Introduction: Borders and Migration - Migratory Flows at the Borders of Our World - Libros y Revistas - VLEX 851096850

Introduction: Borders and Migration

AutorJoaquín Eguren
:   
Joaquín Eguren
When the Marquis de Curzon wrote his book, Frontiers (), he consid-
ered that borders were the main concern of any Ministr y of Foreign Aairs
in the “civilized ” world and the subject matter studied in four out of ve
treaties or political convent ions. For Curzon,
the borders were truly the ed ge of the knife in which to hang the mod-
ern problems of war or peace, of life or death of nations... Just as the
protection of the home is the most importa nt vital concern for citi-
zens, for the State the integr ity of its borders is the condition of its
existence. (Curzon of Kedleston, , p. )
erefore, as a branch of government science, border policy was of
enormous practical importance a nd which greatly aected peace between
nations. However, what Curzon could not have possibly imagined was that
a century later, border policy would become a key issue due to migratory
movements and would create considerable political tension among states.
In this chapter, we will present a description of the stages created by
the theore tical reection on borders related to migr ation. e new concepts
that are being used to understand these dynamics, the methods of study
and analysis applied to the recent stages of border dynam ics and the instru-
ments to manage such dynamics.
Stages of the reection on borders
It is now necessary to analyse border issues related to migration. is top-
ic has been recently studied because traditionally, borders were analysed
from militar y and geopolitical perspect ives and the state negotiations that
dened them. Now we come to the border reection process and how it is
related to mig ration.
e rst border reections of a geographic and political nature ca n
be placed fundamentally between the two world wars and were focused
Joaquín Eguren
on geographic territorial borders (Curzon of Ked leston, ; Holdich,
). ese authors dealt with the classication of natural borders (sea,
mountains, and deserts) and those char acterised as articial. For example,
Curzon emphasises t hat in the 
century, the main issues were the borders
of empires, which were fading into those of nation-states. In general, the
authors consider that most of the wars in the th century were caused by
border disputes (Curzon of Kedleston, ; Holdich, ).
However, this reection evolves as the knowledge in the eld grows.
Mainly because since t he s the social sciences have acquired relevance
by using new concepts that deal with borders as a temporal and symbolic
space at the same time, that the importance of physical boundaries had
We will distinguish between four stages regarding border studies.
In the rst stage, studies focus on the interwar period considering mainly
the nature of the border’s location and its history (Minghi, , cited by
Görentas, ). ese studies were characterized by being mostly descrip-
tive, from a military perspective, and tried to classify the borders as good,
bad, articia l, and natural (Curzon of Kedleston, ; Holdich, ).
According to Görentas (), the rst border studies, summa-
rized by Minghi (), focused mainly on the nature of the location of the
boundary and its histor y. e second stage deals with a change of approach
regarding the criteria by which a border is designed focusing on the func-
tions it performs (Görentas, ). is change of perspective is related to
the recognition of borders as points of contact between territorial str uctures
of power in addition to the demarcation of national sovereignty. ‘Function’
and ‘eect’ began to have much more importance than ‘form’ and ‘loc ation’.
Aer World War II, the concern was to diminish tensions in border areas
due to the Cold War and tensions were military in nature.
We nd the third stage developing at the end of the 
century when
border studies underwent a major transformation that Newman ()
calls a rebirth of border studies. At the time, borders were understood as
not only static natural lines bet ween states, but also as social, political, and
discursive construct ions with its meaning bei ng produced, re-produced or
institutionaliz ed. erefore, the authors paid more attention to how borders
are constructed socially and reected on the discourses and practices of
national identity instead of taking their existence for granted. By utilizing
this perspective, t he foundations of the borders are historically contingent

Para continuar leyendo

Solicita tu prueba

VLEX utiliza cookies de inicio de sesión para aportarte una mejor experiencia de navegación. Si haces click en 'Aceptar' o continúas navegando por esta web consideramos que aceptas nuestra política de cookies. ACEPTAR