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Chapter 1 lays out our motivation, puzzle, and research questions. Borders are one of the defining institutions of international relations. Borders establish the sovereign domain of the territorial state, within which actors have the right to govern, tax, conscript, and exploit resources. Stable borders facilitate bilateral trade, tourism, and threat reduction, the latter of which allows states to spend a larger percentage of finite resources on domestic infrastructure and social programs rather than defense. Some neighbors, however, experience failed settlement, producing some of the most violent and enduring conflict between states in modern international relations history. Despite the importance of borders, we know little about what causes failed delineation; nor have we adequately explored the consequences of that failure. Our book addresses this puzzle by answering three interconnected questions. What factors increase and decrease the likelihood of successful delineation of territorial borders, what effect does failed settlement have on rivalry formation, and how do rivals eventually settle their disputed borders and terminate these enduring competition?
The Liberal International Order is in crisis. While the symptoms are clear to many, the deep roots of this crisis remain obscured. We propose that the Liberal International Order is in tension with the older Sovereign Territorial Order, which is founded on territoriality and borders to create group identities, the territorial state, and the modern international system. The Liberal International Order, in contrast, privileges universality at the expense of groups and group rights. A recognition of this fundamental tension makes it possible to see that some crises that were thought to be unconnected have a common cause: the neglect of the coordinating power of borders. We sketch out new research agendas to show how this tension manifests itself in a broad range of phenomena of interest.
The colonial era and decolonization impacted on African states, especially on politics, economy, and individuals. In discussing the political effects, this chapter focusses on the nature of the state, borders, solidarity among former liberation fighters, and the continued links to the former colonial power. Turning to the “economic revolution” that colonial powers have left behind, it is shown that post-colonial leaders did not want to undo it in most places even though the economy was designed to benefit the colonial powers and not the colonies. The effects on individuals are various and the discussion can only sheds light on a very limited number of factors such as the effects of the humiliation of individuals.
The fourth chapter focuses on two different ways of “reading” the landscape of the northwestern Himalaya. The first evolved from the surveying and road-building practices discussed in Chapters 2 and 3: practices which resulted in an increasingly standardized body of environmental knowledge that was widely circulated through gazetteers, route books, and intelligence reports. But there is also a second way of reading the Himalayan landscape: one that emerged from earlier precolonial modes of seeing, discussed in Chapter 1. Jurisdictional problems between the imperial state and its Himalayan frontier–including disputes over taxation, water rights, territory, and grazing rights–produced deep uncertainty about the limits of frontier locales. In fact, the main challenge to the imperial vision of the would-be border came from an unlikely source: pashmina goats. By illustrating the emergence of a geographical episteme illustrated in gazetteers and other official publications, I show how information about borders, terrain, and geographical features became a necessary prerequisite for understanding political territory. This episteme, I argue, reveals the slow emergence of geopolitical thinking. But the utility of this form of thinking was consistently undermined by the multiple modes through which indigenous groups conceived of the space around them.
Thomas Simpson provides an innovative account of how distinctive forms of colonial power and knowledge developed at the territorial fringes of colonial India during the nineteenth century. Through critical interventions in a wide range of theoretical and historiographical fields, he speaks to historians of empire and science, anthropologists, and geographers alike. The Frontier in British India provides the first connected and comparative analysis of frontiers in northwest and northeast India and draws on visual and written materials from an array of archives across the subcontinent and the UK. Colonial interventions in frontier spaces and populations were, it shows, enormously destructive but also prone to confusion and failure on their own terms. British frontier administrators did not merely suffer 'turbulent' frontiers, but actively worked to generate and uphold these regions as spaces of governmental and scientific exception. Accordingly, India's frontiers became crucial spaces of imperial practice and imagination throughout the nineteenth century.
This chapter explores the role that literary texts can play in articulating a feminist approach to one of the twenty-first century’s most crucial and pressing issues: migration. Against the backdrop of significant hostility towards migration in popular, media, and governmental discourses in many locations around the world, the chapter investigates the way border crossings are depicted in Valeria Luiselli’s non-fiction book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, and in two prose poems: Warsan Shire’s ‘Conversations about Home (at the Deportation Centre)’ and Vahni Capildeo’s ‘Five Measures of Expatriation’. It shows how the complex, rich, inventive use of language in the three texts works to emphasise the connections between state borders and other forms of social differentiation and oppression, including racialisation and women’s experiences of sexual violence. In this way, the texts represent the injustices and violence of contemporary bordering regimes, while also making a feminist case for the importance and necessity of migration and border crossing.
The Schengen Agreement was meant to create a 'borderless Europe'. Yet, from the outset, countries have had a very ambivalent relationship to what Schengen stood for politically – an enhancement of the economy – and what it meant in practice: not being able to properly monitor the movement of flows of people across intra-Schengen borders. Whereas there should be no borders for so-called bonafide, or trusted, travellers, the lack of border control was seen as problematic in keeping out the 'crimmigrant other': the irregular migrant, the criminal migrant, the terrorist migrant. By investing in various modalities of the policing of movement and mobility, one could say that the border is everywhere in an area that was meant to be borderless and that the process of 'othering' is central to its functioning. By bringing together the literature on 'othering' and 'bordering', this chapter considers the utility of borders not just as sites of enquiry in their own right but as ‘epistemological viewpoints’ from which to analyse the processes of differential 'othering' that are at the core of bordering practices in intra-Schengen border zones.
This chapter opens the second part of the book and is the first of six entirely devoted to the First World War. It concentrates on the early months of the war and examines first of all the spread of the state of emergency throughout Europe and the British Empire. It then, while calculating the number of enemy aliens in the belligerent countries, describes the first measures against enemy aliens adopted by Britain, France, the Russian Empire and Japan on the one hand, and those taken by Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire on the other. It also spells out the diplomatic attempts at protecting enemy aliens, the reactions of the victims of the earliest provisions and the attitudes of the nationalistic public opinion, the spy fever, the spread of fake news and the popular responses to them. By the end of December 1914, each of the early participants in the war had set in motion the mechanism for dealing with enemy aliens. By the same date, the war against them had also become global, ranging from Europe to North America, from Oceania to India or Iran.
In 1834, an enslaved woman named Minerva submitted a petition to the U.S. District Court of Western Louisiana, claiming that her late master had freed her and her three children in his will but that his wife, Rachel, had “forcibly carried” them from their home in Arkansas to Mexico in order to continue holding them in bondage. Minerva’s story, recovered from previously unexamined records of the U.S. District Court of Western Louisiana, reveals that freedom was less a “natural state” to be enjoyed than a legal claim to be defended. Cases like Minerva’s also had consequences beyond the courtroom, contributing to a growing misperception in both Mexico and the United States that the Mexican authorities had adopted the “freedom principle” and fully abolished slavery. These rumored policies would prove what the Anglo colonists in Texas had long suspected—that their rights would never be assured under Mexican rule.
This chapter examines the complex entanglements of commerce and sovereignty in the modern artifact of cross-border trade that was inaugurated in 2008 between the India- and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir. The exchange was devised as a nontaxable, nonmonetized form of barter, and strange customs evolved to ensure that the trade could be neither “internal” nor “external.” Yet for traders who engaged cross-border commerce in all its absurdity and elasticity, its artifactual form served as an opportunity for activating transversal ideas of autonomy, community, and profit otherwise not permissible under the regulatory regimes of nation states. Drawing on the historical emergence of markets as sites of political claims-making, I examine recent boundary wars between licit and illicit trade at the Line of Control to show how both traders and the state continually improvise law and exchange express distinct - and often incongruous - ideas of fairness and freedom.
Pandemics are imbued with the politics of bordering. For centuries, border closures and restrictions on foreign travelers have been the most persistent and pervasive means by which states have responded to global health crises. The ubiquity of these policies is not driven by any clear scientific consensus about their utility in the face of myriad pandemic threats. Instead, we show they are influenced by public opinion and preexisting commitments to invest in the symbols and structures of state efforts to control their borders, a concept we call border orientation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, border orientation was already generally on the rise worldwide. This trend has made it convenient for governments to “contain” the virus by externalizing it, rather than taking costly but ultimately more effective domestic mitigation measures. We argue that the pervasive use of external border controls in the face of the coronavirus reflects growing anxieties about border security in the modern international system. To a great extent, fears relating to border security have become a resource in domestic politics—a finding that does not bode well for designing and implementing effective public health policy.
The Bible contains competing maps of Israel’s homeland, and these maps bear directly on questions of belonging and status for communities that affiliated with Israel. This first chapter of Part II compares the conceptions of the conquest that inform these maps.
Recently, people on both sides of the Atlantic have been wrestling with questions concerning the priority they should give residents of their own country versus distant others. In Europe, the issue of the acceptance and treatment of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa came to prominence. Likewise, in the USA, President Trump attempted to bar Muslims from entering the county, increased the deportation of undocumented migrants fleeing violence and hardship in Latin America and drastically cut the number of admissible refugees. The issue of priority to ‘countrymen’ has also arisen in debates about international trade, as well as in regard to foreign aid and the obligation to maintain regional and global alliances. These practical contexts raise questions of what we owe ‘outsiders’, whether they be distantly situated or attempting to migrate to our own or to a different state, and the conflicting solidarities. Should we always stand in solidarity with fellow citizens or other members of our own political communities, or should we equally prioritize solidarity with oppressed or suffering others outside our borders? In this chapter, I attempt to clarify these issues by analysing two main senses of solidarity and discussing the question of negotiating between them when they conflict.
Chapter 2 charts the trajectory of Afghanistan as a spatial formation, one created but not ‘occupied’, as it were, by colonial order. It argues that the seemingly innocuous production of Afghanistan as a ‘state of exception’ is in fact intimately tied to the logics of colonialism. Afghanistan conceived as a ‘failed’ state, a liminal zone on the periphery of civilisation, is a type of imperial formation, one necessary for the representation and establishment of the stability of the centre. It is an exploration of the intimate connections between power, knowledge and space. The chapter’s focus on the ‘state’ forms the first half of the conventional ‘state’ versus ‘tribe’ debate that animates most policy discussion about the country.G7
Chapter 6 details how the administration since the mid 1920s sought to encapsulate north-western Namibia. Boundaries were enforced and wide no-man's lands were established to prevent cross-boundary mobility: mobility into southern Angola, mobility into the western margins of the Cuvelai delta, and mobility to the south. The encapsulation of north-west Namibia went along with enforced measures of veterinary control and trade restrictions: herders were forcefully confined to subsistence pastoralism and the spatial reach was massively restricted.
Chapter 5 deals with the establishment of a colonial administration in the region. Whereas the German administration hardly established any enduring administrative structures in the region, the South African government was more ambitious to ensure dominance and administrative effectiveness. Closely connected to (but not controlled by) the advancing colonial administration is the rapid repastoralisation of the population. Within a period of thirty years a community subsisting mainly on foraging and small stock keeping turns itself into a prosperous cattle rearing community.
The Islamic empires, and specifically the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire, were not antithetical to the Westphalian principles of international order. The claim of Islamic and Ottoman incompatibility had more to do with European colonial ambitions. Altering their universalist claims, Ottoman rulers engaged in significant adjustments to Western principles of international diplomacy and international relations. Studying the Islamic world provides insights into how a regional order might be based on a shared collective identity rather than on material dominance by a hegemonic power. The Ottoman Empire provides a perfect case to examine adjustment at the peak of Western imperial expansion and confrontation with the West.
Since its inception in 2000, the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has conceptualised the conflict-affected woman as a subject worthy of international attention, protection, and inclusion. In the wake of Europe's ‘refugee crisis’, this article examines how the remit of WPS has broadened from women in conflict zones to refugees in Europe's borderlands. A minority of European states now attend, in their WPS policy, to these conflict-affected women on the move. This inclusion productively challenges established notions of where conflict-affectedness is located. It exposes Europe as not always peaceful and safe for women, especially refugees who flee war. Conversely, the dominant tendency to exclude refugees from European WPS policy is built on a fantasy of Europe as peaceful and secure for women, which legitimises the fortressing of Europe and obscures European states’ complicity in fuelling insecurity at their borders, cultivating an ethos of coloniality around the WPS agenda. The inclusion of refugees is no panacea to these problems. If focused solely on protection, it repositions European states as protective heroes and conflict-affected women as helpless victims. The WPS framework nonetheless emphasises conflict-affected women's participation in decision-making and conflict prevention, opening space for recognising the refugee women as political actors.
At crucial junctures European citizens spoke up to express support for or dissatisfaction with the EC, or addressed European affairs in other forums. Yet the process from which the EC and EU eventually emerged was always characterised by a degree of remoteness, and by a tension between civil society participation and elite-centric politics. Overall, the chapter argues that attitudes towards the integration process – even before the Maastricht Treaty – were much less robust than had long been believed. During the post-war decades the EC remained no bearer of great passions. The reasons for this include the Community’s economic focus, its technocratic aspect and its remoteness from everyday life. At the same time many people preferred to become involved in other things than the affairs of the EC, for example in youth exchange programmes, town twinning or Interrailing around the continent and other forms of transnational tourism. For important questions that the public had in relation to Europe, the EC at the time offered no answers and no platform for civil society engagement. Hence, European cooperation EC style was based more on toleration than on genuine approval.
This article reframes the formation of the Ottoman-Habsburg frontier after 1699 in social historical terms. By going beyond diplomatic and military factors, it identifies how the contraction of Ottoman borders affected taxation, landholding, and Muslim-Christian relations in Bosnia. The article argues that peasants in Ottoman Bosnia experienced the mounting pressures of increasing taxation, manipulation over landownership, and religiously inflected hostility, often driven by those Muslim noblemen who tried to capitalize on the destabilizing wake of several wars that the Ottoman Empire fought with the Habsburg, Venetian, and Russian states in the eighteenth century. Through these processes, by the end of the century the meaning of the reaya or raya—an Ottoman term for taxpaying “subjects” that theoretically applied to all denominations, including Muslims—had become synonymous with “Christians,” acquiring a new political significance.