This edited collection formalises Critical Border Studies (CBS) as a distinctive approach within the interdisciplinary border studies literature. Although CBS represents a heterogeneous assemblage of thought, the hallmark of the approach is a basic dissatisfaction with the `Line in the Sand' metaphor as an unexamined starting point for the study of borders. A headline feature of each contribution gathered here is a concerted effort to decentre the border. By `decentring' we mean an effort to problematise the border not as taken-for-granted entity, but precisely as a site of investigation. On this view, the border is not something that straightforwardly presents itself in an unmediated way. It is never simply `present', nor fully established, nor obviously accessible. Rather, it is manifold and in a constant state of becoming. Empirically, contributors examine the changing nature of the border in a range of cases, including: the Arctic Circle; German-Dutch borderlands; the India-Pakistan region; and the Mediterranean Sea. Theoretically, chapters draw on a range of critical thinkers in support of a new paradigm for border research. The volume will be of particular interest to border studies scholars in anthropology, human geography, international relations, and political science.
Critical Border Studies was published as a special issue of Geopolitics.
Noel Parker is Associate Professor in Political Theory and the History of Ideas at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His books include Empire and International Order (2012); The Geopolitics of Europe's Boundaries: Spaces, Centres and Margins (2008); and Margins in European Integration (2000). Nick Vaughan-Williams is Reader in International Security, University of Warwick, UK. His books include: Border Politics: The Limits of Sovereign Power (2009, 2012) (2011 Gold Winner, Association for Borderlands Studies); Critical Security Studies: An Introduction (2010); Critical Theorists and International Relations (2009) and Terrorism and the Politics of Response (2009).
1. Critical Border Studies: Broadening and Deepening the `Lines in the Sand' Agenda 2. Theory of the / : The Suture and Critical Border Studies 3. Carl Schmitt and the Concept of the Border 4. Picking and Choosing the `Sovereign' Border: A Theory of Changing State Bordering Practices 5. Sloterdijk in the House! Dwelling in the Borderscape of Germany and The Netherlands 6. Cartopolitics, Geopolitics and Boundaries in the Arctic 7. Off-shoring and Out-sourcing the Borders of EUrope: Libya and EU Border Work in the Mediterranean 8. Mixed Legacies in Contested Borderlands: Skardu and the Kashmir Dispute 9. Towards a Multiperspectival Study of Borders