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The political aesthetics of boundaries and crossings

This interdisciplinary volume explores the role of images and representation in different borderscapes. It provides fresh insight into the ways in which borders, borderscapes and migration are imagined and narrated by offering new ways to approach the political aesthetics of the border. The case studies in the volume contribute to the methodological renewal of border studies and present ways of discussing cultural representations of borders and related processes. The case studies address the role of borders in narrative and images in literary texts, political and popular imagery, surveillance data, video art and survivor testimonies in a highly comparative range of geographical contexts ranging from northern Europe, via Mediterranean and Mexican–US borderlands to Chinese borderlands. The disciplinary approaches include critical theory, literary studies, social anthropology, media studies and political geography. The volume argues that borderlands and border-crossings (such as those by migrants) are present in public discourse and more private, everyday experience. This volume addresses their mediation through various stories, photographs, films and other forms. It suggests that narratives and images are part of the borderscapes in which border-crossings and bordering processes take place, contributing to the negotiation of borders in the public sphere. As the case studies show, narratives and images enable identifying various top-down and bottom-up discourses to be heard and make visible different minority groups and constituencies.

Open Access (free)
State violence and contestations in the Nordics

Deportation limbo traces the efforts of two Nordic welfare states, Denmark and Sweden, to address the so-called implementation gap in deportation enforcement. It offers an original, empirically grounded account of how often-futile, injurious policy measures devoted to pressuring non-deported people to leave are implemented and contested in practice. In doing so, it presents a critique of the widespread, normalised use of detention, encampment, and destitution, which routinely fail to enhance deportations while exposing deportable people to conditions that cause their premature death. The book takes the ‘deportation limbo’ as a starting point for exploring the violent nature of borders, the racial boundaries of welfare states, and the limits of state control over cross-border mobility. Building on unprecedented access to detention and deportation camps and migration offices in both countries, it presents ethnographic material capturing frontline officials’ tension-ridden efforts to regulate non-deported people using forced deportation, incarceration, encampment, and destitution. Using a continuum of state violence as the analytical lens, the book offers a uniquely comprehensive account of how the borders of Nordic welfare states are drawn through practices that subject racialised ‘others’ to expulsion, incarceration, and destitution. The book is the first to systematically document the renewed deportation turn in Denmark and Sweden, and to critically examine its implications: for the people targeted by intensified deportation measures, and for the individual officials, institutions, and societies enforcing them. It offers an important, critical contribution to current debates on the violence of deportation regimes, the politico-bureaucratic structures and practices that sustain them, and their human costs.

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Why queer(y) citizenship?
Zalfa Feghali

towards more impactful and inclusive conclusions and policies. As well as its engagement with studies of reading, this book works to hemispherically connect contemporary border studies, Indigenous studies and the politics of recognition, critical race studies, queer theory, postcolonial studies, and reception and audience theories.22 Bringing these separate but related fields together to examine work by authors whose writing contests and resists claims by a particular national context (in this case, the United States or Canada) works to reframe our understanding of what

in Crossing borders and queering citizenship
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Medicalising borders
Sevasti Trubeta
Christian Promitzer
, and
Paul Weindling

dimension as essential to border studies. A critical perspective emerges from the synthesis between the interdisciplinary field of border studies and longer-term historical studies of quarantine, contagion and sanitary controls on migrants and those who cross borders. These historical studies derive ultimately from a historical approach to public health, which represents a critique of bacteriology in that even if there is a uniform pathogen, there are historically contingent forms and demarcations. One might see an academic pedigree from Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902) as a

in Medicalising borders
British travel writing between East and West
Blanka Blagojevic

‘The British do love their boundaries’, claims one educational website devoted to English vocabulary (Grant, 2013 ). As border studies scholarship highlights, drawing boundaries and ‘border making’ is ‘an old human practice’ (Popescu, 2012 : 7), and in recent years, there has been growing concern with borders again. However, although ‘the creation of places’, and, as a consequence borders, appears to be a natural process and geography seems to impose its own logic, borders are not natural phenomena, and their relevance is dependent on the meaning that humans

in The road to Brexit
Temporality and the crossing of borders in Europe

Migrating borders and moving times explores how crossing borders entails shifting time as well as changing geographical location. Space has long dominated the field of border studies, a prominence which the recent ‘spatial turn’ in social science has reinforced. This book challenges the classic analytical pre-eminence of ‘space’ by focusing on how ‘border time’ is shaped by, shapes and constitutes the borders themselves.

Using original field data from Israel, northern Europe and Europe's south-eastern borders (Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Sarajevo, Lesbos), our contributors explore ‘everyday forms of border temporality’ – the ways in which people through their temporal practices manage, shape, represent and constitute the borders across which they move or at which they are made to halt. In these accounts, which are based on fine-tuned ethnographic research sensitive to historical depth and wider political-economic context and transformation, ‘moving’ is understood not only as mobility but as affect, where borders become not just something to be ‘crossed’ but something that is emotionally experienced and ‘felt’.

Selection, containment and quarantine since 1800

The subject of this volume is situated at the point of intersection of the studies of medicalisation and border studies. The authors discuss borders as sites where human mobility has been and is being controlled by biomedical means, both historically and in the present. Three types of border control technologies for preventing the spread of disease are considered: quarantine, containment and the biomedical selection of migrants and refugees. These different types of border control technologies are not exclusive of one another, nor do they necessarily lead to total restrictions on movement. Instead of a simplifying logic of exclusion–inclusion, this volume turns the focus towards the multilayered entanglement of medical regimes in attempts at managing the porosity of the borders. State and institutional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic provide evidence for the topicality of such attempts. Using interdisciplinary approaches, the chapters scrutinise ways in which concerns and policies of disease prevention shift or multiply borders, as well as connecting or disconnecting places. The authors address several questions: to what degree has containment for medical reasons operated as a bordering process in different historical periods including the classical quarantine in the Mediterranean and south-eastern Europe, in the Nazi-era, and in postcolonial UK? Moreover, do understandings of disease and the policies for selecting migrants and refugees draw on both border regimes and humanitarianism, and what factors put limits on the technologies of selection?

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Michael Gott

The introduction outlines the social and political context of shifting borders within post-2004 (EU enlargement) Europe. It engages with concepts from cultural geography, border studies, sociology, and film studies to define the concept of a ‘screen border’. It introduces the concept of cinéma-monde, which appears in the book’s title. It also argues that screen media play a contemporary role similar to that of mass-produced maps in the nineteenth century. The introduction closes with a literature review of related works and a chapter summary.

in Screen borders
Joe Turner

Drawing upon the theory of domestication outlined in chapter 1, chapter 2 traces the history of family and borders across the British Empire from the early nineteenth century. This demonstrates how family was central to the making of the Empire and how this was tied to mobility. This chapter develops debates in migration and border studies by showing how borders were a key device of colonial and imperial rule. It shows how bordering formed around the management of undomesticated movement – that which either ran counter to the expansion of the state, emergent imperial capitalism, or the racialised-sexualised order of the colonial administration. This chapter shows that what we come to know as immigration policy/law was experimented with in the control of movement across imperial space before being institutionalised in the British metropole from 1905. The chapter also explores how immigration and citizenship law worked to arrange and dismantle intimacies of people moving from (ex)colonies to Britain throughout the mid/late twentieth century. This shows how bordering emerged and continues as a colonial project within Britain.

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.