Rethinking Borders : Globalization, Bordering, Connectivity
The recent acceleration of transnationalising tendencies has brought about an increasing degree of institutional interest in borders. In this work, Cooper argues that border studies lacks a general approach to border theory and seeks to put forward a new and more productive framework within which borders can be approached and subsequently studied, shifting the terms of the debate and focusing on logics and processes of connection rather than just the construction, destruction and mobility of the borders themselves.
Cooper argues that borders themselves function as mechanisms of connection, that borders, in other words, form a fundamental and integral part of globalization and global interconnection. However, while acknowledging the standard ways in which borders connect proximate localities (the facilitation of crossing, or spaces of contact and cooperation), it will be argued that borders theorised as mechanisms of connection differ because they connect to places far beyond the locality of the border in nuanced and subtle ways. Borders as mechanisms of non-proximate connection, in other words, enable individuals to engage with the wider world, facilitating contact with multiple ‘others’ that would not otherwise communicate – what could be termed here ‘distant localities’.
By putting forward connection as lens through which borders can be studied, the book will consider different types of borders, in which (traditional/territorial) state borders are only one, and will take into account the many different actors doing the bordering. The work observes the ways in which borders are traditionally theorised in terms of power and argues that connecting to that which is non-proximate provides new and novel routes to political empowerment.
This work stems from theories in a variety of disciplines and will be of interest to students and scholars of border studies, international relations, globalization and global studies.