Protecting across borders: Sudanese families across the Netherlands, the UK and Sudan

Ester Serra Mingot

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMixed; collaboration

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Nowadays, more and more people live across national borders, developing attachments and responsibilities in more than one nation-state. Yet, the traditional formal social protection systems have been envisaged to cater for sedentary populations, tied to one single country. This dissertation investigates the strategies that migrants develop to cover for their own and/or their families’ social protection needs, encompassing a series of formal and informal elements from different institutions (e.g. states, markets, third-sector organisations or informal social networks). It shows that the boundaries between formal and informal categories are blurred when we look at the multiple combinations of institutional arrangements that migrants and their families use. Even when certain formal resources are available for individual migrants, they might not be the preferred option for the family’s social protection. In fact, the flexible character of the informal intra-familial provisions might be preferred, since they allow for covering for several intertwined domains, binding family members together in a web of intergenerational reciprocity that expands over time and beyond national boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Aix-Marseille University
  • Mazzucato, Valentina, Supervisor
  • Baby-Collin, V., Supervisor, External person
Award date17 Dec 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789463801294
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • African migrants
  • social protection
  • transnationalism
  • Sudan
  • transnational families

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