The Family and the Nation: Dutch Family Migration Policies in the Context of Changing Family Norms

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9781443800563: The Family and the Nation: Dutch Family Migration Policies in the Context of Changing Family Norms
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Until recently, migration policies primarily targeted labour migrants and asylum seekers. Family migration was taken for granted. But now, many nations are restricting family migration, particularly from poorer countries. The Netherlands have even gone so far as to require family migrants to pass an integration test before being allowed to enter the country. How can this shift in policies be explained? Does it, as some suggest, indicate a new trend towards racist exclusion? This book places family migration policies in the broader perspective of changing family norms. In doing so, it shows the added value of studying immigration law not as an isolated field, but in connection with other fields of law and policy. Taking the Netherlands as an example, it shows how family migration policies have evolved from a system premised on the male breadwinner-citizen's right to domicile, to one granting and restricting freedom of movement according to individual merit. Although grounded in a different ethos, the techniques of power now being used to enforce the emerging distinctions of a globalising world are in fact reminiscent of those once used to enforce the racial and gendered distinctions of the colonial past.

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About the Author:

Sarah van Walsum is senior researcher in Migration Law at the VU University, Amsterdam. She has published widely on transnational family relations, family migration law and women and immigration law. Together with Thomas Spijkerboer she edited the volume: Women and Immigration Law. New variations on classical feminist themes (London: Routledge-Cavendish, 2007). She is presently doing research on the position of migrant domestic workers in the Netherlands.

Review:

"The richness of the historical approach, which allows Van Walsum to identify the historical roots of aforementioned restrictive measures. Sarah van Walsum does much more than describe the legal development of family migration policies; she places her analysis within a broader context and connects it to other policy fields, especially family law and social welfare policies, but also integration policies and economic developments. Van Walsum's book is well-written, exiting, innovative and an inspiration for further research. The author raises the question whether the Dutch case is unique or that similar developments take place in other countries. The book is an inspiration to study immigration law not as an isolated field, but in connection with other fields of law and policy and hence, for more contact and exchange between legal disciplines." - Betty de Hart, Associate Professor Centre for Migration Law, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands "Sarah Van Walsum's extraordinary book demonstrates a unique gift for illuminating the general through a close and fascinating account of the particular. Anyone interested in the interplay of family and nation, colonial and post-colonial, geo-political borders and social boundaries, will find this an enriching book." - Audrey Macklin, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.

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Sarah van Walsum, Sarah van Walsum (Editor)
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Sarah van Walsum
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