dr. (Arjen) AS Leerkes


I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology and a Full Professor of Migration, Securitzation and Social Cohesion at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. I am also affiliated with Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.

**Most of my teaching is at Erasmus University Rotterdam (Master programme Governance of Migration and Diversity, Sociology bachelor programme, Erasmus University College). In Maastricht I teach in the Master Programme Public Policy and Human Development, and supervise PhD students. **

My work been published in migration journals, and in various in sociological, criminological, socio-legal, urban studies and social policy journals. In 2009, Amsterdam University Press published my dissertation Illegal Residence and Public Safety in the Netherlands.

**In my view, it is important that (a notable percentage of) social scientists do not only offer relevant findings and insights to their students and each other, but that they also interact with governments, NGO's and the wider public. I have contributed to various reports for the Dutch government and parliament, as well as for local governments, and I regularly advise Dutch and international NGO's. I occassionally write blogs and letters to the editor, and regularly comment on the news in the Dutch and other European media. **

Below, you can find a short explanation of my main research interests.

There has been a selective securitization of migration since the 1990s: irregular migration and asylum migration in particular, are increasingly seen as a socio-economic threat (such as to the welfare state or to economic privilege), a cultural threat (undermining ‘Western values’), or as a threat to public safety (terrorism and immigrant crime). That securitization process has coincided with heightened efforts by governments in the Global North to selectively restrict international migration since the 1990s in particular. While individuals with the ‘desired’ amount of economic or human capital tend to be welcomed, the majority of the world’s population has increasingly seen its legal opportunities for mobility and immigration being curtailed.

**This ‘gated globalism’ has included a selective expansion of migration control, both before ‘undesirable’ prospective migrants reach the territory (‘remote control’) and afterwards (‘internal controls’). **

In my research, I aim to understand how states impact patterns of international migration in intended and unintended ways. This has led to various publications on the social operation, effectiveness and legitimacy of immigration regimes, with a focus on migration control (migration policing, immigration detention, deportation and assisted return, admission policies for family remigration, and asylum recognition rates).

A second main research interest is to better understand the implications of the selective securitzation of migration for social cohesion in multi-ethnic societies. I have conducted various studies into how the 'context of reception' - the economic, legal and social conditions in destination societies that structure immigrants’ life chances and impact their incorporation trajectories - shapes patterns of immigrant crime. More recenty, I have begun to also study - and help to reduce - ethnic and socio-economic differences in trust in the police and formal punishment.

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Associate professor | Policy, Politics and Society
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam


  • Arjen Leerkes (12 mei 2014) - Uitgeprocedeerden vaker en sneller terug
  • Arjen Leerkes (4 februari 2014) - NRC Next checkt: 'Herhaalde celstraf bevordert uitzetting'

  • Arjen Leerkes (2010) - Het verschil in detentiesatisfactie tussen de vreemdelingenbewaring en reguliere gevangenissen verklaard

4.1 Governance of Migration & Diversity

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4.1 Sociology of Migration and Diversity

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4.2 Sociology of Migration and Diversity

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