Transnational Family Relations in Migration Contexts:

British Variations on European Themes

Authored by: Prakash Shah

The Ashgate Research Companion to Migration Law, Theory and Policy

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754671886
eBook ISBN: 9781315613239
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042648


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In writing this chapter 1 1

The research leading to this chapter was performed within the framework of the RELIGARE project. This project received funding from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number 244635.

from near the western corner of the Eurasian landmass, it is evident that migration is involving an increasingly complex set of trans-jurisdictional activities worldwide. We have yet to come to grips with the kinds of legal navigation by individuals and families taking place across legal frontiers, although some theorists have begun to locate its place within wider phenomena of transnationalism. 2 2

W.F. Menski, ‘Immigration and Multiculturalism in Britain: New Issues in Research and Policy’ (2002) XII KIAPS: Bulletin of Asia-Pacific Studies 43–66; F. von Benda-Beckmann, K. von Benda-Beckmann and A. Griffiths (eds), Mobile People, Mobile Law: Expanding Legal Relations in a Contracting World (Ashgate, Aldershot 2005); R. Cotterrell, ‘Transnational Communities and the Concept of Law’ (2008) 21(1) Ratio Juris 1–18; R. Ballard, ‘The Dynamics of Translocal and Transjurisdictional Networks: A Diasporic Perspective’ (2009) 1(2) South Asian Diaspora 141–66.

Recent events evidently demonstrate the often conflictual context in which migration occurs, as well as its many dysfunctional consequences. Just before I began writing this chapter in December 2010, news came of a suicide bomb attack in Stockholm by a man who had reportedly become ‘radicalized’ in the English town of Luton. A number of arrests in various European countries have been taking place more or less simultaneously of men of migrant origin suspected of involvement in terror-related activities. The fairly high-intensity conflict-ridden profile of migrants and their descendants being built in Europe and elsewhere, hides a more widespread, lower-intensity conflict in which official laws are also implicated. State authorities are penalizing trans-jurisdictional legal navigation, which occurs in a wide range of settings, and often concerns families and kin networks.

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