Border Crossings

Joan Cocks

While “border” is the specific concept of a delineating, separating, and adjacency-creating edge, there’s a fundamental sense in which every concept has edges that help distinguish it from every other. Some of those other concepts will be similar to it but not identical, most will be incommensurable, and a few will be diametrically opposed. Thus, the concept of border is similar but not identical to “periphery” and “margin,” incommensurable with “forest” or “justice” or “appetite,” and diametrically opposed to “the center” on the one side and “unboundedness” on the other. Linguistic distinctions, in short, are made by drawing conceptual and hence mental dividing lines between x and y that also relate the entities they distinguish in different ways.

Michael Forman

The train that crosses the Oresund from Copenhagen to Malmö was nearly at its destination. As it pulled into the first stop, the doors stayed closed; gendarmes boarded and proceeded to check documents. For locals, used to a half-hour ride, the commute has more than doubled in duration. For the unfortunates pulled off the train, the ordeal would continue. The checks, new and broadly unpopular in Malmö, respond to the hostile reaction against refugees from Swedes who live far from the area. Both Denmark and Sweden are parties to the Schengen Agreement (1985) which allows for the free movement of their citizens as if they were in a single country. There are no checks on the way to Copenhagen.

Élisabeth Vallet

After the fall of the Berlin Wall it was believed that the reconfiguration of international relations was opening an age of globalization in which states, borders, and sovereignties would become obsolete. September 11, however, signaled the end of this Western-centered utopia and the beginning of an era where border barriers and walls were becoming central to a re-fortified world. Borders were seen as open, soft, and purposely porous. They have become more and more closed, hard, and seemingly impassable. 

Amarnath Amarasingam Jacob Davey

Max Regus
Richard Potter

Editor’s Note: This essay is the second in a two-part series on persecuted religious minorities fleeing Pakistan and seeking asylum in Thailand. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the situation at hand, take the time to start with the first essay, which focuses on Pakistani Christians.

 

Richard Potter

Editor's Note: This is part one in our series on Pakistan's persecuted religious minorities. Click here to read part two, focused on the Ahmadi Muslim population.

 

Shaun Randol

Richard Potter
Shaun Randol

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