This thesis investigates the regulation of family migration to Norway. This topical issue is explored from the perspectives of politicians, bureaucrats and applicants and their families in three articles, respectively. I argue that the regulation of marriage migration is marked by contradictory developments in different fields of policy: While the regulations and norms concerning intimate relations are characterised by increased liberalization, immigration regulations and public debates on migration focus on restriction and control. These contradictory developments create dilemmas, tensions and paradoxes for politicians and bureaucrats, as well as for applicants and their families.
The regulation of marriage migration is explored through interviews, observations and documents. Due to the complexity of the empirical material, it has been necessary to engage with a broad spectre of theoretical perspectives. The three articles discuss the regulation of marriage migration drawing on welfare state theory, and on theoretical perspectives on the transformation of intimacy, bureaucracy and emotions, respectively. Marriage migration is a phenomenon that cuts across the public and the private spheres, as well as the inside and the outside of the nation state. The public/private distinction and the boundary between the inside and the outside of the nation state are discussed and problematised within citizenship theories. These theories serve as an overall theoretical framework for the thesis as a whole because they facilitate an understanding of the dilemmas, tensions and paradoxes that characterize the regulation of marriage migration to Norway.