Family Reunification and Separation: Policy and Process Historically and Now
This is a call for papers for an interdisciplinary volume co-edited by an anthropologist of migration studying the contemporary “migration crisis” in Southern Europe and a historian examining policies of family reunification in Germany and Europe since 1945. We are looking for chapters that engage with such processes in different local, national, and regional contexts in the present, yet setting them in a (relatively recent, post-1945) historical context. We are seeking chapters from multiple regions, and particularly welcome chapters from scholars whose work is based outside of Europe and North America. Chapters co-authored by social scientists and historians are also particularly welcome.
This volume seeks to examine the gap between a broad consensus that family life and family unity are important “human rights” and the way that state policies that purportedly offer “family reunification” often create family separation in practice. Which families are protected in the process of enforcing migration law, and which families are criminalized? What are the new norms forming around “family unity” for foreigners in the 21stcentury?
Chapters will critically compare contemporary processes of family reunification and separation to processes occurring in past decades, when the concept of human rights was not as – at least ostensibly – binding, juxtaposing the supposed “end of history” with openly occurring dystopian practices. They will look not only at techniques and processes of governmentality, but also at the ways in which these processes are perceived, justified, or contested in public and popular discourse. They will thus shed light on the meaning of “family” and on the diverse political subjectivities formed in the context of separation and reunification processes.