Historical Social Research 46 (2021), 3

Titel der Ausgabe 
Historical Social Research 46 (2021), 3
Weiterer Titel 
Borders as Places of Control

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Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung (HSR)
GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften Journal Historical Social Research Unter Sachsenhausen 6-8 50667 Köln
Philip Jost Janssen, Knowledge Exchange & Outreach, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Special Issue – Borders as Places of Control. Fixing, Shifting, and Reinventing State Borders (eds. Fabian Gülzau, Steffen Mau & Kristina Korte)

In summer 1987, the U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, visited West Berlin and gave a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, addressing the leader of the Soviet Union: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Two years later, as a result of the peaceful uprising of people in the former GDR, the Berlin Wall, a monument of division and block confrontation, came to the end of its existence. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was a widespread illusion that hard borders could become more porous and ultimately lose their significance. At the same time, the trend of globalization was unfolding, with an unprecedented increase in cross-border mobility and transactions. Moreover, technological developments and innovation have ultimately facilitated the view that connectedness is one of the signs of our era, leading to statements such as “the world is flat.” However, borders have proved to be resilient institutions, as states have adapted and reinvented border controls in several ways. First, states have responded to new challenges by hardening their territorial boundaries through border fortifications. Second, governments have shifted border control to third countries by using tools such as visa policies or readmission agreements. Third, nation states have designed “smart borders” through biometric passports, shared databases, and digital surveillance technologies. Lastly, de-facto borders show that clearly delimited boundaries can be attractive to countries, even in regions with limited statehood. Our special issue traces these transformations and reveals how states are digitizing, reinforcing, and externalizing border controls in response to new challenges.



Fabian Gülzau, Steffen Mau & Kristina Korte
Borders as Places of Control. Fixing, Shifting and Reinventing State Borders. An Introduction.

Fabian Gülzau & Steffen Mau
Walls, Barriers, Checkpoints, Landmarks, and “No-Man’s-Land.” A Quantitative Typology of Border Control Infrastructure.

Kristina Korte
Filtering or Blocking Mobility? Inequalities, Marginalization, and Power Relations at Fortified Borders

Lena Laube
Diplomatic Side-Effects of the EU’s Externalization of Border Control and the Emerging Role of “Transit States” in Migration Diplomacy.

Ruben Zaiotti & Nafisa A. Abdulhamid
Inside Out and Outside In: COVID-19 and the Reconfiguration of Europe’s External Border Controls.

Ayelet Shachar & Aaqib Mahmood
The Body as the Border: A New Era.

Nina Amelung
“Crimmigration Control” across Borders: The Convergence of Migration and Crime Control through Transnational Biometric Databases.

Vladimir Kolosov & Maria Zotova
“De-Facto Borders” as a Mirror of Sovereignty. The Case of the Post-Soviet Non-Recognized States.

Sabine von Löwis & Gwendolyn Sasse
A Border Regime in the Making? The Case of the Contact Line in Ukraine.

Saskia Wilhelmy, Rebecca Ulrich & Dominik Groß
Just two Sides of the Same Coin? Ethical Issues and Discourses on COVID-19 and Ebola. A Comparative Literature Analysis.

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