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Betty de Hart is a professor of transnational families and migration law at Vrije Universiteit. She conducts legal, empirical and historical research on the national, European and international rules that transnational families encounter, the views behind these rules as well as the impact on the everyday lives of transnational families. Such research will provide new insights into the meaning of nationality, citizenship and belonging.


Betty de Hart received  a 2021 research grant from the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO) Open Competation Social Science and Humanities. Her project entitled Love, sex, faith. The politics of emotion in migration law adresses the following issues: How to decide whether a couple is genuinely in love, a person is truly gay or believes in Jesus? How can one objectively determine human emotions? This is the dilemma that those involved in immigration procedures face on a daily basis and that is central in this project. This project posits the hypothesis that emotion increasingly pervades migration law through the politics of emotion, protecting the national sovereignty of states to control migration. The research will be of socio-legal nature and takes together family migration and asylum cases: suspected marriages of convenience, and asylum claims based on sexual orientation and religious conversion to explore how the politics of emotion functions as an instrument of inclusion and exclusion in migration control. The project duration is 4 years; the research will be conducted by 2 PhDs. 


Earlier, she was the recipient of a 2017 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant to establish an independent research team and research program for her research project EUROMIX: Regulating Mixed Intimacies in Europe. The project answers the question of whether, how and why ‘mixed’ relationships are regulated in Europe, how ‘mixed’ couples respond to regulation and the role that law and lawyers play in the way in which thinking about “race” has developed in Europe.


In 2012, she published her book on dual citizenship, in Dutch: Een tweede paspoort. Dubbele nationaliteit in de Verenigde Staten, Duitsland en Nederland Amsterdam University Press, 2012). Earlier, in 2007, she received a Vidi-grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for her research project 'Transnational families between Dutch and Islamic family law'.

In 2003, she completed her doctoral dissertation on citizen sponsors with a migrant partner and migration law, in Dutch: Onbezonnen vrouwen. Gemengde relaties in het nationaliteitsrecht en het vreemdelingenrecht (Aksant Amsterdam 2003).


Betty de Hart has participated in various international research projects, including projects focusing on dual citizenship, family reunification and nationality law in the fifteen 'old' Member States of the European Union.

Ancillary activities

  • stichting Lovingday.nl | Nijmegen | Bestuurder | 2022-10-12 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily


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