VIDI grant to professor Maartje van der Woude

Maartje van der Woude, professor at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, receives a VIDI grant worth €800,000 from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Maartje Vd Woude
Photo by Liesbeth Dingemans

The NWO grant has been awarded for a five-year research project: “Getting to the Core of Crimmigration Assessing the Role of Discretion in Managing Intra-Schengen Cross-Border Mobility” (2016-2021).

Migration and intra-Schengen cross-border mobility

Countries in the European Union are struggling with the open intra-Schengen borders and the threat that potentially dangerous or unwanted groups may cross borders and easily move within Europe. State agencies fight back against the unwanted “permeability” of state borders. In doing so States use a combination of often interrelated crime and migration control strategies, also known as crimmigration control strategies.

Research question

The project aims to answer the following question: To what extent are there differences between countries in and outside the European Union and the Schengen area in the level of crimmigration and to what extent can these differences be explained by the way in which state and non-state actors in these countries are making use of (in)formal discretion and (in)formal power structures to guide their response to cross-border mobility.

Mixed method research

The grant allows Maartje van der Woude to establish a research team for the project. The researchers are taking on a socio-legal approach, which involves using a combination of research methods including, for example, ethnographic fieldwork and a multi-sided survey.

Previous research

Van der Woude has a lot of experience with researching the development and implementation of legal and regulatory frameworks in the field of security and migration, as well as research on interpretation and compliance within organisational contexts. The research project is an expansion of a recent pilot study into inter-Schengen border management by the Dutch Military and Border Police in the Netherlands.

The Van Vollenhoven Institute

The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) is part of the Leiden Law School. The VVI seeks to advance knowledge of the formation and functioning of legal systems in their social contexts, the impact of these systems on society and vice versa, their effectiveness in governance, and their contribution to development. The Institute adopts a socio-legal and global approach, doing research on law in the books and law in action.