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UC Berkeley


International Migration Studies

Field Description

Students interested in Migration Studies find themselves taking course in Anthropology, Demography, Development Studies, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Global Poverty and Practice, History, Legal Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. The status of millions of people as non-citizens has raised scholarly interest in population movements before nation-states, in the nature of modern citizenship, and in the meaning of belonging before and after the emergence of modern states. The study of refugee conditions and legal status has also been central to ISF students as part of a broader investigation of the forced and involuntary movements of people for political and economic reasons.  Students in Migration Studies explore the many ways of belonging and the various conditions of statelessness in diverse places over time; they explore the legal and illegal movements across boundaries (and the unsanctioned movements within them); the social, political and ecological determinants of movement, the demographic composition of migrant groups, the economic consequences of emigration and immigration, the social and psychological consequences of immigration, and the political questions raised both theoretically and practically by human movement.

Students focused on this ISF Research Field are encouraged to study abroad and to select research sites in other countries.  Students interested in U.S. history and immigration should focus their queries on both countries and regions of origin and the country and communities of settlement.

Library Resources is forthcoming; meanwhile, please contact Lynn Jones at

Recent ISF Senior Theses

  • “We Give, But Get Nothing in Return.” The Fight of Non-Citizen Mexican-Born Immigrant Working Women in the United States for Their Social Rights
  • What Does Citizenship Mean for Refugees Indefinitely Awaiting Third-Country Resettlement?
  • Containing Movement: US extra-territorial authority in Central America
  • Determinants of Migration of Minors from Guatemala
  • The Burden of Being Black, Being Queer, and Being a Foreigner: Black Queer Generational Dysphoria, 1960-2010
  • Brain Drain or Gain: The Emigration of Israeli High-Tech Talent
  • Comparing Immigrant Movements in Barcelona and Oakland, CA
  • How Does the Experience of Migrating Affect the Mental Well-Being of Refugees? The Case of Southeast Asian Refugees
  • Does Gang Violence Affect Migration Patterns? The Case of Contemporary El Salvador
  • How Did Their Children End Up? The Educational Outcomes of the Children of Mexicans Who Were Part of the Bracero Program
  • Depression: A Historical and Cultural Analysis of the Chinese Immigrant Experience
  • Forgotten Children: A Study of the Educational Outcomes of Mexican Migrant Children in the United States
  • Immigration Policy and Language: How the Way We Frame Things Affects What We’re Willing to Do About Them.  The Case of the United States, 1970-2010
  • Helping Us or Holding Us Back: Can Migrants be Agents of Development?
  • A Transnational Comparison of Italian and French Immigration Policy

Relevant UC Berkeley Courses

  • History C139B: The American Immigrant Experience
  • Demography C175: Economic Demography
  • Sociology 146AC: Contemporary Immigration in Global Perspective
  • Chicano Studies 150B: History of the Southwest: Mexican-United States War to Present
  • Chicano Studies 159: Mexican Immigration
  • Asian American Studies 126: Southeast Asian Migration and Community Formation
  • Asian American Studies 128AC: Muslims in America
  • Ethnic Studies 150: People of Mixed Racial Descent
  • Legal Studies 132AC: Immigration and Citizenship
  • Landscape Architecture 141AC: The American Landscape: Multicultural Difference and Diversity
  • Gender and Women’s Studies 102: Transnational Feminism

Alba, Richard. 2005. “Bright vs. Blurred Boundaries: Second-Generation Assimilation and Exclusion in France, Germany, and the United States.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 28(1):20–49.

Alvarado, Steven E. and Douglas S. Massey. 2010. “In Search of Peace: Structural Adjustment, Violence, and International Migration in Mexico and Central America 1979–2002.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 630(1):137-161.

Amrith, Sunil S. 2011. Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Andreas, Peter. 2009. Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Bailyn, Bernard. 2013. The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America–The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675. New York: Vintage.

Baines, Dudley. 1995. Emigration from Europe 1815-1930. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Bloemraad, Irene. 2004. “Who Claims Dual Citizenship? The Limits of Postnationalism, the Possibilities of Transnationalism, and the Persistence of Traditionalism.” International Migration Review 38(2):389–426.

Bloemraad, Irene. 2006. Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Borjas, George J. 1989. “Economic Theory and International Migration.” International Migration Review 23(3):457–85.

Brettell, Caroline B., and James F. Hollifield, eds. 2014. Migration Theory: Talking across Disciplines. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.

Brubaker, Rogers. 1998. Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Carens, Joseph H. 1987. “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” The Review of Politics 49(2):251–73.

Carens, Joseph H. 1996. “Realistic and Idealistic Approaches to the Ethics of Migration.” International Migration Review30(1):156–70.

Castle, Stephen. 2003. “The International Politics of Forced Migration.” Development 46(3):11–20.

Castles, Stephen, Hein De Haas, and Mark J. Miller. 2013. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. 5th ed. New York: The Guilford Press.

Chung, Erin Aeran. 2014. Immigration and Citizenship in Japan. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Citrin, Jack, Amy Lerman, Michael Murakami, and Kathryn Pearson. 2007. “Testing Huntington: Is Hispanic Immigration a Threat to American Identity?” Perspectives on Politics (1):31–48.

Cornelius, Wayne, Takeyuki Tsuda, Philip Martin, and James Hollifield, eds. 2004. Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective Second Edition. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Crul, Maurice, and Jeroen Doomernik. 2003. “The Turkish and Moroccan Second Generation in the Netherlands: Divergent Trends between and Polarization within the Two Groups.” International Migration Review 37(4):1039–64.

Faier, Lieba. 2009. Intimate Encounters: Filipina Women and the Remaking of Rural Japan. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Favell, Adrian. 2001. Philosophies of Integration: Immigration and the Idea of Citizenship in France and Britain. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, and Nando Sigona, eds. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Foner, Nancy. 2005. In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration. New York: New York University Press.

Freeman, Gary P. 1995. “Modes of Immigration Politics in Liberal Democratic States.” International Migration Review29(4):881–902.

Games, Alison. 2001. Migration and the Origins of the English Atlantic World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Giordano, Cristiana. 2014. Migrants in Translation: Caring and the Logics of Difference in Contemporary Italy. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

Gomez, Michael A. 1998. Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.

Gushulak, Brian D., and Douglas W. MacPherson. 2006. “The Basic Principles of Migration Health: Population Mobility and Gaps in Disease Prevalence.” Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 3(1):3-14.

Hagan, Jacqueline Maria. 1998. “Social Networks, Gender, and Immigrant Incorporation: Resources and Constraints.” American Sociological Review 63(1):55–67.

Hatton, Timothy J., and Jeffrey G. Williamson. 1998. The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hatton, Timothy J., and Jeffrey G. Williamson. 2008. Global Migration and the World Economy: Two Centuries of Policy and Performance. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Hirschman, Charles, Philip Kasinitz, and Josh DeWind, eds. 1999. The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Huntington, Samuel P. 2004. “The Hispanic Challenge.” Foreign Policy March/April:30–45.

Jacobson, David. 1997. Rights Across Borders: Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Johnson, Heather L. 2014. Borders, Asylum and Global Non-Citizenship: The Other Side of the Fence. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Joppke, Christian, ed. 1998. Challenge to the Nation-State: Immigration in Western Europe and the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.

Joppke, Christian. 2007. “Beyond National Models: Civic Integration Policies for Immigrants in Western Europe.” West European Politics 30(1):1–22.

Kesler, Christel. 2006. “Social Policy and Immigrant Joblessness in Britain, Germany and Sweden.” Social Forces 85(2):743–70.

Kloosterman, Robert, and Jan Rath, eds. 2003. Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Venturing Abroad in the Age of Globalization. New York: NYU Press.

Koopmans, Ruud, Paul Statham, Marco Giugni, and Florence Passy. 2005. Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Lieberson, Stanley. 1980. A Piece of the Pie: Blacks and White Immigrants Since 1880. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Massey, Douglas S. 1999. “International Migration at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century: The Role of the State.” Population and Development Review 25(2):303–22.

Massey, Douglas S. 1999. “Why Does Immigration Occur? A Theoretical Synthesis.” Pp. 34–52 in The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience, edited by C. Hirschman, P. Kasinitz, and J. DeWind. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Massey, Douglas S., Rafael Alarcon, Jorge Durand, and Humberto González. 1990. Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Massey, Douglas S., Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrino, and J. Edward Taylor. 1993. “Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal.” Population and Development Review 19(3):431–66.

Massey, Douglas S., Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrino, and J. Edward Taylor. 1998. Worlds in Motion: Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millennium. New York: Oxford University Press.

Massey, Douglas S., Jorge Durand, and Nolan J. Malone. 2003. Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Mahdavi, Pardis. 2011. Gridlock: Labor, Migration, and Human Trafficking in Dubai. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Martin, Susan Forbes. 2014. International Migration: Evolving Trends from the Early Twentieth Century to the Present. New York: Cambridge University Press.

McKeown, Adam. “Global Migration 1846-1940.” Journal of World History 15 (2004): 155-89.

Messina, Anthony M. 2007. The Logics and Politics of Post-WWII Migration to Western Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Money, Jeannette. 1997. “No Vacancy: The Political Geography of Immigration Control in Advanced Industrial Countries.” International Organization (51):685–720.

Moya, Jose C. 1998. Cousins and Strangers: Spanish Immigrants in Buenos Aires, 1850-1930. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Ngai, Mae M. 2014. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Ong, Aihwa. 1999. Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Perlmann, Joel. 2007. Italians Then, Mexicans Now: Immigrant Origins and the Second-Generation Progress, 1890 to 2000. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Piore, Michael J. 1980. Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies. Cambridge; United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Portes, Alejandro. 1997. “Immigration Theory for a New Century: Some Problems and Opportunities.” International Migration Review 31(4):799–825.

Portes, Alejandro. 2007. “Migration, Development, and Segmented Assimilation: A Conceptual Review of the Evidence.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610(1):73–97.

Portes, Alejandro, Luis E. Guarnizo, and Patricia Landolt. 1999. “The Study of Transnationalism: Pitfalls and Promise of an Emergent Research Field.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 22(2):217–37. (The entire issue is dedicated to transnationalism)

Portes, Alejandro, and Rubén G. Rumbaut. 2014. Immigrant America: A Portrait. 4th ed. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.

Reitz, Jeffrey G. 1999. Warmth of the Welcome: The Social Causes of Economic Success in Different Nations and Cities. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Riley, Dylan J., and Rebecca Jean Emigh. 2002. “Post-Colonial Journeys: Historical Roots of Immigration and Integration.” Comparative Sociology 1(2):169–91.

Rosenblum, Marc R., and Daniel J. Tichenor, eds. 2012. Oxford Handbook of the Politics of International Migration. New York: Oxford University Press.

Schiller, Nina Glick, Linda Basch, and Cristina Szanton Blanc. 1995. “From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration.” Anthropological Quarterly 68(1):48–63.

Seol, Dong-Hoon, and John D. Skrentny. 2009. “Why Is There so Little Migrant Settlement in East Asia?” International Migration Review 43(3):578–620.

Shimizu, Kosuke, and William S. Bradley, eds. 2014. Multiculturalism and Conflict Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific: Migration, Language and Politics. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

Soysal, Yasemin Nuhoglu. 1995. Limits of Citizenship: Migrants and Postnational Membership in Europe. Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press.

Surtees, Rebecca. 2003. “Female Migration and Trafficking in Women: The Indonesian Context.” Development 46(3):99–106.

Thornton, John. 1998. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Torpey, John. 1999. The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Tsuda, Takeyuki, ed. 2006. Local Citizenship in Recent Countries of Immigration: Japan in Comparative Perspective. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Tuan, Mia. 1999. Forever Foreigners or Honorary Whites? The Asian Ethnic Experience Today. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Vargas-Silva, Carlos, ed. 2013. Handbook of Research Methods in Migration. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Waters, Mary C., and Tomás R. Jiménez. 2005. “Assessing Immigrant Assimilation: New Empirical and Theoretical Challenges.” Annual Review of Sociology 31(1):105–25.

Yamanaka, Keiko. 2010. “Civil Society and Social Movements for Immigrant Rights in Japan and South Korea: Convergence and Divergence in Unskilled Immigration Policy.” Korea Observer 41(4):615–47.