Special Issue "Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Contemporary Politics and Society".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ernesto Castañeda
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
American University, Department of Sociology, Washington, United States

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The relevance of physical borders and social boundaries seems to be on the rise; as an example, the growing talk about the construction of a wall between the US and Mexico. European skepticism about its ability to integrate refugees is gaining popularity, with demands on stricter border control and attacks to the free-movement policy within the European Union. These were also some of the main points of leave supporters during the Brexit campaign. Through history, the location and meaning of borders have constantly shifted, the national and international constellations of political powers get naturalized in borderlands, identities are challenged and rebuilt, and multiple distinctions between "true" citizens fade and re-emerge. The goal of this Special Issue is to create a multidisciplinary space to critically analyze and discuss the political and sociological implications of the increased solidification of national borders that we are currently facing, worldwide.

We invite the submission of papers that look at:

  • The rise of the modern nation-state and the birth of national borders.
  • The historical connection between nation-building, contention, and border policing.
  • The spread of discourse and policies around “border security.”
  • The military and civilian policing and surveillance of political borders.
  • The effect of border discourse on everyday interactions away from border areas.
  • Border enforcement reporting and changes in social boundary-making.
  • The link between racism and white nationalism and the increasing talk about immigrant threats.
  • Realities and exaggerations around migrant, refugee, and border crises.
  • Data on actual flows of people between border-free zones, e.g., European Union and porous borders in the developing world.
  • The successes of internal migration.
  • Theoretical and methodological innovations to transcend methodological-nationalism and epistemology.
  • Globalization/deglobalization, democratization/dedemocratization and xenophobia.
  • Categorical inequality and immigrant exclusion.
  • What could be feasible alternatives to the international system of nation-states?

We aim to produce a high-quality Special Issue with contributions from scholars with an active research agenda or record of publishing on these questions. Papers should be based in empirical realities and hope to address policy challenges. Papers should be written in a clear way with scholars and students in mind but also a wider audience. The paper will be blindly peer-reviewed, and there will be no publication costs associated with the process. Social Sciences is one of the rising open access journals in the field of social science that aims to deliver broader interdisciplinary discussions on important academic and social debates. Based in Switzerland, MDPI has experience publishing in the natural sciences in a vetted rigorous and expedient fashion since 1996.

Dr. Ernesto Castañeda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • borders
  • state-formation
  • nationalism
  • social construction of borders and illegality
  • crimmigration
  • cosmopolitanism

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Dispossessed of Necropolitics on the San Diego-Tijuana Border
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(6), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9060091 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
This article presents results of a first-hand investigation that took a year of ethnographic work (methods of observation and interviews) during 2016–2017, with the post-structural theoretical framework of Gilles Deleuze, on the United States–Mexico border, in the San Diego-Tijuana corridor. The Center for [...] Read more.
This article presents results of a first-hand investigation that took a year of ethnographic work (methods of observation and interviews) during 2016–2017, with the post-structural theoretical framework of Gilles Deleuze, on the United States–Mexico border, in the San Diego-Tijuana corridor. The Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies of the University of California San Diego, PREVENCASA A. C., and Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosi supported this research. In this research, statistical data, observations, and synthesis of in-depth interviews were utilized about those defined as the ‘dispossessed’: users of hard drugs, and/or in homelessness conditions of discrimination in a highly contrasting border such as that of the United States and Mexico. Among the main results are the relations between mental and embodiment limits, necropolitics and territory, as well as the approach of post-structural political discourses about the body and mind that allow us to understand the subjectivities in question, proposing two types of homelessness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
Overselling Globalization: The Misleading Conflation of Economic Globalization and Immigration, and the Subsequent Backlash
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(5), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050061 - 26 Apr 2020
Abstract
Many think that immigration is something caused by globalization, and some subsequently blame immigrants for the increased inequalities produced by economic globalization. Xenophobic nationalism has gained popularity around the world, further increasing racial tensions but without addressing the underlying causes of growing socioeconomic [...] Read more.
Many think that immigration is something caused by globalization, and some subsequently blame immigrants for the increased inequalities produced by economic globalization. Xenophobic nationalism has gained popularity around the world, further increasing racial tensions but without addressing the underlying causes of growing socioeconomic inequality, which this paper strives to show is caused by economic policies, not immigration. This paper argues that the apparent retreat from globalization arises from the flawed conceptualization of “globalization” as a bundle of different processes. This study analyzes early framings of economic globalization and shows how it has been linked, for political reasons, to increased migration, diversity, and open borders. Coining the term ”globalization” was not just naming ongoing social change, but it became part of the branding of an elite ideological policy project. The popular framing of globalization purposely entangled independent phenomena such as free trade policies, the expansion of the internet, cosmopolitan identities, and international migration. These couplings brought together neoliberal conservatives and liberal cosmopolitans. Given the current backlash, it is essential to distinguish migration from policies favoring trade and capital movement across borders. It is noteworthy to remember that immigration is something that preceded globalization. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate how migration became entangled with globalization in the popular imagination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Open AccessArticle
Going by an English Name: The Adoption and Use of English Names by Young Taiwanese Adults
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040060 - 24 Apr 2020
Abstract
It is easy to understand why Taiwanese students play the part of the name assigned to them in English class, but why do so many of them continue to use this name long after their school years? A survey of young Taiwanese adults, [...] Read more.
It is easy to understand why Taiwanese students play the part of the name assigned to them in English class, but why do so many of them continue to use this name long after their school years? A survey of young Taiwanese adults, with follow-up interviews, investigated how and why they acquire and use an English name. The results mirror previously reported tendencies and suggest some new insights into the motivation and functionality of this practice. The data show that self-identification with their Western name offers pragmatic social and cultural advantages, including international identity, escape from rigid cultural formalities impeding social advances, establishing friendliness without getting too close, as well as self-expression. As concerns the often discussed nature of English names, the results indicate that the selection of an English name is influenced by Chinese name selection practice, the tendency to make the name unique or somehow related to the Chinese name, and especially by its intended role. As in previous studies, we found some unusual names, but these were used mainly as a nickname in communication with peers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
“White Diversity”: Paradoxes of Deracializing Antidiscrimination
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040050 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article questions, at its starting point, the theoretical and epistemic assumptions around the emergence of the concept of (super)diversity, hailed in a growing body of academic literature as marking a “diversity turn”. In the second part, it highlights the issues raised by [...] Read more.
This article questions, at its starting point, the theoretical and epistemic assumptions around the emergence of the concept of (super)diversity, hailed in a growing body of academic literature as marking a “diversity turn”. In the second part, it highlights the issues raised by the organizational applications of the diversity paradigm in three main policy domains: migration, urban planning, and antidiscrimination. Finally, emphasizing the development of white-centered diversity conceptions, particularly in the European and French contexts, it invites a closer look at the intertwining of scholarly and practical elaborations of the diversity frame by considering knowledge as practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
On Decolonising Borders and Regional Integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040032 - 25 Mar 2020
Abstract
This paper uses insights gained from a qualitative study of informal cross border actors on selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) borders to argue for the decolonisation of these borders. It is asserted that, although SADC citizens enjoy a 90-day free visa in [...] Read more.
This paper uses insights gained from a qualitative study of informal cross border actors on selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) borders to argue for the decolonisation of these borders. It is asserted that, although SADC citizens enjoy a 90-day free visa in member states, this should not be simplistically taken to mean that there are “open borders” and free movement of persons in region. The recognition that a border “open” to formal actors may be closed to informal cross border actors based on issues of power and class is the foundation for the decolonisation of these borders, a process which should articulate to the regional integration project in the region. Such a decolonisation of borders should recognise in policy and/or border management regimes all cross-border actors, especially non-state actors, who are criminalized and rendered invisible through cross border discourses and policies. This point is worth emphasizing, because most people who cross African borders may not be the formal actors such as multinational corporations (MNCs) and/or their proxies who are favoured by cross border policies, but ordinary people such as informal cross border traders and border citizens, who need decolonised borders for them to enjoy freedom of movement, rather than being depoliticized and relegated to the subaltern who cannot speak, let alone move. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
Border Residents’ Perceptions of Crime and Security in El Paso, Texas
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9030024 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Research has continued to show the overall safety of the U.S. border region contrary to the widespread belief about the insecurity of the U.S.-Mexico border and frequent claims for the need to secure the border in order to prevent the spread of violence [...] Read more.
Research has continued to show the overall safety of the U.S. border region contrary to the widespread belief about the insecurity of the U.S.-Mexico border and frequent claims for the need to secure the border in order to prevent the spread of violence into the rest of the country. Rarely do we ask how border residents feel about safety and crime, which could shed significant light on the claims that the border is an insecure warzone posing a threat to the entire country. While calls to secure national borders are common, outsiders’ perceptions of an unsafe border are not supported by official crime rates and statistics, Border Patrol apprehensions, or the everyday experiences of people in American cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. This paper investigates the perception of crime and security, as expressed by the residents of El Paso, Texas, a large city located along the U.S.-Mexico border and directly across from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Data come from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded survey that asked 919 residents about their perceptions of crime, sense of security and safety in their neighborhood and the city in general. The results show that the overwhelming majority of border city residents feel safe and that those who are undocumented and raised in El Paso are the most likely to report feeling safe or very safe. We also find that the foreign-born population had a statistically significant lower felony conviction rate than those who were U.S.-born, an important qualifier in discussions over immigration and its connection with violence and crime. Contrary to sensationalized claims about border violence, residents of El Paso do not display any of the sense of insecurity experienced in neighboring Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. We present hypotheses about possible causes for these low levels of violence in the U.S.-side of the border and discuss the dissonance between the reality on the border and perception outside of the border region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
Analyzing Migration Management: On the Recruitment of Nurses to Germany
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020019 - 16 Feb 2020
Abstract
In Germany, a grave labor shortage in the nursing and elderly care sectors has prompted the response of recruiting skilled nursing staff from abroad in recent years. This article analyzes these recruitment practices as forms of “migration management”: German migration policy has changed [...] Read more.
In Germany, a grave labor shortage in the nursing and elderly care sectors has prompted the response of recruiting skilled nursing staff from abroad in recent years. This article analyzes these recruitment practices as forms of “migration management”: German migration policy has changed according to this paradigm to attempt utilitarian control over migration processes and mediate between labor market concerns on the one hand and isolationist, politico-cultural seclusion on the other. Based on original research through interviews and document analysis, we identify four relevant levels of analysis in researching migration management in the context of the recruitment of skilled nurses: (1) Definition of problem areas: How is migration programmatically legitimized as a solution to social problems? (2) Categorization of migration: How are migration processes classified? (3) Change in statehood: How are sites and actors of migration control being privatized and diversified? (4) Technologies: By means of which procedures, legal foundations and political instruments does migration management take place in the everyday? We believe that taking these four foci as points of departure would be beneficial for further inquiries in critical migration research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Open AccessArticle
Processes of Sub-Citizenship: Neoliberal Statecrafting ‘Citizens,’ ‘Non-Citizens,’ and Detainable ‘Others’
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9010005 - 14 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Increasingly, scholars are exploring the politics of migration and the shifting terrain of citizenship from a critical mobilities perspective. To contribute to these discussions, in this paper, I explore how processes of sub-citizenship occur as nation-states craft immigration, citizenship, and border securitization policies [...] Read more.
Increasingly, scholars are exploring the politics of migration and the shifting terrain of citizenship from a critical mobilities perspective. To contribute to these discussions, in this paper, I explore how processes of sub-citizenship occur as nation-states craft immigration, citizenship, and border securitization policies and practices. I argue that complex and shifting processes of sub-citizenship largely occur through the nation-state’s production of ‘insiders’ (‘citizens’) and ‘outsiders’ (‘non-citizens’). As a nascent attempt to introduce sub-citizenship, I draw upon recent high-profile cases of family separation, abuse, and neglect experienced by children with ‘illegal migrant’ status in the United States and Australia. Under the international nation-state system and the neoliberal globalization paradigm, the border policing powers of nation-states are primed to expand and intensify processes of sub-citizenship. Those at lower levels of the sub-citizen hierarchy are at risk of experiencing various forms of state-led violence, including deportation, detention, and torture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Open AccessArticle
Methodological Nationalism in Global Studies and Beyond
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120327 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Global studies, or the study of globalization, is a diverse field of research, with different disciplinary focuses and with some national versions. Russian Alexander Chumakov constructed it as a philosophical discipline, while in U.S. academia it is considered an empirical inquiry at the [...] Read more.
Global studies, or the study of globalization, is a diverse field of research, with different disciplinary focuses and with some national versions. Russian Alexander Chumakov constructed it as a philosophical discipline, while in U.S. academia it is considered an empirical inquiry at the intersection of area studies, international studies, and international relations. This paper focuses on American global studies, pointing out the heavy epistemological burden it inherited from the field of knowledge dominated by international relations, which enshrines both methodological and political nationalism. International relations makes claims to be the sole theory originator in this field, but it may be criticized for several methodological and ethical issues (such as unwarranted simplifications that purge empirical contents to the point of unfalsifiability, antiquated epistemic ideals, Western and hegemonic biases, besides methodological nationalism), thus alternate theorizations are highly desirable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Open AccessArticle
The Ideal and the Real Dimensions of the European Migration Crisis. The Polish Perspective
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(11), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8110314 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the article the so-called European migrant crisis of 2015 is presented from the perspective of Polish society. First, we consider criteria for distinguishing refugees from other types of immigrants. Second, we examine the characteristics of the 2015 inflow which contribute to its [...] Read more.
In the article the so-called European migrant crisis of 2015 is presented from the perspective of Polish society. First, we consider criteria for distinguishing refugees from other types of immigrants. Second, we examine the characteristics of the 2015 inflow which contribute to its perception in terms of crisis. The third issue is Polish society’s reactions to the phenomenon of migration. On the one hand, the results of nationwide polls are presented. On the other hand, the perspective of a provincial city is introduced. In the city an active refugee center has been operating for almost three decades and major importance has been attached to the idea of a multicultural society. The analysis of these issues indicates that the inflow related to the migration crisis does not coincide with the current patterns of refugee migration and is not consistent with the celebrated vision of a multicultural society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Open AccessArticle
Legitimate Exclusion of Would-Be Immigrants: A View from Global Ethics and the Ethics of International Relations
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(8), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8080238 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The debate about justice in immigration seems somehow stagnated given that it seems justice requires both further exclusion and more porous borders. In the face of this, I propose to take a step back and to realize that the general problem of borders—to [...] Read more.
The debate about justice in immigration seems somehow stagnated given that it seems justice requires both further exclusion and more porous borders. In the face of this, I propose to take a step back and to realize that the general problem of borders—to determine what kind of borders liberal democracies ought to have—gives rise to two particular problems: first, to justify exclusive control over the administration of borders (the problem of legitimacy of borders) and, second, to specify how this control ought to be exercised (the problem of justice of borders). The literature has explored the second but ignored the first. Therefore, I propose a different approach to the ethics of immigration by focusing on concerns of legitimacy in a three-step framework: first, identifying the kind of authority or power that immigration controls exercise; second, redefining borders as international and domestic institutions that issue that kind of power; and finally, considering supranational institutions that redistribute the right to exclude among legitimate borders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Global Health Diplomacy Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Strategic Opportunity for Improving Health, Peace, and Well-Being in the CARICOM Region—A Systematic Review
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(5), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050088 - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Increased globalization has ushered in changes in diplomatic purposes and practices. As such, global health diplomacy (GHD) has become a growing field connecting the urgencies of global health and foreign affairs. More academics and policy-makers are thinking about how to structure and utilize [...] Read more.
Increased globalization has ushered in changes in diplomatic purposes and practices. As such, global health diplomacy (GHD) has become a growing field connecting the urgencies of global health and foreign affairs. More academics and policy-makers are thinking about how to structure and utilize diplomacy in pursuit of global health goals. This article aims to explore how the health, peace, and well-being of people in the region can be achieved through global health diplomacy. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on various terms such as “Global Health Diplomacy OR Foreign Policy”; “Disasters”, “Infectious disease epidemics” OR “Non-Communicable diseases” AND “Caribbean” by searching PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Web of Science databases, and Google Scholar search engines. A total of 33 articles that met the inclusion criteria were analyzed, and the critical role of GHD was highlighted. There is an increasing need to understand the complex global health challenges, coupled with the need to design appropriate solutions. Many regional initiatives addressing infectious and chronic diseases have been successful in multiple ways by strengthening unity and also by showing directions for other nations at a global level, e.g., the Port of Spain Summit declaration. GHD has a great scope to enhance preparedness, mitigation, peace, and development in the region. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the region needs to strengthen its efforts on equity issues, health promotion, and sustainable development to promote peace and well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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