David de Boer is a postdoctoral researcher. As a member of the NWO VICI project 'The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe', he investigates the political agency of migrants and the emergence of humanitarianism in the early modern world. His main academic interests include migration, lobbying, diplomacy, humanitarianism, and news media between ca. 1550-1850.
After obtaining his BA and MA in history at Utrecht University, David pursued his PhD at the University of Konstanz and Leiden University (joint doctoral program). He was a visiting scholar at the European University Institute, the Leibniz Institute of European History, Harvard University, and UCLA. Before joining the UvA he lectured at Leiden University and Utrecht University.
David de Boer's work concerns the history of migration and long-distance solidarity networks. He is especially interested in how early modern refugees and other minority groups created a humanitarian culture by assuming transnational political agency.
His current research project explores the internationalization of migration governance between 1650 and 1850. Comparing the British Empire, the Dutch Empire, and Prussia, the project aims to uncover how early modern migrant groups, humanitarian brokers, cities, and national governments tried to manage migration across the globe through lobbying, charity, and diplomacy. The project identifies the agency of economic, environmental, and forced migrants in shaping the conditions of their resettlement on the global stage.
Taking a long-term approach to humanitarianism, diplomacy, and lobbying he aims to better understand the ruptures and continuities between early modern and modern transnational politics.
He has also worked on early modern news, public opinion, iconoclasm, civic identity, and cultural memory.