Borders, Security & Separation
By admin May 31, 2015


Since the treaty of Verdun in 843 there has been a call for visibly defined territories so that there can be clear control of one’s territory, and that of others. We believe that borders are a thing of the past and have come to accept the preconception that globalisation has eroded state power, barriers and borders, thanks to the increased movement of goods and people since the beginning of the 20th century.


However, we have seen in recent years an increase in barriers and boundaries drawn along political, economic, ethnic and even religious lines. Since the start of the year 2000, the National Geographic has estimated that in the past 15 years man has built around 25,000 km of walls and barricades. Among these include the wall between Mexico and the US (pictured in this article), the wall that separates Israel and the Palestinian territories, and most recently the wall Saudi Arabia has begun to build along its border with Iraq to the north and Yemen to the south.


The reintroduction of space markers brings with it nostalgic notions of territories that belong to certain peoples, while also bringing with it ideas of nationalism and protectionism. It is argued that the erection of these walls, fences and barriers is reactive as it doesn’t tend to happen in peaceful and non-contested territories such as those between Chile & Argentina, or even the longest border in the world, Canada & the US. This is in contrast to the area of Kashmir where India has been building a 179 km long wall to separate the south-western portion of the disputed region from Pakistan.


In recent years there has been a call for the reactivation of barriers to entry with more filters and ways to choose who comes in, especially in the developed world. The erection of walls and barriers are antagonistic but they tend to be erected out of fear in the face of what Clausewitz defined as ‘new wars’ where countries are increasingly facing non-state actors. As globalisation makes borders more porous and countries look for a way to retain or even re-impose their sovereignty, they see the archaic and simple erection of walls as a way to guard their borders.


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Thanks for sharing !

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