In Memoriam: Sarah van Walsum

  • United Kingdom

In Memoriam: Sarah van Walsum

Sarah van Walsum 18 February 1955 – 9 November 2014

With the insightful oration “Intimate strangers,” Sarah van Walsum accepted her position as the chair of “migration law and family ties” on 7 June 2012 at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. She passed away way too early so she was unable to finish the work she started.

In her oration Sarah showed that the world looks completely different if you do not view it as ordered as traditional sovereign states with protected borders, but if you take the worldwide network of intimate family relations as a starting point for coherence. She pled for a constructive dialogue and intensive negotiation between these two perspectives. In this way the legitimate interest of states to regulate migration could be confronted with, for example, the pedagogical necessity to raise children in a family to harmonious individuals. The large-scaled research she could start in 2010 thanks to a NWO Vici grant aims to further elaborate these ideas. Four researchers – Jill Alpes, Younous Arbaoui, Nadia Ismaili and Johanne Sondergaard- therefore have the possibility to continue and build up further the research she started. Sarah mentored them even until she was bound to her sickbed.

Continue reading