Family migration and membership

Authored by: Anne-Marie D’Aoust

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter surveys key issues and approaches used in interdisciplinary studies of family migration policies in Europe, with a special emphasis on the ways in which they relate to issues of belonging and a stratification of rights. After surveying the recent literature on the topic, the chapter delves into the tension found between the normative principle of a human right to family life, and the concrete applications of this principle, which lead to a stratification of family migration rights. The third section explores how the politics of belonging pertaining to family migration in Europe hinge on formal legal status as much as on socioeconomic status and on racialized conceptions of (national) identity. Finally, the chapter examines how, of all possible forms of family migration, marriage migration, especially forced marriages and marriages of convenience, has been singled out as a ‘problem’ that needs to be addressed and managed in several European countries. In the end, it stands out that the scholarly emphasis on marriage and partner migration contrasts with the relative dearth of analysis on children and grandparent in relation to family migration policy in Europe.

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