The long-awaited and much anticipated new issue of Borders in Globalization Review is here! This outstanding collection of scholarship and artwork enriches border studies and cultural reflections on (and against) borders, and it is available for free, in open access CC-BY-NC (except where stipulated).
Leading the issue, guest-editor Birte Wassenberg, historian and Europeanist, presents a Special Section with five research articles advanced from a doctoral seminar on Europe’s changing borders called Frontières en mouvement, or Frontiers in Motion. The papers (by scholars Claude Beaupré, Yaël Gagnepain, Nicolas Caput, Tobias Heyduk, and Morgane Chovet) illuminate diverse aspects of borders, cross-border governance, and the pursuit of continental integration. Together, the section works toward a more realistic assessment of European borders, demystifying euphemisms of ‘Europe without borders’ and moving beyond reductive binaries of open/closed or good/bad.
In the Chief Editor’s Choice Portfolio, readers experience the unsettling visual creations of Israeli artist Ariane Littman. Mapping the Wound: Feminine Gestures of Empathy and Healing (featured on the cover) curates years of performative art and multimedia sculpture in which Littman applies bandages and gauze to Israeli maps, landmarks, and citizens, treating subject and object alike as wounded and torn. The work is powerful and timely, as Israeli citizens have been protesting en masse since early 2023 the authoritarian overreach of the Netanyahu government; in this context, the Palestinian question is jarring, even when muted or unheard.
Following the special section and cover portfolio, readers are treated to an eclectic series of academic, artistic, and policy treatments of borders today. Our Poetry section features poems by Sotirios Pastakas and Dvora Levin with exquisite verses on the morbidity of borders. Our Art & Borders section brings you a special mixed-media collection called Embarked Lives, featuring Chilean artist Enrique Ramírez’s oceanic portrayals of cross-border migration. Readers are also treated to a Review Essay by a scholar of borders and film, Michael Dear, who constructs a history of the genre of US–Mexico-border cinema. And Malvika Sharma, student of border studies and native of the borderlands of Jammu and Kashmir, shares lived experiences of a homeland divided through the art form of Short Story, in a dreamy fiction inspired by real yearning and hope. Changing tempo, our Policy section presents two detailed reports on quite different technologies of cross-border governance, with Veasna Yong focusing on the behavioral technique of ‘nudging’ and Mary Isabel Delgado Caceres wading into the potentials of digital blockchain. This issue also features a Research Note in the form of an alternative map of the Canada–US border region, showing not the international boundary line but rather different kinds of Indigenous communities that straddle and thereby call it into question (even as the authors, Guntram H. Herb, Vincent Falardeau, and Kathryn Talano, are sensitive to their own adoption of settler knowledges and to themselves not being Indigenous). Readers will then enjoy two excellent Film Reviews of contemporary cinema showcasing the plights of refugees seeking access to European society, by borders scholars Şeyma Saylak and Natasha Sofia Martinez. Finally, the new issue closes with two Book Reviews: Michael J. Carpenter summarizes the contribution of Maurice Stierl’s important book Migrant Resistance, and Molly-Ann P. Taylor shines a light on Michel Hogue’s landmark Métis and the Medicine Line.
Climate Change, Security and Sustainability
Simon Dalby, Susan Horton, Rianne Mahon, Diana Thomaz | Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Global Governance Challenges | 2019
Violent conflict continues to plague many parts of the developing world, with mostly deleterious consequences for peoples and places where violence occurs. The complex relationships between organized violence and sustainable development affect the ability of states and other agencies to accomplish many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular the discussion about Goal 13 on climate change now intersects with Northern security fears and policy responses that are sometimes seriously at odds with local drivers of environmental change. Contemporary analyses warn of “backdraft” effects if inappropriate policies aggravate rather than ameliorate conflict. Unravelling these complex interconnections is one key to the effective implementation of the SDGs agenda, one that is increasingly urgent as climate change accelerates, and appropriate policies are needed to deal with context-specific disruptions in many diverse places.
Dalby, Simon., Susan Horton, Rianne Mahon and Diana Thomaz. “Climate Change, Security and Sustainability.” Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Global Governance Challenges. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2019.
Special Issue: Confronting Borders in the Arctic
Journal of Borderland Studies | Volume 33, Issue 2 | 2018
In this thematic issue, six papers and three short commentaries investigate the evolving nature of borders in the Arctic in an era of climate change and globalization. Together, they illustrate how processes unique to the Arctic, such as sea ice melt and Inuit self-governance, tell a larger story about the co-evolving relationship of people and the environment, and the physical and constructed borders that give them meaning. Arctic human–environment relations are embedded in distinct histories and materialities in which border-making is understood as a multi-scalar arena of subnational and transnational actors, rather than the exclusive domain of the state. At the same time, the Arctic is shaped by powerful agents of change whose impacts span national borders and reconfigure environmental barriers. The papers in this issue reveal the ways in which Arctic climatic, political, economic, and demographic change amount to a transformation in thinking about Arctic borders and bordered spaces. We hope that the Arctic case will stimulate further investigation in borderlands around the world undergoing similarly transformative changes to physical and human systems.
Read the full issue here: Journal of Borderlands Studies Special Issue: The Arctic: Vol 33 No 2: Spring 2018
Confronting Borders in the Arctic by Scott Stephenson
Global Arctic by Klaus Dodds
Finding the Global Arctic by Jessica Shadian
The “Global Arctic” as a New Geopolitical Context and Method by Lassi Heininen and Matthias Finger
(Un)frozen Spaces: Exploring the Role of Sea Ice in the Marine Socio-legal Spaces of the Bering and Beaufort Seas by Kristen Shake, Karen Frey, Deborah Martin, Philip Steinberg
“Anthropocene Formations: Environmental Security, Geopolitics and Disaster.”
Simon Dalby | Theory, Culture & Society | 2017
The discussion of the Anthropocene makes it clear that contemporary social thought can no longer take nature, or an external ‘environment’, for granted in political discussion. Humanity is remaking its own context very rapidly, not only in the processes of urbanization but also in the larger context of global biophysical transformations that provide various forms of insecurity. Disasters such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns and potentially disastrous plans to geoengineer the climate in coming decades highlight that the human environment is being remade in the Anthropocene. Humanity is now a geological actor, not just a biological one, and that insight, captured in the term Anthropocene, changes understandings of both security and environment in social thought, requiring a focus on production of environments rather than their protection. Disasters help clarify this key point and its significance for considering geosocial formations.
Dalby, Simon. “Anthropocene Formations: Environmental Security, Geopolitics and Disaster.” Theory, Culture & Society 34, no. 2-3 (2017): 233-252.
Marine Management and Governance of the Beaufort Sea: Lessons from the Barents Region
Sara Bourquin | BIG Research Reports | #17
The Beaufort Sea situated off the coast of Alaska and the Yukon presents a unique opportunity for cross-border and regional maritime cooperation, however, due to national differences, a lack of cross border and marine infrastructure as well as complex jurisdictional issues, this has not been possible. A comparative analysis of other regional and international/ bilateral models provides a concrete foundation in determining the best path of governance in the Beaufort Region: The Barents Region shares enough similarities to the Beaufort Region that comparative analyses of its governance structure and cross border dynamics are invaluable. Policy and decision makers from both in the Yukon and Alaska would benefit from pushing for further comparative studies and longer-term research projects of the models presented in this paper.
Transborder Water Governance in the Pacific Northwest: The Case of Point Roberts Washington
Michael K. Lang | BIG Research Reports | #27
Point Roberts, Washington occupies an interesting space in transboundary relations between Canada and the United States. Located in the Northwest corner of Washington State, Point Roberts has no physical connection to the U.S, and must be reached by crossing two international borders when travelling over land (see Figure 1). This particular geographical identity requires an ongoing relationship between Canada and its Southern neighbour, as certain challenges that accompany life in Point Roberts require complex cooperation. Perhaps most significant is the transborder water transfer agreement that exists in the region. Point Roberts purchases its fresh water from the City of Vancouver, Canada, supported by a relatively unique and challenging transboundary relationship spanning nearly three decades (Minghi 2010).
Michael K. Lang
Environmental Refugees: Truth or Myth?
Andrada Mihai | BIG Research Reports | #30
‘Environmental refugees’ is a term used by academics, journalists and activists to refer to those individuals who were forced to relocate or migrate due to the damage that the environment has caused on their livelihoods. However, there are important international actors, such as the UNHCR, that disagree with the use of the term environmental refugee insofar as going to initially deny their existence. If a prominent organization such as the UNHCR has refused to accept this term, is it because it is justified in believing that such a phenomenon doesn’t exist? How do other international actors, such as the EU, a global leader in promoting environmental protection react to this issue? This paper will analyze the issue of environmental degradation and how it drives migration, as well as how it plays into the context of security, a very important issue in today’s global political field. Finally, it will explore the global response to environmentally displaced individuals, especially the response of International Organizations and States.
Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC)
Edda Mutter | BIG Research Reports | #32
Columbia River Treaty and Governance Innovation
Jesse Baltutis | BIG Research Reports | #38
The Columbia River Treaty offers a relevant and timely point of focus for research on governance innovation in transboundary water basins. A paper for the Borders in Globalization (BIG) thematic area of ‘governance’ would explore water governance in the Columbia River Basin from a ‘then’ and ‘now’ perspective. This approach would examine the evolution of water governance in the basin, from a traditionally state-centric perspective to one that is increasingly – though perhaps incrementally – multi-level, and explore how governance is being re-thought in recognition of the instability of climate change. The social and ecological impacts of climate change on freshwater resources – especially those that cross an international boundary – is a topic of increasing interest to scholars concerned with transboundary water governance challenges.