Author: Hein de Haas


Hein de Haas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Between 2006 and 2015, he was a founding member and co-director of the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford. He continues directing IMI from its current home at UvA. He is also Professor of Migration and Development at the University of Maastricht.

In his work, De Haas has advanced a holistic, long-term view of migration as an intrinsic part of global change and development. He is lead author of The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World, a seminal text book in the field of migration studies.

His new book How Migration Really Works: A Factful Guide to the Most Divisive Issue in Politics will be published by Penguin in November 2023 (US edition with Basic Books) as well as in German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Greek translations.

He also maintains a blog on migration-related topics.


His research focuses on long-term trends, causes and impacts of international migration in origin and destination societies. De Haas did extensive fieldwork in the Middle East and Africa and, particularly, in Morocco. His publications cover a wide range of issues, including theories of migration, the causes of migration, migration and development, the  effectiveness of migration policies, the links between climate change, environmental change and migration, as well as issues around racism, identity and transnationalism (see here for a full publication list with links to articles). He is also author of a personal account of his experiences in Morocco.

Majoring in environmental geography, between 1993 and 1995 De Haas studied the links between socio-economic transformation, desertification and agriculture in a south Moroccan oasis.  Between 1998 and 2001 he led the IMAROM project on the interaction between migration, land and water management and resource exploitation in Moroccan and Tunisian oases. His doctoral dissertation (2003) on the social, cultural and economic impacts of migration on origin regions was based on two years of fieldwork in southern Morocco. While at Oxford University (2006-2015), De Haas was awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the DEMIG (Determinants of International Migration) project (2010-2014), which studied trends and drivers of global migration trends and the effectiveness of migration policies. In 2015, De Haas was awarded a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the MADE  Migration as Development) project (2015-2022), which investigated how processes of development and social transformation have shaped human migration across the globe over the past centuries.

Hein de Haas holds an undergraduate degree  in cultural anthropology (1989), a master’s degree (cum laude) in social and environmental geography of the tropics and subtropics (1995) from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in social sciences from the University of Nijmegen (2003). Between 1998 and 2001 he worked as a researcher at the University of Amsterdam and between 2001 and 2005 as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Nijmegen. In 2004-2005 he was visiting scholar at Bilkent University in Ankara (Turkey) the Program of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University of Cairo (AUC Egypt).

In 2006, he joined the newly founded International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford. From 2011, he played a central role in lecturing and directing the newly established MSc in Migration Studies at the  Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). He was also a fellow at the Oxford Martin School and governing body fellow at Wolfson College. In 2015, De Haas was appointed Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.  During the 2020-2021 academic year he was a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS).