BIG_Review 5.1

Fall/Winter 2023/2024

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).

This issue of BIG_Review inauguates our new focus on Indigenous Internationalisms, with a Special Section: Honouring Indigenous Land and Water Defenders, edited by Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel and featuring original essays, interviews, poetry, and artworks by Indigenous contributors. The issue also presents a new Portfolio: Documenting Border Barriers, by Pamela Dodds, which starkly portrays the rise of international walls and fences around the world. In addition, we share a Special Section on the rebordering of Europe: Border Renaissance, edited by Astrid Fellner, Eva Nossem, and Christian Wille, featuring seven research articles and an introduction.

Herein and going forward, all Indigenous content in BIG_Review is marked by a decorative design by Métis artist and BIG Indigenous Coordinator, Braelynn Abercrombie. Braelynn’s artwork depicts salmon (as well as the sustainable practice of reef net fishing) and kwetlal or camas, which are vital to the food systems, sacred relationships, and the future health and well-being of Lekwungen, W̱SÁNEĆ and coastal Indigenous nations.

Read the latest issue here!

Cover art © Francis Dick.

BIG_Review 5.1

BIG_Review 4.2

Spring/Summer 2023

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.

BIG_Review 4.2

Nihon no Kyokai: Kokka to hitobito no sokoku (Japan’s Borders: For State or People)

Hyunjoo Naomi Chi, Edward Boyle | Hokkaido University Press | 2022

Featuring an Introduction co-written with Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (BIG Project Director), this volume is the outcome of a BIG Workshop held at Hokkaido University in April 2018, bringing Japanese and foreign researchers together to reflect upon the history and specificities of Japan’s contemporary border regime. Published on December 25th, 2022.


Edward Boyle is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and the Center for Asia-Pacific Future Studies. He holds a BA from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and an MA from the Faculty of Law at Hokkaido University, where he is also in the process of completing his doctorate. Currently, he is charged with the task of establishing Japan’s first interdisciplinary Center for Border Studies at Kyushu University.

Hyunjoo Naomi Chi is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy, Hokkaido University. She holds a BA from the University of British Columbia.

Nihon no Kyokai: Kokka to hitobito no sokoku (Japan's Borders: For State or People)

#13 BIG Podcast – “Frontières internes et frontières externes de l’Union européenne”

featuring Frédérique Berrod – Professeure à Sciences Po Strasbourg, France

L’Union européenne poursuit le projet de créer une intégration juridique entre différents Etats sur le plan institutionnel et le plan matériel. Mais quels sont ses effets sur les frontières entre les Etats qui la composent ? En outre, le droit de l’UE développe une régulation juridique propre. Que sont les frontières internes de l’UE? Et que sont les frontières externes de l’UE ? Dans ce paysage complexe, avec le marché intérieur, l’espace de liberté, de sécurité et de justice, l’espace Schengen, la coopération transfrontalière, les relations commerciales de l’UE, on note la présence de facteurs qui tendent à une dévaluation juridique des frontières, et d’autres qui conduisent à une réévaluation juridique des frontières. Nous tenterons d’y voir plus clair avec Frédérique Berrod.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and the Podcast App!

#13 BIG Podcast -

British Columbia’s Borders in Globalization

Nicole Bates-Eamer and Helga Hallgrimsdottir | Routledge | 2022

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Borderlands Studies. This book is a case-study collection examining the influences and functions of British Columbia’s (BC) borders in the 21st century; it examines bordering processes and the causes and effects of borders in the Cascadian region, from the perspective of BC. The chapters cover diverse topics including historical border disputes and cannabis culture and identity; the governance of transboundary water flows, migration, and pre-clearance policies for goods and people; and the emerging issue of online communities. The case studies provide examples that highlight the simultaneous but contradictory trends regarding borders in BC: while boundaries and bordering processes at the external borders shift away from the territorial boundary lines, self-determination, local politics, and cultural identities re-inscribe internal boundaries and borders that are both virtual and real. Moreover, economic protectionism, racial discourses, and xenophobic narratives, driven by advances in technology, reinforce the territorial dimensions of borders. These case studies contribute to the literature challenging the notion that territorial borders are sufficient for understanding how borders function in BC; and in a few instances they illustrate the nuanced ways in which borders (or bordering processes) are becoming detached from territory.

British Columbia’s Borders in Globalization

Firepower: Geopolitical Cultures in the Anthropocene

Simon Dalby | Geopolitics | 2018

The human control of fire is a relatively neglected part of the discussion of the contemporary transformation of the planet. Thinking about it in terms of geopolitics is a way to link climate adaptation, extinction and the possibilities of extending traditional analyses of political ecology to the global scale. Such thinking is explicitly rejected as the appropriate premises for foreign policy action by the Trump administration which poses American greatness in terms of traditional understandings of firepower. This clash of geopolitical cultures is now key to global politics, where dramatic landscape transformation, related species extinctions as well as climate change results directly and indirectly from human control of combustion. Firepower is a matter of military technology as well as, in the form of fossil fuel combustion, the essential energy source that fuels the global economy. Focusing on combustion as a key geophysical force in contemporary geopolitics offers useful insights into the Anthropocene discussion and, in particular, the two planetary boundaries of climate change and biodiversity loss, which are key to contemporary efforts at global environmental governance.

Dalby, Simon. “Firepower: Geopolitical Cultures in the Anthropocene.” Geopolitics 23, no. 3 (2018): 718-742.

Firepower: Geopolitical Cultures in the Anthropocene

“The So-Called 2015 Migration Crisis and Euroscepticism in Border Regions: Facing ReBordering Trends in the Danish-German Borderlands”

Martin Klatt | Geopolitics | 2018

This paper examines the role of Euroscepticism on regional cross-border cooperation between Germany and Denmark. It demonstrates that Euroscepticism, while absent from local mainstream politicians, had already caused civic unrest in the 1997 attempts to construct a return to history Euro-region Schleswig. It resulted in a re-scaling of the Euro-Region to Region and Schleswig to “Sønderjylland/Schleswig”, omitting any reference to Europe, European identity or a commitment to a closer European union in the relevant agreements. Border controls, on the agenda in 2011 and again since 2015, have demonstrated the institutional weakness of cross-border politics when faced with determined initiatives from the national center. Furthermore, the Eurosceptic Danish People’s Party had its best results in the border precincts both at the latest European and Danish national elections. Euroscepticism, even though difficult to measure on a regional level, seems to have been an ever present underneath current despite a political rhetoric of successful cooperation and cross-border reconciliation. The Danish-German case’s development might be more distinct, but nonetheless representative for European border (and cross-border) regions. While European metropolises develop into thriving cosmopolitan post-nation state societies, this is not necessary the case at Europe’s borders, where categorization and bordering remain common social practices by the large majority of national borderlanders with only a small portion of transnational borderlanders or ‘regionauts’ getting involved in border crossing social practices on a larger scale.

Klatt, Martin. “The So-Called 2015 Migration Crisis and Euroscepticism in Border Regions: Facing ReBordering Trends in the Danish-German Borderlands.” Geopolitics 23, (2018).

“The So-Called 2015 Migration Crisis and Euroscepticism in Border Regions: Facing ReBordering Trends in the Danish-German Borderlands”

Video by Chorong Kim

Geopolitics in the Anthropocene

Simon Dalby | BIG Research Reports | #45

Discussions of migrations and boundary walls and fences, military interventions, and the use of nationalist tropes have raised the rhetorical temperature in  international politics. Walter Russell Mead (2014) is concerned that antagonistic politics between at least some great powers suggests just such a return of  geopolitics after a period in which it was apparently absent. If the term is used to  refer to territorial disputes, and the use of military force or the threat thereof, then clearly the conflicts over Crimea, Ukraine, various islands disputed by China and Japan and by various states in the South China Sea, or Russian and Turkish actions  in early 2016, suggest its utility given the belligerence in recent events.

Simon Dalby

Geopolitics in the Anthropocene

Brexit and the Northern Irish Borderlands: Fragile Progress Moving Towards Disintegration

Michael Buttazzoni | BIG Research Reports | #49

Northern Ireland is perhaps the most unassuming borderland region one can imagine. No natural or man-made impediments physically separate the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland (UK), and the international border runs a meandering 450 km route that divides the historic province of Ulster, several parishes, and occasionally individual households between the two sovereign states. With only a switch from imperial to metric signage to denote one’s position, the most significant division within the Northern Irish borderlands, instead, exists primarily within the minds of those who dwell there. Though the sectarian conflict between Catholic Nationalist and Protestant Unionist communities pre-dates the current border configuration – laid down only in 1921— by several centuries, the largely socio-economicimpact of Northern Ireland’s modern ‘bordering’ process pales in comparison to the human cost accumulated during the conflicts provoked by its ethno-political symbolism. The border, in this sense, is a tangible legacy of the region’s recent post-colonial past, whose present post-Brexit management will define the shape of its post-conflict future.

Michael Buttazzoni

Brexit and the Northern Irish Borderlands: Fragile Progress Moving Towards Disintegration