Using the borderscapes concept, this book offers an approach to border studies that expresses the multilevel complexity of borders, from the geopolitical to social practice and cultural production at and across the border. Accordingly, it encourages a productive understanding of the processual, de-territorialized and dispersed nature of borders and their ensuring regimes in the era of globalization and transnational flows as well as showcasing border research as an interdisciplinary field with its own academic standing. Contemporary bordering processes and practices are examined through the borderscapes lens to uncover important connections between borders as a ’challenge' to national (and EU) policies and borders as potential elements of political innovation through conceptual (re-)framings of social, political, economic and cultural spaces. The authors offer a nuanced and critical re-reading and understanding of the border not as an entity to be taken for granted, but as a place of investigation and as a resource in terms of the construction of novel (geo)political imaginations, social and spatial imaginaries and cultural images. In so doing, they suggest that rethinking borders means deconstructing the interweaving between political practices of inclusion-exclusion and the images created to support and communicate them on the cultural level by Western territorialist modernity. The result is a book that proposes a wandering through a constellation of bordering policies, discourses, practices and images to open new possibilities for thinking, mapping, acting and living borders under contemporary globalization.
Chiara Brambilla is Research Fellow in Anthropology and Geography at the Centre for Research on Complexity (CERCO), University of Bergamo, Italy. Jussi Laine, DSocSci, is a senior researcher at the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland and Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Association for Borderlands Studies James Wesley Scott is Professor of Regional and Border Studies at the Karelian Institute at the University of Eastern Finland. Gianluca Bocchi is Director of the Centre for Research on Complexity (CERCO) and Full Professor of Philosophy of Sciences and Global Sciences at the University of Bergamo, Italy.
’This absorbing collection revisits the concept of borderscapes in the light of new writing on territory, landscape and place. The empirical focus on the margins of Europe is timely at a moment of new geopolitical tensions in the East and appalling migrant suffering and deaths in the Mediterranean. But the book is far from bleak, and also celebrates diverse border-crossings.’ James D. Sidaway, National University of Singapore, Singapore ’This captivating volume engages with borders and bordering processes in all of their diversity: from the ever harder (and harsher) territorialities of border controls at states’ external frontiers, to the ways in which borders travel on individual bodies. This range of approaches and sites/scales of analysis makes it a truly unique collection, bringing perspectives from border studies and political geography together with performative and artistic practice - and thus opening up new possibilities for re-figuring European borders today.’ Luiza Bialasiewicz, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands