ABSTRACT

The French-Brazilian border usually goes unnoticed in discussions about the interdependencies between France and Brazil as well as between Europe and South America. In this introduction to the first English-speaking, sociological and interdisciplinary monograph covering the region and its global entanglements, I upend dominant understandings and representations of Europe. In doing so, I also point out how the political and legal frameworks set up in French Guiana’s borderland with Brazil, as in many other non-sovereign territories across the world, as well as the differently situated positionings of their inhabitants, defy textbook definitions of borders, sovereignty, citizenship, and the modern nation-state. The entangled inequalities reproduced and contested in the French-Brazilian borderland are thus not isolated phenomena, but rather alert us to the exclusionary patterns systematically reproduced by violent border politics in and epistemological forgetting of Europe’s remaining colonial possessions.