Soft Borders

Overview

Against hard border thinking and traditional notions of sovereignty, this work is an argument for soft borders and transnational citizenship exercised through multiple and overlapping polities: negotiable and fluid spaces of political association. The work does not romanticize movement, but recognizes the cruel grasp of border politics on people’s lives. It rejects a notion of sovereignty that fixes political identities into hierarchical geographies of place, facilitating the movement and well-being of some at ...

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Soft Borders

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Overview

Against hard border thinking and traditional notions of sovereignty, this work is an argument for soft borders and transnational citizenship exercised through multiple and overlapping polities: negotiable and fluid spaces of political association. The work does not romanticize movement, but recognizes the cruel grasp of border politics on people’s lives. It rejects a notion of sovereignty that fixes political identities into hierarchical geographies of place, facilitating the movement and well-being of some at the expense of others. The argument for soft borders is a plea to reverse the trend of building walls for peace and security and an appeal to open rather close the opportunities and avenues for collective action.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Julie Mostov’s book Soft Borders: Rethinking Sovereignty and Democracy encourages us to look at the key problems of the twenty first century from a novel perspective that is not only inspiring and theoretically interesting but also practically possible. This work is based on her extensive knowledge of ethnic conflicts in Southeastern Europe and the problems of citizens who find themselves trapped within the “hard borders” of ethnocratic states, as well as on her understanding of current trends in the West to build new fortresses against labor migration. Mostov does not offer easy solutions or call for the end of the state, but in the context of global integration, fragmentation, and new possibilities of communication she shows us a way to rethink the concepts of democracy, sovereignty, and citizenship and offers an innovative notion of multi-layered cooperation among transnational citizens in fluid and multiple soft border polities. "— Vesna Pešic , senior scientific associate of the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade University, human rights and peace activist, and Member of Serbian Parliament

“In Soft Borders, Julie Mostov weaves a political theory of borders around their operative contingency and pervasive injustice in the world of globalization. Explaining why hard borders foster a violent, exclusionary, and repressive politics of ethnocracy by fixing and naturalizing difference and creating vulnerable “others” inside and outside national boundaries, she argues persuasively for a viable alternative, already in the making: "soft" border practices and institutions designed to secure transnational citizen rights in spaces of human mobility.”—David Ludden, Professor of Political Economy and Globalization, History Department, New York University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403965530
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Mostov is Professor of Political Science and Associate Vice Provost for International Programs at Drexel University.

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Table of Contents

Globalization and Fragmentation
• Locations and Boundaries of Sovereignty
• Democracy, Ethnocracy, and Sovereignty
• Soft Borders and Sovereignty
• Reconstructing the Polity

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