In the past few years, theoretical and policy-oriented research on family migration has emerged as an important sub-area within migration studies. However a distinct separation exists between the studies of third country national (TCN) migration and the mobility of European citizens. There is also the underlying assumption that family and labour migration represent two distinct analytical categories and, further, that family migration largely occurs within and is only ever problematic for ethnic minority residents and citizens.  Beyond Europe, more intense global mobility opens up opportunities for study, travel and work, generating more multifaceted and complex circulations of different durations and involving diverse categories (students, tourists, workers, including working holiday makers). Thus, the existing academic literature tends to be segmented with groups of scholars who are already familiar with each other’s research working together but with little breaking down of existing boundaries.

Theobjectives of this research cluster are to:

(a)     bring together scholars working within the disparate categories in which familial and intimate relationships (TCN, intra and extra-European) may arise and examine the connections between family and other forms of migration (labour, student);

(b)      bring together scholars from different disciplines so as to transcend the usual conceptual, legal and political boundaries within which family migration is discussed;

(c)      explore the effect of global mobility on how intimate relationships can be sustained and how families may be formed or brought together at a time of economic crisis and national closure, and the impact of legal and policy changes on migrants and citizens alike.

Names and institutional affiliations of members:

Dr. Eleonore Kofman, Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship, co-Director, Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University, UK, co cluster leader

Dr. Jill Alpes, post doctoral researcher "Migration Law as Family Matter"
VU University Amsterdam

Dr.Paola Bonizzoni, lecturer, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan (young)

Dr.Saskia Bonjour, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science University of Amsterdam

Dr Katharine Charsley, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Sociological, Political and International Studies, University of Bristol

Dr. Helga de Valk, Professor, Theme leader ‘migration and migrants’, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Dr. Tatiana Erermenko,post doc (INED) and NIDI/KNAW/UoG Netherlands

Albert Kraler, researcher and programme manager research department, ICMPD

Dr. Anika Liversage, Senior Researcher, SKI (Danish National Centre for Social Research), Copenhagen

Dr. Daniel Nehring, Worcester University, UK, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Worcester, UK

Dr. Laura Oso, Professor,Coordinator of ESOMI- International Research Team on Sociology of Migration, E Facultade de Socioloxia, Universidade da Coruña

Dr. Yvonne Riaño, Research Fellow and project manager, Institute of Geography, University of Neuchâtel and NCCR-On the Move

Dr. Dan Rodríguez-García, Associate Professor and Director of the INMIX, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Dr. Louise Ryan, Professor of Sociology, co-Director, Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University

Dr. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, Lecturer in Migration and Politics, University of Kent, Brussels

Dr. Helena Wray, Associate Professor of Law, School of Law, Middlesex University

Agenda of activities:

1. Sessions at the 2015 IMISCOE conference in Geneva

2. A cluster meeting has been organized in London 16-17 November 2015 to discuss Global Mobility and Family Migrations

Output of cluster/initiative/standing-committee activities:

1. 3 sessions were held on the theme of Family Migration and Citizenship Rights at the Geneva conference. One of them was dedicated to the memory of Sarah van Walsum, a leading scholar in the field who died in November 2014.

2. Eleonore Kofman, Jill Maybritt Alpes, Saskia Bonjour, Betty de Hart and Helena Wray wrote an appreciation and short biography of Sarah van Walsum for M. Killey and E. Palenga Miollenbeck (eds) Family Life in an Age of Migration: global perspectives through the Life Course, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming