#26 and #27 BIG Podcast – “Nation State Model and Creative Solutions for Border Problems”
featuring Nick Megoran, Political Geographer at Newcastle University, England
The Nation-State model is built on the synchronization between a so-called state territory and a so-called national population. The mechanical imposition of this specific model has led to serious conflicts in certain parts of the world (we will discover the ancient situation of Denmark/Germany border and the current one of Kyrgyzstan/Uzbekistan border). There have been several ways of thinking and representing the construction of this nation-state with its constituent factors, its regime of political sovereignty and territorial boundaries: community of origin, community of language, community of interests and values, cultural homogenization, elective community, common history and territorial patriotism but also imagined community. What are the consequences of this model on the design of the country’s borders? How to organize borderlands while avoiding conflicts with neighbors? With Nick Megoran, this podcast (in 2 parts) is an opportunity to talk about several original practices such as condominiums, joint development zones, territorial leasing, enclaves, the exchange of territory, statutory autonomy, free and customs zones, mobile borders, decoupling of international borders from other functional or administrative limits, juridical and economic cross-border cooperation. So many illustrations that allow us to think differently about sovereignty and state borders. Sovereignty doesn’t have to be Zero-Sum. Borders don’t have to be Walls and Barriers.
Nick Megoran is a Visiting Fellow working with the Borders in Globalization program and the Centre for Global Studies and Professor of Political Geography at Newcastle University. His work focuses on nationalism and border dynamics in the Danish-German and Uzbek-Kyrgyz borderlands, which he has been researching for three decades. He has authored numerous articles and books on this topic, including Nationalism in Central Asia: A Biography of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Boundary (Pittsburgh 2017).