Public Lecture Betty de Hart: Bridging Race and Migration Studies

Betty de Hart provided a public lecture in the lecture series ‘Scholarship in between on and beyond borders’, organized by ACES, University of Amsterdam on 10 June 2021.

How should we theorize race in the study of family migration in Europe? How have the history of colonialism and racism impacted the development of European family migration law, including the Netherlands? Betty de Hart (VU) will address these issues based on her recent academic work on the regulation of mixed intimacies in Europe. She argues that mixed couples, especially couples of white Dutch women and racialised migrant men, have been problematized as a threat to national identity in specific ways, impacting family migration policies for all.

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Betty de Hart is Professor Transnational Families and Migration Law at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law ( at VU University Amsterdam. Through decades of research on the regulation of ‘mixed’ and mixed-status families and her current ERC project “Regulating Mixture in Europe” (, she has engaged extensively with both race and migration (law) studies. Betty and her team presently investigate how lawmakers and enforcers in Europe understand ‘race’ and ‘mixed’ intimacies, how these constructions translate into law, and how this impacts the everyday lives of families. In this lecture, she will reflect on the role ‘race’ and ‘mixture’ have played in her work as a legal scholar.

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