Europe's new migrants: marriage practices and policies

Monday 16 April (12:00) - Tuesday 17 April 2018 (17:00)

For further information about the conference content please contact Yafa Shanneik (

For questions relating to registration and logistical queries please contact George Dibble ( 


The spread, speed and scale of refugees and migrants coming into Europe since the second Gulf War have challenged and impacted existing European, political, social and legal systems.

One of those issues that have become of major concern within European societies and have been hotly debated is Muslim marriage practices performed by these relatively new comers. These practices have posed various legal, religious and social challenges.

Legally, some of these practices lack formalised documentations either because they have not been officially registered or because documents have been lost during the displacement process. And to what extent do the national systems of family law in the receiving countries in Europe secure women’s rights within these marriages or their breakdown? Religiously, some of these marriages are unconventional, such as between a Muslim women and a non-Muslim man. This conference seeks papers which examine various forms and new types of marriages, how they are contracted and what role they play in defining religious boundaries. Socially, these trans- and intra-religious Muslim marriage forms impact social relations and define them anew. This last part of the conference seeks papers which examine how marriage practices are a means to negotiate one’s ‘politics of belonging’ and integration into the new host societies.

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars in Law, Religious/Islamic Studies, Anthropology, Sociology as well as policy makers and practitioners. Its purpose is:

  1. To demonstrate the complex nature of Muslim marriage practices and their constant evolution alongside political and sectarian tensions and cultural developments.
  2. To initiate international academic research on Muslim marriage practices among Europe’s new migrants.
  3. To enhance public and academic understanding of the issues and debates surrounding marriage practices through offering comparative insights into and discussions on various marriage forms and their legal, religious and social impact across various European countries.
Keynote speakers:
  • Shaheen Sardar Ali (Professor of Law, Warwick)
  • Annelies Moors (Professor of Anthropology, Amsterdam)
Roundtable participants:
  • Aina Khan (Head of the Islamic and Asian Department, Duncan Lewis Solicitors)
  • Dr Vishal Vora (Max Planck Institute)
  • Dr Frederica Sona (Collegio Carlo Alberto and Max Planck Institute

The conference programme can be downloaded or viewed here. Please note, we are providing a printed version of this programme with the conference delegate pack, so there is no need to print this yourself.

Monday 16 April 2018

  • 12.00-13.00: Lunch
  • 13.00-14.30: Welcome and Keynote I
  • 14.30-15.00: Coffee
  • 15.00-17.00: Panel I
  • 17.00-17.30: Coffee
  • 17.30-19.00: Round table discussion
  • Dinner

Tuesday 17 April 2018

  • 10.00-11.00: Keynote II
  • 11.00-11.30: Coffee
  • 11.30-13.30: Panel II
  • 13.30-14.30: Lunch and coffee
  • 14.30-16.30: Panel III
  • 16.30-17.00: Conclusion and publication plans


​The conference is free, with lunch and refreshments provided for delegates. Please register for the conference via the Conference Eventbite webpage.

We might be able to offer travel/accommodation bursaries for some PhD candidates and early career researchers.

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