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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Binational marriages

Principal researcher

Dr. Cathelijne de Busser

Type of research

Postdoctoral research


Prof. dr. L.J.G. van Wissen


This research project is part of a collaborative research project in 4 countries: Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Summary of the project

This research project analyzes European integration by means of one of the most tangible representations of acceptance of ‘the other’: intraeuropean marriages. That is, the creation of a real social, political, cultural and supranational space is only finished, if people are also willing to accept each other as their spouses. According to this theory, intermarriage is the litmus test of European integration.

One of the main hypothesis of this research project is that the debordering of Europe leads to increasing proportions of intraeuropean marriages. The project will therefore examine trends since 1980 in the proportions of binational marriages between European citizens. It thereby aims at determining the role of opportunity (i.e. the creation of a single market in 1993 and the EU-enlargements in 2004 and 2007) and preferences (i.e. affinity between citizens of specific nationalities and cultures). For this purpose, the Dutch subproject employs appropriate demographic techniques on data from Statistics Netherlands and microdata from the Social Statistical File.

The project also pays attention to sociological aspects of intraeuropean marriages: to what extent are intraeuropean marriages accompanied by different national and European identities, as well as different lifestyles and worldviews? To answer this question, the project uses a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews amongst binational couples.


The project has stopped in April 2012.

Last modified:15 November 2012 2.26 p.m.