Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the question remains ’Do good fences still make good neighbours’? Since the Great Wall of China, the Antonine Wall, built in Scotland to support Hadrian's Wall, the Roman ’Limes’ or the Danevirk fence, the ’wall’ has been a constant in the protection of defined entities claiming sovereignty, East and West. But is the wall more than an historical relict for the management of borders? In recent years, the wall has been given renewed vigour in North America, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel-Palestine. But the success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security and insecurity? Do walls contribute to a sense of insecurity as much as they assuage fears and create a sense of security for those 'behind the line'? Exactly what kind of security is associated with border walls? This book explores the issue of how the return of the border fences and walls as a political tool may be symptomatic of a new era in border studies and international relations. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this volume examines problems that include security issues ; the recurrence and/or decline of the wall; wall discourses ; legal approaches to the wall; the ’wall industry’ and border technology, as well as their symbolism, role, objectives and efficiency.
Elisabeth Vallet is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and scientific director of Geopolitics at the Raoul Dandurand Chair at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.
’Contrary to what we have been told by the globalization theorists that the world has become deterritorialized and borderless, the past decade has seen an upsurge in the construction of new fences and walls as part of the inter-state borders within the international system. This is largely due to the sense of fear of the outsider in a post 9/11 world. Part of this is real, much of it is a social construction which enables governments to justify the establishment of new border fences as a means of keeping out the alien and controlling their own territory. The collection of chapters in this book highlights diverse aspects of the ways in which walls and fences function in a globalized world, covering regions as far apart as America and Spain, and from the West Bank to Africa. The book is to be recommended for all students of the renaissant discipline of border studies.’ David Newman, Ben Gurion University, Israel and Editor, Geopolitics ’Notwithstanding all the post-Cold War endist illusions, the contemporary world political map is marked by a growing number of boundaries and walls. This book presents an important aid in the understanding of this far from painless process. This set of contributions edited by Elisabeth Vallet moves a step towards a theory of walled borders, introducing at the same time a wide array of different case studies.’ Elena dell’Agnese, UniversitÃ di Milano-Bicocca, Italy ’With its rich collection of contributions, this volume illustrates the diversity amongst physical borders in different parts of the world. It is an important and very welcome addition to the border studies literature.’ Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, University of Victoria, Canada