative. And more recently outright racist notions of ‘omvolking’, the idea that ‘we will become a minority in our own country’, have entered the mainstream. If we look at the long-term integration process, however, these fears are only partially warranted. Notwithstanding stubborn problems with a part of the offspring of migrants, including Islamic terrorism, the large majority participates quite naturally in our societies and the integration process has evolved much further than many people, migrants included, realize.  On the basis of his new book Vijf Eeuwen Migratie Leo Lucassen will concentrate on the post war period, showing what a long term, historical, approach can add to the current heated and polarized debates.

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 wants to stimulate interdisciplinary research on migration history and contribute to the public debate on migration.