BIG Podcast #32 — “Borders and Ports of the Future”

featuring Alan Bersin, Executive Chairman of Altana AI and former U.S. Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection

Ports of Entry (PoE) are vital nodes of global connectivity, they serve as entry and exit points for global trade. Ports (seaports, airports, etc.) often serve as checkpoints for the movement of people and goods, they are interfaces between land territories and maritime/air spaces which symbolize the meeting between cultures and economies, but also the challenges linked to national security and border regulation. With the rise of connectivity and digitalization, PoE face increasing challenges in data management and cybersecurity. With AI and new technologies, a new paradigm is emerging with new concepts as federated learnings, trusted networks, and signal risk sharing. We will discuss all this, borders and globalization 2.0 with Alan D. Bersin.

Listen to Episode #32 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube!

Alan Bersin is on the the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Altana AI. He has held numerous high-level positions at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Most recently, after serving as the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Bersin served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Previously, he was Secretary of Education in California, the Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California and the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative at the Department of Justice. He also served as Vice President for the Americas and on the Executive Committee of INTERPOL Bersin is the Inaugural North American Fellow at the Wilson Center, a Senior Fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and the Executive Chairman of Altana Technologies.

BIG Podcast #32 — “Borders and Ports of the Future”

#30 & 31 BIG Podcast – Democracy, Migration Studies, and Border Studies: Bridges and/or Gaps

featuring Oliver Schmidtke, UVic European Studies Scholar, Professor, and Director of the Centre for Global Studies

Classically, Migration Studies explore all mobility regimes of human groups. There is a spectrum of public policies ranging from the migration of high-skilled workers to refugees. For the Migration Studies, national borders provide a form of social closure. Traditionally, Borders refer to issues that are fundamental to political community (state sovereignty, territorial delimitation, national security, political identity). And for this reason, borders are also instruments for regulating flows, policy tool for inclusion/exclusion. Several authors have pointed out a form of gap between Border Studies and Migration Studies. That there was a lack of cross-fertilization between these two research traditions. And some populist and nationalist discourses can exploit the ambivalence of the borders and the confusion around it. In this episode, Oliver Schmidtke joins BIG_Lab to discuss all the relations between democracy, migration, and borders and get answers to some important questions.

Listen to Part One: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.

Listen to Part Two: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.

Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Victoria where he also holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics. He received his PhD from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. He taught at the Humboldt University Berlin before joining UVic in 2000 and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Bonn University, the European University Institute, and Hamburg University.

#30 & 31 BIG Podcast – Democracy, Migration Studies, and Border Studies: Bridges and/or Gaps

#24 and #25 BIG Podcast – “Māori People, Tribal Borders and Customs in New Zealand”

featuring Thomas Tawhiri, Indigenous Māori Customs Manager and Researcher, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

The Māori are Indigenous Polynesian peoples with distant roots in the Lapita civilization. They are the first inhabitants of what is called New Zealand and arrived there more than one thousand years ago. The Māori people are a minority, forming about 18% of the New Zealand population. In this podcast, Thomas Tawhiri talks about the anthropological, political and legal history of New Zealand, the context of the declaration of independence (in Māori: He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni), the treaty of Waitangi, the societal organization of the people Māori (Iwi, Whanau, Hapu), and relations with colonial institutions. This episode is an extensive discussion about Māori culture, social boundaries between different Māori tribes and the importance of genealogy, the involvement of Māori culture within the governance of customs borders, and the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples on border research.

Listen to #24 (Part One): Apple PodcastsSpotify, YouTube.

Listen to #25 (Part Two): Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube.

Thomas Tawhiri is an Indigenous Māori Custom Manager for Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa (New Zealand Customs Service) and a researcher in Indigenous Studies. He holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous Studies from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi along with a postgraduate diploma in Māori Studies from Massey University.

#24 and #25 BIG Podcast –

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

Borders and Migration: The Canadian Experience in Comparative Perspective

Michael J. Carpenter, Melissa Kelly, Oliver Schmidtke | University of Ottawa Press | 2023

Since 2015, the cross-border movement of migrants and refugees has reached unprecedented levels. War, persecution, destitution, and desertification impelled millions to flee their homes in central Asia, the Levant, and North Africa. The responses in the Global North varied country by country, with some opening their borders to historically large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, while others adopted increasingly strict border policies.

The dramatic increase in global migration has triggered controversial political and scholarly debates. The governance of cross-border mobility constitutes one of the key policy conundrums of the 21st century, raising fundamental questions about human rights, state responsibility, and security. The research literatures on borders and migration have rapidly expanded to meet the increased urgency of record numbers of displaced people. Yet, border studies have conventionally paid little attention to flows of people, and migration studies have simultaneously underappreciated the changing nature of borders.

Borders and Migration: The Canadian Experience in Comparative Perspective provides new insights into how migration is affected by border governance and vice versa. Starting from the Canadian experience, and with an emphasis on refugees and irregular migrants, this multidisciplinary book explores how various levels of governance have facilitated and restricted flows of people across international borders. The book sheds light on the changing governance of migration and borders. Comparisons between Canada and other parts of the world bring into relief contemporary trends and challenges.


Michael J. Carpenter is a Post-Doctoral Fellow working on a project titled, “Beyond ‘Irregular Migration’: Civil Disobedience without Borders”. In addition to his fellowship, Michael also serves as a founding member and current Managing Editor of the Borders in Globalization Review.

Melissa Kelly is a Research Fellow with the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University. She holds a PhD in Social and Economic Geography from Uppsala University.

Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor and UVic European Studies Scholar in the Departments of History and Political Science. Since 2006 he holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics. From 2005 to 2008 he was the Director of the European Studies Program at UVic and from 2004 to 2006 he served as the President of the European Community Studies Association Canada. Since 2012 he has been the Director of the Centre for Global Studies and during the academic year 2016-17 he serves as the Acting Vice President Research.

Borders and Migration: The Canadian Experience in Comparative Perspective

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)

Special Section: Patterns in Border Security: Regional Comparisons

Commonwealth & Comparative Politics | Volume 59, Issue 4 | 2021

This special issue of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics raises the prospect of trust-based determinants of security communities other than cultural similarity. The case studies in this special issue document the emergence of cross-border and transgovernmental policy and enforcement networks that facilitate policy development, implementation and alignment through coordination, cooperation, and collaboration: nascent communities coordinate, ascendant communities coordinate and cooperate but struggle to collaborate, while mature communities coordinate, cooperate, and collaborate. Specifically, pluralistic forms of communication and interactions away from the actual borderline seem to play a key role in the emergence of friendly and trustful relationships among border dyads that need not necessarily be contiguous.


Foreword by Kunio Mikuriya

Introduction by Christian Leuprecht, Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Todd Hataley & Tim Legrand

The United States–Canada security community: a case study in mature border management by Christian Leuprecht, Todd Hataley, Kelly Sundberg, Keith Cozine & Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly

Security beyond the border: exploring Australia and New Zealand trans-Tasman relations in a globalised world by Jamie Ferrill, Germana Nicklin, Tim Legrand & Haydn McComas

The European Union’s model of Integrated Border Management: preventing transnational threats, cross-border crime and irregular migration in the context of the EU’s security policies and strategies by Johann Wagner

Between triple borders: border security across Latin America’s Southern Cone by Adriana Dorfman, Rafael Francisco França & Julian Mokwa Felix

Border security management in the MENA region: models of nascent and ascendant coordination and cooperation by Daniel Meier

Border security in Africa: the paradigmatic case of the Sahel as the embodiment of security and economy in borderlands by Thomas Cantens

So similar yet so distant: border security management between India and Pakistan as a laboratory of non-experimentation by Dhananjay Tripathi


This work was supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [895-2012-1022].

Special Section: Patterns in Border Security: Regional Comparisons

Patterns in Border Security: Regional Comparisons

Christian Leuprecht, Todd Hataley, Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly | Routledge | 2022

How do security communities transform into security regimes? This book compares the construction of cross-border security regimes across five regions of the world to illustrate how trust emerges from the day-to-day relations of coordination, cooperation, or collaboration. Patterns in Border Security: Regional Comparisons studies the way borderland communities develop, implement, and align border policy to enhance their sense of security. Borders have been evolving rapidly in direct response to the multifaceted challenges brought on by globalization, which has had a nuanced impact on the way borders are governed and border security is managed. Taking a methodical comparative regional approach, this book identifies and contrasts determinants of nascent, ascendant, and mature border security regimes, which the book documents in seven regional case studies from across the globe. The findings identify conditions that give rise to cross-border and trans-governmental coordination, cooperation, or collaboration. Specifically, pluralistic forms of communication and interactions, sometimes far from the actual borderline, emerge as key determinants of friendly and trustful relations among both contiguous and non-contiguous regions. This is a significant innovation in the study of borders, in particular in the way borders mediate security. For six decades international security studies had posited culture as the bedrock of security communities. By contrast, the book identifies conditions, a method, and a model for adequate and effective cross-border relations, but whose outcome is not contingent on culture.


Christian Leuprecht is Class of 1965 Professor in Leadership, Department of Political Science and Economics, Royal Military College of Canada; Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Canada; Adjunct Research Professor, Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University, Australia; and Munk Senior Fellow in Security and Defence at the Macdonald Laurier Institute. A former Fulbright Research Chair in Canada-US Relations at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC (2020) and a former Eisenhower Fellow at the NATO Defence College in Rome (2019), he is a recipient of RMC’s Cowan Prize for Excellence in Research and an elected member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Military Journal.

Todd Hataley is Professor in the School of Justice and Community Development at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada; Adjunct Associate Professor at the Royal Military College of Canada; and a former Fulbright Research Chair in Canada-US Relations at Johns Hopkins University. He is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During his tenure as a federal police officer, he conducted investigations into the smuggling of drugs, weapons and humans, money laundering, organized crime, national security, and extra-territorial torture investigations. His research focuses on managing of international boundaries, public safety, Indigenous policing, and transnational crime.

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly is Professor in the School of Public Administration, Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Jean Monnet Centre and the Borders in Globalization Laboratory at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is Editor of the Borders in Globalization Review.

Patterns in Border Security: Regional Comparisons

#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 -

#11 BIG Podcast – “Security of Borders and Security of Transnational Flows”

featuring Alan Bersin – Executive Chairman of Altana AI and former U.S. Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection

Transnational flows cross borders and reveal national and international security issues. New technologies such as BIG DATA, artificial intelligence and Machine Learning are mobilized to secure the movement and circulation of data, goods and people. Border lines are no longer the main place for checks and controls. It is this paradigm shift in the analysis and governance of borders that is the subject of our discussion with Alan D. Bersin.

Les flux transnationaux traversent les frontières et révèlent des enjeux de sécurité nationale et internationale. Les nouvelles technologies comme le BIG DATA, l’intelligence artificielle et le Machine Learning sont mobilisées pour sécuriser les mouvements et la circulation des données, des biens et des personnes. Les lignes-frontières ne sont plus le lieu principal des contrôles. C’est ce changement de paradigme dans l’analyse et la gouvernance des frontières qui fait l’objet de notre discussion avec Alan D. Bersin.

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

#11 BIG Podcast -