Strange(r) Families. Political Contestation over Family Migration Rights for Non-Normative Families


Migration and citizenship are among the most pressing questions in contemporary politics. Family migration is the largest category of immigration by far. Admission of families which deviate from dominant norms, such as same-sex families, extended families, or polygamous families, is highly contested. Distinctions between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ are most fundamentally drawn in the intimate sphere, between those who love and parent ‘properly’ (like ‘we’ do it) and those who do not. However, scholars of migration and citizenship have neglected family, gender, and sexuality. This project explores political contestation over family migration rights for non-normative families in Europe. How do migration law and politics deal with different kinds of families asking permission to live together in Europe?
“Strange(r) Families” will pursue three specific objectives.Conceptual innovation: bridging the gap between gender, queer, and postcolonial theory on the one hand, and migration and citizenship theory on the other hand; Analytical innovation: a new interdisciplinary analysis of political contestation not only in the political arena but also in the judicial arena and the public arena; Empirical innovation: fill a gap in existing knowledge on the politics of migration in Europe, through case studies of family migration politics in France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland from the 1960s to the present day.
I am uniquely positioned to implement this research, due to my pioneering scholarship on the politics of family migration and my experience in interacting with practitioners in collecting data and disseminating findings. “Strange(r) Families” will provide insight in how gender and family norms intersect with conceptions of nationhood and belonging, and how these intersections shape migration politics. This will allow political and scholarly progress on some of the most troubling questions of our times: how do we deal with difference and where do we draw the boundaries of national community?





Dr. S.A. Bonjour

Verbonden aan

Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, Politicologie


01/12/2019 tot 30/11/2024