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The Reconfiguration of European Boundaries and Borders: Cross-border Marriages from the Perspective of Spouses in Sri Lanka

Janine Dahinden, JoŽlle Moret & Shpresa Jashari

Abstract Cross-border marriages between citizens with a migration background and spouses from non-EU countries
have been politicised and restricted across Europe. This article simultaneously applies the analytical lenses
of bordering and boundary work to this issue and de-centres the perspective by investigating the
consequences of these restrictions not on Europe, but on a country of origin Ė Sri Lanka. We show that a
particular symbolic boundary against cross-border marriages in European countries legitimises the
externalisation of borders to the country of origin. This has important consequences for the female spouses
before they even begin their journey to Europe: it challenges their life aspirations, enhances their
economic dependency and precarity and directly impacts the marriage system in Sri Lanka. We argue that
this situation creates a form of neo-colonial governmentality that perpetuates historically established forms
of Western politics of belonging.
   
Keywords Cross-border marriages; border studies; boundary work; politics of belonging
   
Citation Dahinden, J., Moret, J., & Jashari, S. (2020). The Reconfiguration of European Boundaries and Borders: Cross-border Marriages from the Perspective of Spouses in Sri Lanka. MigrationLetters, 17(4), 511-520.
   
Type Journal article (English)
Date of appearance 30-6-2020
Journal MigrationLetters
Volume 17
Issue 4
Pages 511-520
URL https://journals.tplondon.com/ml/article/view/696
Related project Cross-border marriages under conditions of transnationali...