Focal Point

Elastic Borders

5 articles

Borders define. Conventionally, they seem demarcated, set. But the political situations in nation states and regional unions often bring the jurisdiction of borders into question. There are states determined to acquire more land. And those pushing to restrict legal entry. Forced migration, caused by environmental crises, war and poverty, has become a particularly keen topic for inhospitable hosts, focusing on both exclusion and expansionist solutions.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Graz calls this phenomenon ‘Elastic Borders’: ‘Thinking of borders as elastic offers new avenues to understanding not only how state borders stretch and retract, but also how they create fields of stress and violations in the processes of extension and retraction.’ With contributions from the NOMIS foundation-funded research project and Eurozine partner journals, articles in this focal point range from contemporary field work on contentious border practices in Greece, Spain and Tunisia to the legal and technological enactment of elastic borders.

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