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

Taiwan Strait: An Aching Suture between the Mainland China and the Taiwan Island – A study of the Identity of Taiwanese Youth

Weiyn Wang | BIG Research Reports | #55

Taiwan Strait: An Aching Suture between the Mainland China and the Taiwan Island - A study of the Identity of Taiwanese Youth

Precarity of the Territorialized State: Immigrants Re-drawing and Re-mapping the Borders

Ugur Yildiz | Journal of Borderland Studies | 2016

Any narrative on borders at the outset tends to begin with the Westphalian inclusionary and exclusionary system of nation-state through oftentimes highlighting the constructed nature of the mapping and drawing territorially defined landscapes. In its general notion, the concretization of borders simultaneously brings the system of nation-state which has fundamentally divided world into societies and states and has represented the regime of border as historically natural. The aim of this article is to approach this concrete and historically constructed phenomenon from the perspective of migrants with a focus on their acts of border crossing. The rationale of the article is two-fold— first, theoretical exploration and conceptualization of the border: the border as a space of heterotopia, the border as a liminal space or liminality, and the border as representational space. Second, the article aims to combine theoretical conceptualization with the empirical case. The article aims to explore the way of re-mapping, re-drawing, and re-shaping of borders by the agency of Other through concentrating on the perception of migrants and asylum seekers who are seeking asylum in Turkey and waiting to be resettled to a third safe country, here Canada. Through focusing on the migrants’ mappings of these non-real and non-utopian places via semi-structured interviews conducted in Turkey, the paper aims to re-draw and re-shape the permeability and contingency of borders through visualizing phenomenological experience of individuals on the route and at the borders.

Citation: Yildiz, Ugur. “Precarity of the Territorialized State: Immigrants Re-drawing and Re-mapping the Borders.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 31, no. 4 (2016).


Precarity of the Territorialized State: Immigrants Re-drawing and Re-mapping the Borders