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Structures and Narratives of Border Change: Perspectives from North America, Europe and the Middle East

Seán L’Estrange, Liam O'Dowd


The proliferation, differentiation, and re-configuration of political borders are integral parts of the story of contemporary globalization. In this context, borders and borderlands have proved to be compelling sites for studying empirically the relationships between processes of capital accumulation, new forms of governance and transformations of identity manifest in different forms at the level of large geo-economic blocs, states, and sub-state regions. While the thrust of capital accumulation may be to transcend fixed territorial borders - notably those of national states - states nevertheless remain essential to regulating and supporting such processes. Thus transnational blocs - such as the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), the European Union (EU), and the Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur, or Common Market of the South) - can be seen to figure as part of a new bordering strategy for the global economy in which classical national state borders are not so much replaced as displaced whilst acquiring new functions and meanings.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229