Doctoral defense Marjolein Schepers


Used database:



May 2019


Doctoral defense


The public defense takes place on Friday May 31th at the campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, in building D, in the ‘promotiezaal’ auditorium D. 2. 01.

PhD dissertation: 

Schepers, Marjolein. “Membership revisited: negotiating migration regulation and access to welfare in eighteenth-century Flanders”. PhD diss., Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Ghent University, 2019.


The Ypres Concordat was founded in June 1750 by cities and rural regions in West Flanders and Northern France. This bottom-up agreement amended the regulations on assisted living, which had an impact on mobility and on access to care for the poor. Research into this concordat teaches us about the relationships between city and countryside in migration regulation, as well as the discrepancies between the different levels of local, regional and central governments. Above all, it offers more insight into the operation of containment and exclusion systems in practice. In particular, research into whether poor migrants were sent away or allowed to stay in their hometown offers new insights into historiography. As such, this Ph.D. research also fits in with a lengthy discussion about Poor Law and settlement in the UK and shows that these systems were not limited to the anglophone world. On the contrary, the Flemish coast and the region of South East England showed many similarities in dealing with poor migrants. The research is based on archive sources from different archives in Belgium and France to which qualitative, quantitative and spatial analysis has been applied. During the research, digital methods of mapping were also used, Sven Vrielinck and Torsten Wiedeman from the Quetelet Center assisted the researcher in creating a digital GIS environment for the research. The digitized census of the year IV was one of the sources for this. This census has been digitized in the context of the STREAM project.