Border Orientation in a Globalizing World

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 21-10

American Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

40 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 24 Feb 2021

See all articles by Beth A. Simmons

Beth A. Simmons

University of Pennsylvania

Michael Kenwick

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Date Written: February 23, 2021

Abstract

Border politics are a salient component of high international politics. States are increasingly building infrastructure to ‘secure’ their borders. We introduce the concept of border orientation to describe the extent to which the State is committed to the spatial display of capacities to control the terms of penetration of its national borders. Border orientation provides a lens through which to analyze resistance to globalization, growing populism, and the consequences of intensified border politics. We measure border orientation using novel, geo-spatial data on the built environment along the world’s borders and theorize that real and perceived pressures of globalization have resulted in more controlling forms of border governance. Empirical evidence supports this claim: states build more along their borders when faced with economic, cultural, and security-based anxieties. Border orientation enhances the study of border politics, complementing the politics of territorial division with a richer politics of liminal securitization and its consequences.

Keywords: Borders, Border Security, Border Walls

Suggested Citation

Simmons, Beth A. and Kenwick, Michael, Border Orientation in a Globalizing World (February 23, 2021). U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 21-10, American Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3326773 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3326773

Beth A. Simmons

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501Sansom
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
7817990076 (Phone)

Michael Kenwick (Contact Author)

Rutgers University - New Brunswick ( email )

New Brunswick, NJ
United States

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