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Why is it important to study borders in world politics?

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Alex F-g

on 11 December 2013

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Transcript of Why is it important to study borders in world politics?

Why is it important to study borders in world politics?

Refugees and the challenges they pose to the way we think about world politics
Bordering practices
Important to study borders because each one represents different geopolitical rules and laws
What are the barriers/opportunities created?
Socio-economic benefits/Asylum that come with crossing borders.

Underlying assumptions
The challenges refugees pose to the way we think about world politics
Status of refugees
Bordering practices
State action
Citizen action

How the status of a refugee changes
Legal Status
Difference between refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people
1951 Convention & 1967 expansion - narrow definition, designed for historic circumstances
Underlying Assumptions
Current/Historical views of border studies
Mainstream IR theory- foundations of the Westphalian system
Borders as social constructs
State centric notions
Post cold war discourse
The Schengen Area

The Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 by Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It was implemented in 1995
The benefits of being inside the Schengen Zone.
Cons of being excluded.
New Perspectives
Politically unpopular
Low social status
Reduced financial means
Higher rates of mental health problems, especially PTSD
Vulnerable to human rights abuses
Post Modernism
'The territorial trap'
New ways about thinking about borders
Borders as expressions of power relations.
Social, political and cultural context
Postmodernist globalisation theory
New challenges:
New bordering practices

Borders are arbitrary
Crossing the border causes a major shift in the individual's legal and social status
New challenges to mainstream approaches to world politics
Refugees offer one of these challenges
Status: Legal, Political
Bordering practices
Developing definitions
European border management.
Helping border authorities from different EU countries work together.
Main role is to protect EU external borders from North Africa and Turkey.
Ex. Arab Spring
-a wave of anti- government protests in the Arab world happening in North Africa in countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya
-France responsible for deporting thousands of Tunisian refugees back to Italy
-causing tension among Schengen countries
Socio-Economic Status
State Action:
-the state enforces rules/ laws that control the flow of the people that go in/out of the country

-a government issued document that certifies a persons identity and nationality
-required for international travel

-the identification of people by certain characteristics/ traits
-Louise Amoore- "the biometric border signals a new and geographical imagining of the border..."

-an authorization for temporary stay in a country
-concentrate on the purpose of the visit

Citizen Action:

-beyond the state, sometimes citizens are prompted to exercise their own form of "bordering"

- ex. After the London Bombings in 2005, Ken Livingstone promoted " 7 million Londoners, One London" while Prime Minister Tony Blair promoted binary between "British people" and "those people [who are trying to] cow us, to frighten us out of doing the things we want to do " (Closs- Stephens 63)

-ex. Minutemen Project in Arizona
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Albert, M., Jacobson, D. and Lapid, Y. eds., (2001) Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis)
Amoore, L., (2006), ‘Biometric borders: Governing mobilities in the war on terror’, Political Geography 25: 336-351.
BBC, 2008. Gay Iranian man loses asylum plea. Available at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7290330.stm>. Accessed 5th December 2013.
Closs Stephens, Angharad Closs (2013) ‘Urban cosmopolitanism: The return of the nation in times of terror’ in The Persistence of Nationalism: From Imagines Communities to Urban Encounters. London: Routledge, pp. 61-72.
Foreign Policy Association.2011.Arab Spring Causes Europe to Rethink Schengen Agreement.[online] Available at: <http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2011/04/29/arab-spring-causes-europe-to-rethink-schengen-agreement> [Accessed 4 December 2013]
Paasi, A (1998) Boundaries as Social Processes: Territoriality in the World of Flows, Geopolitics, 3:1, 69-88. URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14650049808407608 Last Accessed: 04/11/13
Penrose, J., (2002), Nations, states and homelands: territory and territoriality in nationalist thought. Nations and Nationalism, 8:3, 277–297. Available at: <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1469-8219.00051/pdf>, Last Accessed: 04/11/13
Pugh, R., 2012. Female Genital Mutilation: asylum seeker fights deportation to the Gambia. The Guardian. Available at <http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/nov/06/female-genital-mutilation-asylum-gambia>. Accessed 4th November.
United Nations, n.d. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Available at: <http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.pdf>. Last accessed 5th December 2013.
Why Europe why not?, (2012), Schengen: why or why not?, [online] Available at: <http://whyeuropewhynot.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/schengen-why-or-why-not/> Accessed 28th November 2013.
Binta Jobe
Mehdi Kazemi
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