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Nomos: a comparative political sociology of contemporary national border barriers

Mena, Olivia (2015) Nomos: a comparative political sociology of contemporary national border barriers. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Since 2001, there are more than 50 national border barriers around the globe — proposed, under construction, or finished. My dissertation considers this new infrastructure inside larger questions of sovereignty, governance, immigration, and security in the “borderless” age of globalization. To approach this work I used an epistemological framework of border thinking, a “third space” hermeneutics that locates the border as a central place to theorize the complex geopolitical and postcolonial relationships. I conducted two case studies of this fortress infrastructure, one along the U.S.-Mexico border and another along the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua, considering how new border walls are material manifestations of inchoate sovereignty, occupying claims in the borderlands — one of the latest frontier zones of global capital. Broadly, this project calls for us to consider the global proliferation of national border walls and fences in a way that invokes collective action against the persisting operative logic of race/culture thinking that underpins securitization as both a form of governance and an ideology. It situates the urgency of this intellectual work inside the expanding sovereign jurisdictions of capital and opens up new sets of questions about how national border barriers are integral structures inside the changing ideo-political frameworks of war, sovereignty, and governance in the age of the drone.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Olivia Mena
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Gilroy, Paul

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