Understanding Borders under Contemporary Globalisation
Authors: Jussi P. Laine
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Recognising the close interrelationships between social change and paradigm shifts, this article contributes to an interpretation of conceptual change in the study of borders. While borders continue to have considerable relevance today, we need to revisit them in light of their constantly changing historical, political, and social contexts, grasping their shifting and undetermined nature in space and time. The article underlines the multilevel complexity of borders – from the geopolitical to the level of social practice and cultural production at and across the border at different levels and, thus, not only along the dividing lines of nation-state sovereignties. It seeks to make a constructive contribution to debate within border studies by encouraging a productive understanding of the processual, de-territorialised, and dispersed nature of borders and their ensuring regimes in the era of globalisation and transnational flows, as well as showcasing border research as an interdisciplinary field with its own academic standing. Adopting the borderscapes concept as a central organising element, this article advocates for a relational approach to borders which takes into account complementary perspectives that consider the interaction between political visions and everyday sociocultural practices, as well as social representations and artistic imaginaries.