Female spouses at the doors of fortress Europe | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



This article will focus on marriage related forms of migration in Cameroon and will reconsider the gendered nature of fortress Europe by critically questioning how regulatory technologies at consulate offices grant or withhold access to Europe to both men and women. In their daily work, consulate officers construct some visa applicants and family members as deviant criminals, while others are framed as in need of protection and rescue. Wanting to go away from a statist driven security agenda on migration, I set out to do an ethnography of the regulatory framework of emigration within which people in Cameroon are obliged to try to achieve their ambitions of mobility – amongst others to achieve ‘security’ for the future of their families. I will draw on observations of marriage visa interviews at the French consulate service in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Regulatory dynamics at the French consulate office are driven by fears and accusations that visa applicants might be committing fraud – often with respect to the welfare state – for their selfish personal purposes. I argue that aspiring migrant women are seen as security threats precisely because consulate officers and aspiring migrant women distribute care needs and social risks differently between state, family, and individual.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): consulates; gender; marriage migration; migration; migration control; security
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