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Mogiani, Marco (2023) 'Studying Borders from the Border: Reflections on the Concept of Borders as Meeting Points.' Geopolitics, 28 (3). pp. 1323-1341.

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Can the border be considered an epistemological starting point for the analysis of border theories and processes? Whether we look at Rumford’s ‘Seeing like a border’, Mezzadra and Neilson’s ‘Border as Method’, or at Mignolo’s ‘Border thinking’, the answer seems to be a positive one. Similar in their way of employing a different gaze to look at and from the border, yet radically divergent in their methods and outcomes, each of these approaches has indeed provided a unique perspective on borders. However, I argue, a more critical analysis of such approaches reveals how they tend to (1) reproduce those epistemological distinctions that have cut across border studies in the past thirty years and (2) selectively consider some aspects in the analysis of borders, while omitting or overlooking others. All of them appear therefore necessary to grasp the multiplicity of processes, networks, and conflicts that produce and shape – while being simultaneously produced and shaped by – borders. Drawing from, yet critical towards these works, the article will take the border itself as a starting point of investigation, in order to (1) empirically analyse the processes, forces, and conflicts unfolding across borders and (2) analytically interrogate the various epistemological approaches with their advantages and shortcomings. The paper argues that borders should be better thought of as ‘meeting points’, i.e., places of encounter, interaction/clash, and reassessment/redefinition of different theories and processes. Conceiving borders as such, the paper concludes, can provide a more comprehensive framework for the analysis of borders, capable of looking at them not just as passive places moulded by different forces and encapsulated through conventional theoretical approaches, but as active, complex, and variegated processes capable of generating social outcomes and changes.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 14650045
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2023 13:45

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