Border Politics in a Global Era: Comparative Perspectives

Kathleen Staudt (Author)


Initially, research in border studies relied mainly on generalizations from cases in the US-Mexico borderlands before subsequently burgeoning in Europe. Border Politics in a Global Era seeks to expand the study further to include the post-colonial South in response to the major challenge of interdisciplinary border studies: to explore borderlands in many contexts, with and across a variety of states, including the so-called developing, post-colonial states. Culled from decades of firsthand observations of borders from around the world and written with a critical and gender lens, the text is framed with attention to history, geography, and the power of films and travelogues to represent people as "others." Professor Kathleen Staudt advances border concepts, categories, and theories to focus on trade, migration, and security highlighting the importance of states, their length of time since independence, and border bureaucrats' discretionary practices. Drawing on her Border Inequalities Database for a global perspective, Staudt calls for reducing inequalities and building institutions in the common grounds of borderlands. The book features maps and other visuals with lists of links at the close of most chapters. Broadly comparative in nature, Border Politics in a Global Era will appeal not only to students of border studies; it will also stimulate attention in comparative politics, international studies, and political geography.

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
June 16, 2017
5.9 X 0.6 X 8.8 inches | 0.83 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Kathleen Staudt, Professor of Political Science and Endowed Professor of Western Hemispheric Trade Policy Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso, has been teaching and researching in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands for over thirty years. Among her various books, ten focus on borders, the last of which (with Zulma Méndez) is titled Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez: Challenges to Militarization (University of Texas Press, 2015). Staudt founded UTEP's Center for Civic Engagement and is active in many non-governmental organizations.


This is a fascinating book on borders and borderlands. International in scope and drawn from years of fieldwork and firsthand experience, Kathleen Staudt analyzes the ways that the border and enforcement powers of the state shape and distort the lives of those caught within its spheres of influence. Multi-disciplinary in its methodology, Staudt presents a lucid portrayal of border politics through the lens of nationality, gender, security, culture, race and economics. It is an outstanding achievement that combines accessibility with a deep social science analysis.--Benjamin Marquez, Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Drawing from decades as a social activist and scholar with first-hand experiences in diverse regional sites and border struggles, Staudt has produced an analysis of border politics that is unprecedented to date. Her approach to understanding the complex dynamics of border politics crosses disciplinary borders, methodological approaches, and levels of analysis. Chapters flow easily from historical constructions of borders with attention to colonialism, indigenous peoples, and local case studies to broad-based examination of global inequalities, maritime borders, environmental security, popular culture, and policy approaches developed by non-governmental organizations. Her concluding chapters emphasize the diversity of social movements focused on border politics and highlight the challenges activists face in resisting oppressive state policies and surveillance. Given the contemporary relevance of these themes, Staudt encourages the reader to ponder many more questions than can be answered at this time. This is exactly what we expect from a scholar tackling a topic of such importance in an ever-changing geopolitical, environmental, and social context. This book is truly a tour de force.--Nancy A. Naples, co-editor of Border Politics; Social Movements, Collective Identities, and Globalization
Border Politics in a Global Era shares a lifetime of research, observation, travels, analysis, work, and life in border regions. Unique in its multidisciplinary approach, this text provides insights into history, gender, geography, policy, sociology, and culture culled from academic research, firsthand accounts, maps, and films. Through this comprehensive approach, Staudt brings to life the borders where people live, prosper, struggle, and die. I recommend anyone interested in the impacts of globalization and/or borders to read this remarkable contribution.--Kimberly Collins, California State University, San Bernardino
This impressive book by a prominent political scientist and border scholar significantly expands our understanding of state, social, and cultural dynamics in territorial and maritime binational regions around the world. Staudt ably investigates numerous borderlands, examining in depth state frontier policies as well as human experiences. She highlights how such forces as federal and local institutions, border controls, migration, trade, economic inequality, gender, language, and education have impacted border populations, particularly in Europe, South Asia, and North America. One of the most attractive features of the book is Staudt's skillful use of films to bring to light the challenges confronted by border people. Highly recommended for academic and general audiences.--Oscar J. Martínez, Regents Professor of History, University of Arizona
Border Politics in a Global Era is the most ambitious project of its kind and a must-read for border observers and scholars. Through a critical perspective, a focus on gendered research and more than thirty-five years of lived experience, Kathleen Staudt captures the reality of borders, borderland spaces and borderlanders throughout the world. This book offers a pioneering approach to border studies by drawing on multiple disciplines and including the post-colonial South and maritime borders with a focus on reducing inequalities and building institutions. Advancing new border categories and innovative theoretical perspectives, it highlights the importance of greater equity and freedom of mobility across borders, and it views immigration as an opportunity rather than a burden. Staudt's perspective advocates progressive practices "that move societies toward more open and cooperative borders as metaphoric bridges, rather than closed and conflictual borders as barriers.--Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University