chapter  4
14 Pages

Borders, distance, politics

WithPaolo Novak

This chapter deals with the debate by conceptually distinguishing between border lines and border functions and by suggesting it be refocussed around an empirical concern with the place-specific and embodied distance between the two dimensions. It examines the debate on the location of borders, discussing various attempts to move out of methodologically national understandings of borders and migration, and associated critiques. The chapter explores the debate in terms of competing epistemological understandings of the process of spatial production, by reference to EU border management practices. Accounts inspired by autonomous understandings of migration assert instead that migrants are not simply co-implicated in the process of spatial production, but rather its constituent force, as EU border management reacts to the turbulence of their political subjectivities. The most pernicious consequence of the social-to-spatial analytical trajectory deployed by most of the contributions relates to the definition of their politics away from the border itself.