Bissenbakker, Mons & Lene Myong. Governing belonging through attachment: Marriage migration and transnational adoption in Denmark. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 45(1), 2022, 133–152.
Based on analysis of legal documents on family reunification and educational material concerning transnational adoption in Denmark, this article suggests that the concept of attachment may be conceptualized as a specific operationalization of belonging, and that belonging and biopower may be viewed as intertwined (rather than opposites). The analysis conceptualizes two modes of how belonging is operationalized through attachment. The belonging of families seeking reunification is targeted on a regulatory level via the legal requirement of national attachment. This requirement materializes as a prognosis of belonging in families seeking reunification. On a disciplinary level, psychological attachment discourse is utilized to address belonging in adoptive kinship. As a disciplinary instrument, psychological attachment discourse extracts affective labour from the adoptee in order to secure belonging in the form of psychological attachment, which serves to sustain the white adoptive family. In both cases, attachment discourse naturalizes the governing of belonging over time.
Liversage, Anika, and Mikkel Rytter. ‘A Cousin Marriage Equals a Forced Marriage: Transnational Marriages between Closely Related Spouses in Denmark’. Cousin Marriages: Between Tradition, Genetic Risk and Cultural Change, Eds. Alison Shaw and Aviad Raz, Oxford ; New York, NY: Berghahn, 2015, 130–153.
This chapter first outlines the recent historical political context of Denmark in which this specific rule of supposition took shape. Before 2001, heated debate concerned whether, and if so, how to distinguish between ‘forced marriages’ and ‘arranged marriages’ in certain immigrant groups. Later, with the introduction of the rule of supposition in 2003, the deciding factor now became whether couples were ‘closely related, and otherwise closer related relatives’ (relationships presented as highly problematic ones, with strong indications of enforcement) or not. In this respect both the problem and the potential political solution changed within a few years. Second, we present two extended cases, of the Danish-Pakistani couple Hamid and Aisha and the Danish-Turkish couple Baha and Gülser, to shed light on the experiences that transnational couples may have with the rule of supposition1. Last, to illustrate the clash between the views of the authorities and those of an affected couple about the character of their marriage, we present a third exemplary adjudication, taken from the home page of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration. Throughout, the chapter discusses the workings of state classification. Here, transnationally married couples may experience having their own understandings of their marriages overturned, and their life trajectories torqued in the confrontation with bureaucratic classifications of the state (cf. Bowker & Star 2000). The chapter also presents strategies that transnational couple may use or seek to use to put their life trajectories back on track and establish their desired family life.
Liversage, Anika, and Mikkel Rytter, editors. Aegteskab og migration: Konsekvenser af de danske familiesammenforingsregler 2002-2012. ISD LLC, 2014.
Siden 2002 har Danmark været foregangsland i Europa, nar det gAelder stramme regler for AegtefAellesammenforing. Denne lovgivning har pavirket tusindvis af danske borgeres partnervalg og har fort til ændrede ægteskabs- og indvandringsmønstre. Lovgivningen, der blev indfort for at dæmme op for tvangsægteskaber og indvandring i forbindelse med ægteskab generelt, har haft vidtrækkende konsekvenser for mange. Danske borgere med savel minoritets- som majoritetsbaggrund er blevet tvunget ud i en vanskelig ventesituation, hvor de ikke har kunnet leve sammen, og mange har valgt at forlade landet og flytte mere eller mindre permanent til Sverige med deres ægtefælle ægteskab og migration. Konsekvenser af de danske familiesammenforingsregler 2002-2012 gor status over 10 ar med denne lovgivning og belyser nogle af familiesammenforingsreglernes mangeartede konsekvenser. Bogens kapitler er skrevet af en række danske og udenlandske forskere fra sociologi, okonomi, politologi og antropologi, der gennem aktuelle studier stiller skarpt pa Aegteskab, familiedannelse, migration og statslig regulering.
Uddrag af bog: https://books.google.dk/books?id=1ZufDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&ots=R_hYW6xVTx&lr&pg=PT3#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Myong, Lene, and Mons Bissenbakker. ‘Love Without Borders? White Transraciality in Danish Migration Activism’. Cultural Studies, vol. 30, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 129–146.
Since 2000, Denmark has imposed some of the strictest immigration laws in Europe. Consequently, family reunification has become increasingly difficult for immigrants as well as for Danish citizens. In the fall of 2010, the Danish family reunification laws became subject to criticism and protest by a citizens’ initiative called ‘Love without Borders’ (LWB). The article investigates how LWB managed to generate political momentum around love: an affect which seems to promise inclusion, liberation and togetherness for those directly affected by the laws as well as those attempting to change the laws. Yet the idealized version of love promoted by LWB happened to take the form of romantic intimacy predominantly consisting of straight, young and white-brown couples oriented towards reproduction. Our main argument is that despite its good intentions of supporting migration the activist campaign ‘Love without Borders’ ends up supporting whiteness as the body through which love must flow. As an indicator of the racialized discourses informing LWB’s activism the article introduces the concept of white transraciality. Thus, to LWB love seems to promise affective ties to the nation, to the future and to the political system in ways that sustain white hegemony. Building mainly on Sara Ahmed’s and Laurent Berlant’s reflections on love as cultural politics the article analyzes posters, viral videos and newspaper debates in its discussion of the promises and pitfalls of love as an affective political tool.
Nielsen, Asta Smedegaard, and Lene Myong. ‘White Danish Love as Affective Intervention: Studying Media Representations of Family Reunification Involving Children’. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, vol. 9, no. 4, De Gruyter Open, Dec. 2019, pp. 497–514.
Through a close reading of media reporting from 2017 to 2018 on the case of the Chinese girl Liu Yiming, who was first denied then granted residency in Denmark due to public pressure, this article analyses how regulation of family reunification involving children is negotiated in the Danish public imaginary in the context of strong anti-immigration sentiments. This imaginary projects the white Danish public as eager to love Yiming and as affectively invested in reversing the injustice done to her and her family. The article suggests, however, that the outpouring of white love, which functions as an affective intervention imbued with the promises of reversing Yiming’s deportation, is deeply embedded in exceptionalist notions of the ‘integrated’ migrant and that it works to restore an idealised image of a Danish nation defined by ‘human decency’ as a core value. Thus, the analysis raises critical questions to the politics of white love and its promise of securing social change for the ‘integrated’ migrant through collective acts of white feeling.
Schmidt, Garbi. ‘Law and Identity: Transnational Arranged Marriages and the Boundaries of Danishness’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 37, no. 2, Routledge, Feb. 2011, pp. 257–275.
In Denmark, the practice of transnational arranged marriages among immigrants has stirred debate on several levels of society. One effect of the debate is a tightened regulation of family formation migration, seen as an effective means both of limiting the number of immigrants and of furthering processes of social integration. Within media-based and political debates, transnational marriages are frequently described as practices destructive both to individual freedom and to Danish national identity. Nonetheless, it is a practice in which both minority and majority citizens engage, one that frames both their family lives and their lives as citizens. This article analyses the dynamic relationship between public discourse and practices of transnational marriage. The first part describes how political and legislative perceptions of transnational (arranged) marriages are situated within a discussion of ‘Danishness’. The second part describes how second-generation immigrants from Turkey and Pakistan, all of whom have married someone from their country of origin, articulate how public discourse on transnationally arranged marriages affects their lives. This part particularly focuses on the informants’ expressions of autonomy and choice and their adaptations of such concepts to understandings of social belonging, inclusion and identity formation vis-à-vis the Danish nation-state.
Fernandez, Nadine T. ‘Moral Boundaries and National Borders: Cuban Marriage Migration to Denmark’. Identities, vol. 20, no. 3, Routledge, June 2013, pp. 270–287.
The discussion of marriage migration in Denmark primarily has focused on citizens of immigrant descent (‘New Danes’) who marry partners from their ancestral homeland (often Turkey or Pakistan). This type of marriage migration was the target of the strict Danish family reunification policy instituted in 2002. This article examines the genealogy of the morality underpinning the family reunification policies and asks whether the rules actually promote this moral agenda or have unintended consequences. Empirically, I shift the focus from immigrant Danes to native Danes who marry Cubans. Finally, while little attention is paid to the non-western country involved, transnational marriages always involve two nations. This article investigates how state policies on both ends of this migration trajectory shape moral-territorial borders that transnational couples navigate.
Rytter, Mikkel. ‘“The Family of Denmark” and “the Aliens”: Kinship Images in Danish Integration Politics’. Ethnos, vol. 75, no. 3, Routledge, Sept. 2010, pp. 301–322.
Applying insights from newer anthropological kinship studies, this article suggests that the current Danish immigration regime is based on and legitimized by a certain kind of ‘kinship images’ that are used and reproduced in Danish public and political discourses. Since 2002, every Danish citizen applying for family reunification with foreign spouses has been met with a ‘requirement of national attachment’, which basically distinguishes within the pool of citizens between the ‘real’ and the ‘not-quite-real’ Danes. The article discusses the possibilities of ‘integration’ in the current situation where Danish legislation and public discourses tend to distinguish between Danish citizens on the basis of their family history and national attachment. The article furthermore discusses different strategies of ‘kinning’ through which the ‘not-quite-real’ can aspire to become ‘real’ Danes.
Schmidt, Garbi. ‘Troubled by Law: The Subjectivizing Effects of Danish Marriage Reunification Laws’.International Migration, vol. 52, Sept. 2013.
Between 2002 and 2003, Denmark introduced further limitations on its already restrictive regulations concerning family and marriage reunification. While several studies, both Danish and international, have discussed the effects of these and other family reunification laws on individual practice, we know very little about the their effects on people’s self-perceptions and norms. Based on a qualitative data set, including a total of 89 interviews with young people of immigrant background living in Denmark collected between 1999 and 2009, this article seeks to provide answers to this and related questions. As a social technology, do the regulations create changes in the practice field of the respondents which they gradually come to see as natural and reasonable, or do they leave them in a troubling subject position (Staunæs, 2005) based on a socially and legislatively regulated stigma?
Ersbøll, Eva. ‘Biao v. Denmark – Discrimination among Citizens?’ EUI Working Paper, no. 79, 2014, p. 24. Zotero.
On 25 March 2014 the European Court of Human Rights delivered a controversial judgment in a case on family reunion in Denmark, the Biao case. The applicants were a Danish national, Mr Ousmane Ghanian Biao, and his wife, a Ghanaian national, Mrs Asia Adamo Biao. They alleged that a refusal by the Danish authorities to grant them family reunion was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) article 8, alone and in conjunction with article 14. The Danish authorities had refused the application for family reunion because the spouses did not fulfil the requirement that their aggregate ties to Denmark be stronger than their aggregate ties to any other state where they could live together – in this case Ghana (‘the attachment requirement’). They submitted that the decision breached their rights under article 8 of the ECHR since it did not pursue a legitimate aim on the ground that it was introduced to target Danish citizens of non-Danish ethnic or national origin. Alternatively, if the refusal was not deemed to be contrary to article 8, they claimed that it was contrary to the prohibition against discrimination, cf. ECHR article 14 read in conjunction with article 8, since particular groups of Danish citizens were treated differently in relation to family reunion in Denmark. In analogous circumstances, those who were born Danish citizens would be exempted from the attachment requirement according to the so-called ‘28-year rule’ which states that the requirement does not apply in cases where the resident person applying for family reunion has been a Danish citizen for 28 years cf. the Aliens Act section 9(7). The complaint regarding the attachment requirement’s conformity with article 8 will not be dealt with here. This paper will primarily deal with the question whether a state lawfully can treat its citizens differently solely on the basis of how and when they acquired their citizenship. In this context the significance of the European Convention on Nationality (ECN) article 5(2), will be analysed. Article 5(2) states that in matters of nationality, state parties shall be guided by the principle of non-discrimination between their citizens, whether they are citizens by birth or have acquired their citizenship subsequently.
Bissenbakker, Mons, and Lene Myong. ‘Love Will Keep Us Together: Kærlighed og hvid transracialitet i protester mod danske familie- sammenføringsregler’. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, vol. 36, no. 03–04, Universitetsforlaget, 2012, pp. 188–202.
De danske familiesammenføringsregler blev i 2010 genstand for kritik fra et borgerinitiativ, som i kærlighedens navn kæmpede for en lempelse af loven. Som politisk mobiliserende affekt lover kærligheden inklusion og frigørelse. Men risikerer den også at gentage racialiserede og seksuelle hierarkier? På hvilke præmisser kan seksualpolitiske kritikker udfordre disse hierarkier? Denne artikel søger at tage affekt alvorligt som politisk og analytisk fænomen, og den introducerer begrebet om hvid transracialitet som betegnelse for de underliggende magtformer, der informerer kærlighed som politisk protestform.
Denmark has imposed some of the strictest immigration laws in Europe since 2000. Consequently, family reunification in the country has become increasingly difficult for both immigrants and Danish nationals. This article looks at a political initiative called «Love without Borders» (LwB) and its attempt to mobilize the Danish public in a push to overturn the laws. LwB has generated momentum around the ideal of transraciality (straight, white subjects oriented towards reproduction and romantic love). At the same time, queer activists have offered a political rebuke by pointing out how the laws (and in turn LwB’s critique) are built on heteronormative assumptions that ignore homosexuality. In both cases, however, love seems to promise affective ties to the nation, to the future, and to the political system in ways that sustain white hegemony. Building on Sara Ahmed’s reflections on love as cultural politics and Jasbir Puar’s notion of homonationalism, the article analyzes posters, viral videos and newspaper debates in its discussion of the promises and pitfalls of love as an affective political tool.
PDF: https://www.idunn.no/tfk/2012/03-04/love_will_keep_us_together_krlighed_og_hvid_transracialit. https://www.idunn.no/tfk/2012/03-04/love_will_keep_us_together_krlighed_og_hvid_transracialit
Bech, Emily Cochran, Karin Borevi, et al. ‘A “Civic Turn” in Scandinavian Family Migration Policies? Comparing Denmark, Norway and Sweden’. Comparative Migration Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, Mar. 2017, p. 7.
Family migration policy, once basing citizens and resident foreigners’ possibilities to bring in foreign family members mainly on the right to family life, is increasingly a tool states use to limit immigration and to push newcomers to integrate into civic and economic life. The family migration policies of Denmark, Norway and Sweden range widely – from more minimal support and age requirements to high expectations of language skills, work records and even income levels. While in Denmark and increasingly in Norway growing sets of requirements have been justified on the need to protect the welfare state and a Nordic liberal way of life, in Sweden more minimal requirements have been introduced in the name of spurring immigrants’ labor market integration even as rights-based reasoning has continued to dominate. In all three countries, new restrictions have been introduced in the wake of the refugee crisis. These cases show how prioritizations of the right to family life vis-à-vis welfare-state sustainability have produced different rules for family entry, and how family migration policies are used to different extents to push civic integration of both new and already settled immigrants.