Saskia Bonjour is associate professor in political science. She teaches mostly in the field of gender & politics and intersectionality. Her research focuses on the politics of migration and citizenship in the Netherlands and in Europe. She is especially interested in family migration, civic integration, gender and migration, and Europeanisation.
Through her study of the politics and policies of migration and citizenship, Saskia Bonjour explores how political actors define identities and communities, that is how they distinguish between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Her research is about how these actors define criteria of membership as well as the rights and resources which flow from different degrees of membership and deservingness, and thus what it means to belong. A crucial line of inquiry in her work is the relation between the politics of intimacy and the politics of belonging, i.e. the way in which gender and family norms shape the politics of migration and citizenship.Other aspects of migration politics that she has published about include the impact of law and courts, Europeanisation, party politics, and the impact of news media on policymaking. Saskia Bonjour's research approach is comparative and interdisciplinary, drawing not only from political science but also from history, law, and sociology. Here is a video where Saskia talks about her research on family norms in migration politics and how it resonates with her own family history.
In 2019, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) awarded Saskia Bonjour a VIDI grant for a five year research project entitled "Strange(r) Families. Political Contestation over Family Migration Rights for Non-Normative Families". The Strange(r) Families project revolves around the question: which families belong in Europe? The right to family migration is highly contested for families which deviate from the norm, such as same-sex or polygamous families. This project analyses how migration law and politics deal with different kinds of families asking to be allowed to live together in Europe. You can find more information about the Stranger Families project on the project website.
Saskia Bonjour also participates in the research project "EMiC - Externalizing Migration Control", which brings together researchers from the University of Gothenburg and the University of Amsterdam to study the externalisation of EU migration policy in Africa, with a particular focus on the European Trust Fund for Africa.
Recent publications include the Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe, co-edited with Agnieszka Weinar and Lyubov Zhyznomirska, as well as a special issue on Intimate Citizenship. Citizenship, Membership and Belonging in Mixed-Status Families, co-edited with Betty de Hart and published in Identities.
Saskia Bonjour teaches the courses 'The Politics of Difference' and 'The Politics of Gender and Race in (Post) Colonial History'.
Saskia Bonjour is a member of the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Saskia is Senior Editorial Fellow of the journal Migration Politics. She is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales. Saskia leads the Migration Network of the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). She is also a member of the board of the Amsterdam Research Center on Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS). In addition, she is a member of the Executive Board and the Strategic Committee of the Council for European Studies. She is also a member of the board of the Catharina van Tussenbroekfonds which supports female scientists. From 2016 to 2019, she was a member of the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs (ACVZ) which advises the Dutch government and parliament on immigration law and policy.
Saskia Bonjour regularly contributes to national public discussions about migration and citizenship policy (e.g. EenVandaag in 2022, NPO Radio 1 in 2021, op-ed in De Volkskrant in 2018). She also writes online blogs (for instance on StukRoodVlees and on Verfassungsblog).
Saskia Bonjour defended her PhD thesis at Maastricht University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2009. From September 2008 until May 2009, she was employed as a researcher officer by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Vienna. She then moved to Brussels, where she worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Group for research on Ethnic Relations, Migration and Equality (GERME) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. From March 2012 until August 2014, she worked at the Leiden University Institute for History as a postdoctoral research fellow.