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The Flexible Territoriality of Borders

Novak, Paolo (2011) 'The Flexible Territoriality of Borders.' Geopolitics, 16 (4). pp. 741-767.

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Abstract

To what extent do boundaries shape state-centred scales of discourse and action? In an attempt to answer this question, the article delves into one of the key ambiguities characterising boundaries: their being both static markers of sovereign jurisdictions and socially produced and reproduced institutions. Drawing on Foucauldian notions of ‘productive power’, and taking as a referent the Durand Line, the paper elaborates upon Robert Sack's contribution, and proposes an analytical framework that simultaneously captures, while maintaining distinct, two dimensions of territoriality: territoriality as a strategy operating in a socially emptiable space, and territoriality as it unfolds in its actuality. It argues that such framework provides insights on the multi-scalar and place-specific power relations that define the social context in which the Durand Line unfolds, offering important tools for the assessment of boundaries' role in the reproduction of society's contradictions and inequalities. The flexible territoriality of the Durand Line is defined by its simultaneous, and more or less successful, attempt at ordering space across multiple dimensions .

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 14650045
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/14650045.2010.494190
Depositing User: Paolo Novak
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2011 10:22
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/12700

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