Imagining and Imaging Borders: Understanding Borderlands for Global Sustainability
Keywords: Border, Boundary, Borderlands, Governance, Flows, Border Culture, Border History, Security, Sustainability
Abstract. Borders are increasingly complex human responses and social constructions in a world where globalizing forces confront basic human concerns for security and certainty. In an effort to provide a background to assess research directions for imaging borders, this paper explores what we know about borders, and what we do not know well about borders. Borders in globalization are the meeting points of globalizing forces of security, trade and migration flows with emerging technologies, self determination and regionalization around the world. We need to know more about how: self determination fuels secessions and new borders; borders result from complex rather than simple policy and governance issues; borders depend on the political clout of borderland communities; market and migration flows impact borders; and borders are always in motion. The paper shows how these organizing principles underlie the basic themes of border governance, flows, culture, history, security and sustainability. Finally, the paper offers two brief illustrations of border imaging to link this presentation to the following discussion of the workshop.