Universiteit Leiden

nl en

VVI Research Meetings 2023-2024

Doing Family before the State. Recognition of de facto families in Dutch migration law practice

  • Saskia Bonjour (presenter); Nadia Sonneveld (Chair/discussant)
Wednesday 27 March 2024
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden

Critical scholars have long called for state recognition of de facto families, beyond legal or biological ties. This talk explores what such recognition might look like, in the context of a restrictive immigration regime where families need state permission to live together. Based on an analysis of laws and regulations, work instructions of street level implementers, and interviews with migration lawyers, this talk sets out to explore what conceptions of family are mobilized in migration law practice in the Netherlands. It finds that while the conception of family as fixed and nuclear is dominant, conceptions of  family-as-doing which focus on practices of dependency and care do play a significant role in Dutch migration law, enabling recognition of families beyond the nuclear model. However, we find that recognition of de facto  families may lead to new forms of state scrutiny of intimate lives, as well as to new forms of exclusion.

This talk is based on a paper that was co-authored with Susan Diepenmaat.

About Saskia Bonjour

Saskia Bonjour is associate professor in political science. She teaches mostly in the field of gender & politics and intersectionality. Her research focuses on the politics of migration and citizenship in the Netherlands and in Europe. Saskia is Senior Editorial Fellow of the journal Migration Politics.  She is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Revue EuropĂ©enne des Migrations Internationales. Saskia leads the Migration Network of the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). She is also a member of the board of the Amsterdam Research Center on Gender and Sexuality  (ARC-GS). In addition,  she is a member of the Executive Board and the Strategic Committee of the Council for European Studies. She is also a member of the board of the Catharina van Tussenbroekfonds which supports female scientists. From 2016 to 2019, she was a member of the  Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs (ACVZ) which advises the Dutch government and parliament on immigration law and policy. Saskia Bonjour regularly contributes to national public discussions about migration and citizenship policy (e.g. EenVandaag in 2022,  NPO Radio 1 in 2021op-ed in De Volkskrant in 2018). She also writes online blogs (for instance on StukRoodVlees and on Verfassungsblog)

This website uses cookies.  More information.