Special Issue "Mixed Marriages in Europe and Beyond: 1945 to Brexit"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 4 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Christoph Lorke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, University of Münster, Domplatz 20-22, 48143, Germany
Interests: migration history; the history of marriage; social and gender history
Prof. Dr. Gail Savage
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686-3001, USA
Interests: social and cultural history of Britain; history of marriage and divorce; gender and social policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

in light of increasing migration and the controversy surrounding it in the public sphere, binational, bicultural and interethnic relationships take on a special role. In migration research, they are generally regarded as indicators of not only how permeable certain societies are, but also the extent to which diversity is accepted. The way in which such relationships are handled allows us to understand how certain social actors have dealt with cross-border intimacy at certain times.

For the last seventy-five years war, civil war, and the collapse of empires have fueled large-scale population movements on a global scale. In addition, differential rates of development have also contributed to the push and pull of population movements. Refugees fleeing war zones, occupying military forces, prisoners of war (both their absence from home or their presence among enemy civilians), foreign labor, and economic migrants all represent challenges to the comfortable homogeneity of society. Bringing disparate populations into proximity can lead to conflict, but it can also produce intimate relationships of choice. Taking marriage and the formation of mixed families as the nexus of analysis exposes the intersection of large-scale social, economic, and political processes with the intimate life of individuals and families.

(1) The planned Special Issue of the journal Genealogy aims to trace these questions for the period after 1945, a period characterized by various migration and flight movements that can be linked to the end of the war, to labor migration, which became especially important in the 1960s, and to migrant groups seeking asylum since the 1980s. All of these and other migrant dynamics resulted in encounters between members of disparate host and immigrant groups, which led both to conflict and to marriages and the founding of mixed families headed by spouses of different religious, racial, or ethnic identities. The period since the end of the war has also been influenced by the tensions generated by the Cold War, which have left deep traces in the negotiation of belonging and its meaning, by confrontation between visions of individualism associated with modernity, expressed in the debate over Section 16 on the freedom to marry in the 1948 Declaration of Universal Human Rights, as well as tensions between colonial powers and their former colonies.

(2) Taking up the perspectives outlined above, the planned issue will examine the intersection of migration, gender, and social and legal history. It will look at the various ways in which different states have dealt with the phenomenon of "mixed marriage". Which frameworks of civil status, private law, and civil registry existed in different countries? What barriers were erected to hinder or slow the formation of such marriages? Alternatively, how did these marriages between outsiders and insiders challenge those barriers? What influence did religious actors exert, for example, in the maintenance of (traditional) Christian-citizen family ideals, which in turn could be translated into modes of perception and other practices? What role did traditional perceptions of authorities play, for example, with regard to non-Christian spouses or those from non-European countries, especially from the "global south", or about people who came from states that belonged to the other power bloc? How were these notions gendered, and how were they translated into administrative action? What role did the media play in commenting on, devaluing, or, in the course of increasing liberalization of various marriage and family models, in increasing the recognition of what had been seen as family transgressions? What role did the (potential) offspring play in these discussions; for example, which citizenship did they take, especially in the context of migration and human rights laws? Finally, we will ask what individual resistance and counter-movements of interest groups can be identified that were directed against these state-social endeavors; for example, where did individual stubbornness and other resistant practices that questioned both institutional and societal guidelines expand the scope of action? With these and other questions, we do not want to react only to current socio-political developments and to historicize earlier developments; after all, an individual’s choice of partner (and its social perception) has always been and still is to a certain extent a political issue and is symptomatic of negotiation processes between the individual and the political. Instead, with this volume, we would like to bundle current research considerations in a transnational perspective and increase our knowledge of the outlined fields.

We welcome contributions that deal with these and related questions concerning politics, race and ethnicity, nationhood, affiliation, class, gender, sexuality, and cultural identity in historical development since the Second World War. An interdisciplinary perspective (drawing upon sociology, ethnology, communication and media studies, cultural, political and legal studies, etc.) would be especially welcome. We also seek contributions that treat trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific connections as well as those that bring the global south, especially Africa, South America, and the Caribbean into the conversation.

(3) We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Abstracts should include the list of references you plan to include. Please send it to the guest editors ([email protected]; [email protected]) or to the Genealogy editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors to ensure proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Prof. Christoph Lorke
Prof. Dr. Gail Savage
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • migration
  • gender and legal history
  • institutional and social discrimination and racism
  • continuity and change
  • Cold War citizenship
  • married women’s denationalization and/or renationalization
  • belonging
  • human rights
  • religion and cross-nationality in families
  • LGBTQ families across national borders
  • custody and parenthood across national borders
  • impact of and on international law


Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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