Borders define the spaces and subjects of politics. The act of bordering marks out a jurisdiction, affirming notions of sovereignty and identifying those who have a right to circulate and participate in political processes. Attention to bordering practices highlights how political space is not static or timeless but is continually being defined, policed and negotiated. Bordering occurs at diverse sites and scales through a range of technologies and practices. States control mobility by employing barriers and surveillance technologies at physical border sites but also by policing and detaining bodies inside and beyond them. While contemporary bordering practices are sometimes taken as a departure from a previous world of stable boundaries, attention to the histories of borders – and particularly their colonial lineages – underlines both continuity and change. The border is not solely a site of exclusion but also of encounter, interpenetration and transformation. Novel forms of political subjectivity and community continually emerge by negotiating, rethinking and contesting diverse boundaries. Indeed, border thinking, that engages with the knowledge and lived reality of those inhabiting border spaces, has become prominent in attempts to imagine politics otherwise.
The Australian Critical Border Studies Network brings together critical scholars working on border related questions in different disciplines. We seek to provide an intellectual and inspiring space to share and develop new ideas for critical border research.
We welcome any ideas to expand the network.