The crossing of national state borders is one of the most-discussed issues of contemporary times and it poses many challenges for individual and collective identities. This concerns both short-distance mobility as well as long-distance migration. Choosing to move - or not - across international borders is a complex decision, involving both cognitive and emotional processes. This book tests the approach that three crucial thresholds need to be crossed before mobility occurs; the individual’s mindset about migrating, the choice of destination and perception of crossing borders to that location and the specific routes and spatial trajectories available to get there. Thus both borders and trajectories can act as thresholds to spatial moves. The threshold approach, with its focus on processes affecting whether, when and where to move, aims to understand the decision-making process in all its dimensions, in the hope that this will lead to a better understanding of the ways migrants conceive, perceive and undertake their transnational journeys. This book examines the three constitutive parts discerned in the cross-border mobility decision-making process: people, borders and trajectories and their interrelationships. Illustrated by a global range of case studies, it demonstrates that the relation between the three is not fixed but flexible and that decision-making contains aspects of belonging, instability, security and volatility affecting their mobility or immobility.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Prologue: The thresholds to mobility disentangled, Ton van Naerssen and Martin van der Velde. Part I Mobility as an Option: Shopping for differences: mental and physical borders in the German-Polish borderlands, Bianca B. Szytniewski; Aspirations to go: understanding the bounded rationality of prospective migrants from Ghana, Lothar Smith; Rational routes? Understanding Somali migration to South Africa, Zaheera Jinnah; Thresholds in academic mobility: the China story, Maggi W.H. Leung; Gendered thresholds for migration in Asia, Ton van Naerssen and Maruja M.B. Asis. Part II Borders and Bordering: (Im)mobility in Karelia: a space of transforming belonging, Alexander Izotov and Tiina Soininen; Navigating the Thai-Cambodian border: from battlefield to a dynamic border space, Pol Fabrega and Helena Lim; From spontaneity to corridors and gateways: cross-border mobility between the United States and Canada, Victor Konrad; When fencing is not protecting: the case of Israel-Gaza, Doaa' Elnakhala; Homeland security? The effects of border enforcement in Guatemala, Ninna Nyberg Sorensen; Reflections on EU border policies: human mobility and borders - ethical perspectives, Fabio Baggio. Part III Places of Transfer and Trajectories: Doing borderwork in workplaces: circular migration from Poland to Denmark and the Netherlands, Marie Sandberg and Roos Pijpers; Between the New World and the Old World: changing contexts of exit and reception in the Bolivia-Spain migration corridor, Gery Nijenhuis; Boats, borders and ballot boxes: asylum seekers on Australia's northern shore, Graeme Hugo and Caven Jonathan Napitupulu; African passages through Istanbul, Joris Schapendonk; Immobilized between two EU thresholds: suspended trajectories of Sub-Saharan migrants in the limboscape of Ceuta, Xavier Ferrer-Gallardo and Keina R. Espineira. Epilogue: The threshold approach revisited, Martin van der Velde and Ton van Naerssen; Borders as resourceful thresholds, Henk van Houtum. Index.
Martin van der Velde is Associate Professor at Radboud University, Nijmegen. He is co-founder of the Nijmegen Centre for Border Research and was co-editor of the Journal of Borderland Studies. In 2014 he was president of the Association for Borderlands Scholars. Ton van Naerssen is retired Associate Professor of Development Geography at Radboud University, Nijmegen and currently works as a freelance researcher and consultant on migration and development issues.
'Despite the near-exponential increase in literature and research on migration/mobility, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the nitty-gritty of the mobility decision-making process. Built around the innovative threshold approach to border-crossing, this book does a wonderful job of illustrating the application of this core concept with a rich variety of case-studies from around the world.' Russell King, University of Sussex, UK ’If you want to understand the mindset, decision-making process and the trajectories of people that migrate read this book! This collection of 19 methodologically solid essays edited by van der Velde and van Naerssen provides many illuminating arguments and illustrations into the mental, locational and trajectory thresholds individuals have to cross to set their journey in motion into the uncertain.’ Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, University of Victoria, Canada ’This carefully crafted volume of case studies and commentaries on cross-border mobilities, and labour migration in particular, directly addresses the complexity and plurilocal nature of the phenomenon. As the contributors to this book clearly show: mobility is almost always about negotiating borders and, hence, social space. This book is rich with insight and conceptual innovation and is informed by solid empirical evidence. It is a valuable resource - not only for border scholars - and an important addition to the Ashgate Border Regions Series.’ James W. Scott, University of Eastern Finland, Finland