THE CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL BORDERS IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD
Do international political borders matter in the modern world, and if so, in what ways? The globalization literature suggests that political boundaries between states matter less and less, especially as states have liberalized their markets for good and services. And yet, political boundaries between states have apparently not faded away–far from it. If the most iconic image of the Cold War’s end was the breach of the Berlin Wall as East German guards looked on, then some of the starkest images of the early twenty-first century include the United States’ walled sections of its southern border, Israel’s security fence along the Palestinian territories, and barbed wire to prevent unwanted refugee flows across Europe. Ironically, in the age of globalization, states have started to erect walls at an accelerated rate.
The Conference on International Borders in a Globalizing World will explore the politics, economics, social processes, and psychologies of (in)security that explain states’ and their polities’ concerns with their national borders. We plan to explore the meanings, rules, and consequences of borders and boundaries in international relations and in comparative local contexts. How do international borders influence war and peace between states? How do borders, border regions, and border activities speak to national encounters with neighbors and the rest of the world? How do they affect international trade and development? When and how are international borders “securitized,” and how does this affect the flow of goods, people, and illicit activities around and across the border? How and to what extent do international borders reflect, challenge, and reinforce various identities? We hope the conference facilitates understanding the contemporary meaning and function of boundary-making between states from multiple disciplines and perspectives: political science, international law, international relations, history, geography, sociology, and economics.
This conference will focus on international boundaries between organized human communities, broadly understood. The conference is concerned with how humans demarcate the space between “us” and “them” in a global context. We seek thought-provoking, theoretically motivated papers with empirical content based on any appropriate method(s). We encourage researchers with an interest in territorial politics; migration and movement across borders; economic development in and across border regions; border crossing regimes, architectures, and institutions; transnational migration; transnational crime, human trafficking, and law enforcement across borders; and related issues to submit one-page abstracts for consideration.
Beth Simmons, Michael Kenwick, Benjamin Laughlin, and Robert Shaffer.
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