24/05/2023 – GTD Colloquium: Strange(r) Families – Contesting the ‘Family’ and the ‘Nation’ in Migration Law

The next GTD colloquium will take place on Wednesday 24 May, organized by the Globalization, Transnationalism and Development research program at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In this colloquium, Dr. Saskia Bonjour from the University of Amsterdam will share insights from her research on the politics of migration and citizenship in the Netherlands and Europe.

GTD Colloquium May 24, 15:30-17:00
Where: Spiegelzaal, Grote Gracht 80-82, Maastricht

TitleStrange(r) Families – Contesting the ‘Family’ and the ‘Nation’ in Migration Law

Abstract: Families which include ‘strangers’ – i.e. non-citizens – require state permission to live together in Europe. For families which are considered ‘strange’ – deviant from the dominant norm – such state permission is not self-evident: queer/same-sex families or polygamous families are commonly denied family migration rights. This paper explores which kinds of families are seen to belong in Europe. These politics of belonging are intrinsically connected to the politics of intimacy. The personal is always political, and migration law is one of the legal terrains where the state most explicitly and intrusively defines what it does and does not recognize as “family”. Based on an analysis of work instructions and guidelines of the  Dutch immigration authorities, as well as interviews with lawyers specialized in Dutch family migration law, this paper explores where the boundaries of the “family” and the ”nation” lie in the practice of Dutch migration law, whether and how these boundaries are contested, and which logics are mobilized to (de)legitimate these boundaries.

More information on the speaker Dr. Saskia Bonjour can be found here.