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Migration History: Multidisciplinary Approaches

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the basis of contemporary optimism or pessimism regarding migration movements and settlement processes has been built on a weak understanding of the past, and thereby of the nature of these phenomena. This is explained by the fact that much of their research is neglected by the general public and policy makers, but also by a lack of systematic historical knowledge on global connections and processes as such. A concerted effort is therefore necessary to redefine the field of migration history and to formulate new and promising questions that move away from the national focus centered on European and Atlantic regions and towards a more global perspective. The chapter distinguishes three areas which have dominated migration studies, each with their distinctive time periods, territories, subfields, and questions.

Keywords: Atlantic regions; contemporary optimism; European regions; migration history



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