Borders are Not What or Where They are Supposed to be: Security, Territory, Law

Nick Vaughan-Williams

in Border Politics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780748637324
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652747 | DOI:
Borders are Not What or Where They are Supposed to be: Security, Territory, Law

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This chapter seeks to illustrate Étienne Balibar's point that borders are vacillating and not necessarily where they are supposed to be in contemporary political life. To do this, it looks at three examples of bordering practices that challenge the modern geopolitical imaginary underpinned by the concept of the border of the state: the emergence and implementation of the United Kingdom's new global border security doctrine; the recent activities of Frontex, the new European Union border management agency, in Africa; and the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists at the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. These illustrations provide a crucial empirical backdrop that demonstrates the overall importance of developing new ways of identifying and interrogating borders in the light of contemporary practices.

Keywords: Étienne Balibar; border vacillation; contemporary politics; bordering practices; United Kingdom; Frontex; US Naval Base; Guantánamo Bay

Chapter.  8446 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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