Mariages frauduleux

The link between marriage, family, the economy and the nation is a powerful one. Recent events in the United States, from the adoption of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act to state referendums on same-sex marriage during the 2004 presidential elections remind us that more than being a private domestic arrangement, marriage is a political institution. This chapter explore the case of the so-called 'mail-order brides' in the United States. 

The steady decline of marriage rates in Nort American and European countries since the 1960s seems to have relegated marriage's political role in relation to the state, a topic that deeply concerned prolific English writer Gilbert Chesterton in the 1920s, to a state of historical curiosity and obsolescence.  

Les différentes techniques de contrôle des mariages mixtes mises en place ces dernières années par plusieurs pays européens ont été élaborées dans une logique de gestion du risque migratoire et non dans la perspective de l’exercice d’un droit fondamental – le droit de vivre en famille –, encore moins dans l’optique d’une intégration aux sociétés d’« accueil ».

The past 10 years have seen an increase in legislation pertaining to marriage migration in Europe. Such attention betrays various concerns and anxieties that intersect not only with issues of risk management, rights, and citizenship, but also with less tangible dimensions such as emotions, which become embedded in legal as well as in surveillance practices.

Marriage migration has recently drawn some attention, notably to the ways in which third-country nationals face increased challenges compared to European citizens when it comes to reunite with their spouse or partner. Foregoing a detailed legal analysis, this article rather seeks to interrogate the following: what connections can be drawn between law, love, mobility and sovereignty?


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