James Scott comments on BIG's contributions to border studies
James Scott, Professor of Regional and Border Studies, at the University of Finland's Karelian Institute, comments during the Lessons Learned from BIG panel at the ABS 2019 Conference in San Diego.
Borders in Globalization will host its final knowledge mobilization activity in conjunction with the Association for Borderlands Studies' Annual Conference in San Diego, CA April 24-27, 2019. BIG colleagues have submitted a series of panels to present our findings at the ABS conference. This will effectively connect BIG's findings to broader discussions about borders and border studies.
The organizing theme for the 2019 annual conference is “BORDERS HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE” - these are non-contiguous borders such as airports, seaports, but also logistics platforms and transportation networks that straddle past national physical boundaries, state and provincial boundary lines whether they are territorial or even legal/regulatory limits, even sometimes virtual; they are connecting the local with the global nexus; Some of them are a-territorial in nature (an exception in the past – the new norm today), and often, they are superimposing themselves onto traditional territorial borders, which remain prominent but are at the same time profoundly transformed. These affect the flows of goods, and also human mobility occasionally in murderous ways. They are here, there, and possibly, everywhere, and can be found in the middle of cities miles away from international boundary lines.
This theme encompasses a wide range of topics and approaches; it enhances the continuing theoretical challenges of defining what borders are and how they work.
Are specific disciplinary approaches more or less able to address fundamental theoretical questions regarding borders in globalization? What is the role of comparative approaches and interdisciplinarity? Are borders only vacillating, mobile and also in motion? Are borders resources, or otherwise ‘suturing’, but alsoborderscaping? Both imagined and socially constructed, both hard or soft, or possibly regulatory, virtual and invisible, what are they?
Are borders actually changing in the 21st century? Are they historically and culturally contextual? How are they impacting environmental and sustainability issues? How are flows of trade and human mobilities adapting to borders and borders in globalization? And, are borders and borders in globalization evolving to address major trade flows and human migration, and also issues of security? Is there a new governance of borders in globalization?
How are border regions and borderlands, such as the United States – Mexico border region (where our conference will be held), affected by those borders? Are border regions and borderlands the ideal laboratories to understand changes due to globalization but also human migration and concurrent transnationalism?
More info coming soon.