Borders, Walls and Violence: Costs and Alternatives to Border Fencing

In a globalized world in which interdependence is viewed as a necessity and the norm, border walls appear to be things of the past, obsolete manifestations of the institution of State. Nevertheless, walls have been spreading steadily since the end of the Cold War. And the boom in wall-building after the attack on the World Trade Center actually has its roots, at least attitudinally, in the pre-9/11 period, for the walls derive not from a specific fear of terrorism but rather from the global insecurity bred by globalization. Paradoxically, in a security-conscious world, globalization has led not to the elimination of borders but rather to the recomposition of territory and the erection of new “ramparts”. The wall has become a solution to the quest for security of the State, the boundaries of which never truly disappeared, a solution sublimated through an increasingly security-centric discourse in the wake of 9/11, and further fueled by post-Arab Spring events.

This panel seeks to understand border walls as a global trend in International Relations. As a growing number of walls are being built along international borders and as migrants and inhabitants of those borderlands are experimenting more and more violence, we seek to understand the local perspectives and views on border fences and replace it in a multiscalar perspectives in order to see if there are viable alternatives to fences and security approaches. How much do they cost (both monetary and socially)? How well do they work? How do they affect borderlands? How are security discourses shaping the landscape to build border walls?

Send your title and abstract of no more than 500 words to vallet.elisabeth@uqam.ca or andreanne.ob@gmail.com as well as to the submission system of ABS World 2018. Dead-line : 30 September 2017.