Redrawing the Line

This article mostly pertains to the United States, but I feel that it can apply to aspects on border control now in Europe as countries are tightening security at the border. The idea of borders in itself promotes the idea of keeping undesirable people and goods out of a country. Border control has the goal of selectively denying access to a territory. As immigration becomes the forefront of political discussions around the world, border control is becoming stricter. Even in Europe where the borders are “open”, more restrictions are being set. These days, it is easier to trade goods across borders than cross as a human. Our society is so focused on the economic benefit of open borders that we neglect freedom of border crossing for people.

The article argues that scholars are leaning towards the idea of a “world without borders”. In many ways, I agree with this as ideas, goods, and culture can flow between territories without (many) restrictions. However, I feel that the article is neglecting the fact that when ever there is a foreseen “security threat” there will always be enforced borders. As a society, we are almost there in terms of a borderless world when it comes to ideas. Globalization and technology have increasingly made the lines blurry between territories, as there is no physical border for the Internet to cross in most cases. However, when it comes to people, and more specifically asylum seekers or refugees, the borders between countries can become impenetrable. An example of this is the Schengen territories in the European Union have “open borders”, but when it comes to allowing refugees, many of these countries have closed their doors. The study of the refugees and asylum seekers also requires a study on borders and how and why they are formed and reinforced. If we can understand the societal and physical borders that are hindering refugees from asylum, then we can better understand there plight altogether.


Andreas, Peter. Redrawing the Line: Borders and Security in the Twenty -First Century. 2003

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