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2020, iss. 24, pp. 159-191
Proliferation of borders: On border policing, state, and sovereignty
Univerzitet u Pitsburgu, Odeljenje za antropologiju, Pitsburg, Sjedinjene Američke Države
This article summarizes relevant literature in critical border studies and explores how contemporary changes in border policing and management affect the nature of the contemporary state and sovereignty. It asks: If it is not clear where exactly borders are, how does this impact our understanding of state sovereignty? How is the deterritorialization of borders challenging our understanding of territorial sovereignty? How is outsourcing "legitimate means of violence" to non-state actors on borders reshaping the state's authority? In dominant political and public discourse, borders are seen as a common and defining feature of modern statehood. The modern nation-state political theology has invested the monopoly of governance over borders exclusively to the state. However, contemporary border practices challenge such an idea. Ethnographic studies show that while borders are bound to the nation-state sovereign power, they are also sites where multiple actors come into play and are increasingly disentangled from the geopolitical lines on a map. Ethnographic focus provides insights into everyday workings of sovereign power, a topic often overloaded with abstraction and relegated to the realm of theory. However, while ethnographic studies about border control and management question the prevailing ideas about state and borders, these studies often remain trapped in statist logic and spatial assumptions of the modern territorial state. Considering the historical perspective and incorporating the analysis of economic processes on the state and border could help mitigate the shortcomings mentioned above.
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article language: English
document type: Review Paper
DOI: 10.5937/genero2024159K
revised: 29/10/2020
accepted: 31/10/2020
published in SCIndeks: 20/12/2020