110 Georgetown Law Journal 445 (2022)
65 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2021 Last revised: 13 May 2022
Date Written: May 2022
This Article explores the conceptualization of race and racial justice in relation to international borders in dominant liberal democratic discourse and theory of First World nation-states. It advances two analytical claims. The first is that contemporary national borders of the international order—an order that remains structured by imperial inequity—are inherently racial. The default of liberal borders is racialized inclusion and exclusion that privileges “Whiteness” in international mobility and migration. This racial privilege inheres in the facially neutral legal categories and regimes of territorial and political borders, and in international legal doctrine. The second is that central to theorizing the system of neocolonial racial borders is understanding race itself as border infrastructure. That is to say, race operates as a means of enforcement of liberal territorial and political borders, and as a result, international migration governance is also a mode of racial governance. Normatively, the Article outlines the specific relational injustices of racial borders.
Keywords: Race, racial injustice, international borders, international legal doctrine, racial privilege, imperial inequity
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