Borders and Boundaries Project Call for Papers: 2022 Conference on International Borders in a Globalizing World

Do international political borders matter in the modern world, and, if so, in what ways? Learn more at the Fourth Annual Conference on International Borders in a Globalizing World, taking place on April 28-29, 2022. 

The globalization literature suggests that political boundaries between states matter less and less, especially as states have liberalized their markets for goods and services. And yet, political boundaries between states have not faded away–far from it. Ironically, in the age of globalization, trade and immigration have become sources of anxiety for citizens in many countries, and states have erected an ever- increasing number of physical, institutional and performative barriers along their borders.

The Fourth Annual Conference on International Borders in a Globalizing World will explore the politics, economics, social processes, and psychologies of (in)security that explain states’ and their polities’ concerns with their national borders. We plan to explore the meanings, rules, and consequences of borders and boundaries in international relations and in comparative local contexts.

How do international borders influence conflict and cooperation between states? How do borders, border regions, and border activities speak to national encounters with neighbors and the rest of the world? How do they affect human rights, international trade and development? When and how are international borders “securitized,” and how does this affect the flow of goods, people, and illicit activities around and across the border? How and to what extent do international borders reflect, challenge, and reinforce various identities?

We hope the conference facilitates understanding the contemporary meaning and function of boundary-making between states from multiple disciplines and perspectives: political science, international law, international relations, history, geography, sociology, criminology, anthropology, psychology and economics.

This conference will focus on international boundaries between organized human communities, broadly understood. The conference is concerned with how humans demarcate the space between “us” and “them” in a global context. We seek thought-provoking, theoretically motivated papers with empirical content based on any appropriate method(s).

Potential panel themes may include, but are not limited to, transborder migration, human rights, and international border crossings; comparative public opinion focused on border politics; transnational crime; illicit trafficking, and law enforcement across borders; state building and non-state challenges to borders; border disputes, cooperation and management; border anxieties, attitudes, and populism; the politics and governance of physical border crossings; economic development in and across border regions; cross-border data flows and surveillance at physical borders; creative methodological approaches to study border affairs; and the intersection of climate change and border issues.

Applications are due by February 24, 2022, require an abstract of no more than 500 words, and may    be submitted through the following link: Borders Conference Application. Accepted presenters will submit their conference papers by April 14th, to allow time for intentional feedback during the conference.

Please direct questions to Dr. Bailee Donahue: