Toward a Critical Geography of the Border: Engaging the Dialectic of Practice and Meaning

$48.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Download / Buy Article:


Recent scholarship has pointed out the multidimensional character of national borders and the implausibility of the border as a single and coherent concept. In this article, I build on this scholarship as I discuss how geographers can critically engage in the dialectic of the border concept. To develop this argument, I review some of the existing literature on the concept of the border and cross-border migration and suggest that various material practices and meanings related to borders can be conceived of as “aspects” of the border concept. I argue that the impossibility of integrating these aspects into a coherent concept constitutes an important moment in the dialectic of the border. Critical geographers have an opportunity to engage with this border dialectic by offering meanings of borders that enable new possible border practices. I advocate a democratic aspect of the border concept decoupled from the state and implemented through a multitude of possible practices. I recognize that the consequences of such scholarly engagement in the border dialectic are not entirely foreseeable and therefore require continual reflection.

Keywords: aspect-seeing; borders; critical geography; dialectics; dialéctica; fronteras; geografía crítica; migración; migration; vislumbrando aspectos

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography,Ryerson University,

Publication date: September 1, 2011

Related content

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more