Border Politics

Border Politics: Social Movements, Collective Identities, and Globalization

Nancy A. Naples
Jennifer Bickham Mendez
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 368
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qff82
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  • Book Info
    Border Politics
    Book Description:

    In the current historical moment borders have taken on heightened material and symbolic significance, shaping identities and the social and political landscape. "Borders"-defined broadly to include territorial dividing lines as well as sociocultural boundaries-have become increasingly salient sites of struggle over social belonging and cultural and material resources. How do contemporary activists navigate and challenge these borders? What meanings do they ascribe to different social, cultural and political boundaries, and how do these meanings shape the strategies in which they engage? Moreover, how do these social movements confront internal borders based on the differences that emerge within social change initiatives?

    Border Politics, edited by Nancy A. Naples and Jennifer Bickham Mendez, explores these important questions through eleven carefully selected case studies situated in geographic contexts around the globe. By conceptualizing struggles over identity, social belonging and exclusion as extensions of border politics, the authors capture the complex ways in which geographic, cultural, and symbolic dividing lines are blurred and transcended, but also fortified and redrawn. This volume notably places right-wing and social justice initiatives in the same analytical frame to identify patterns that span the political spectrum.Border Politicsoffers a lens through which to understand borders as sites of diverse struggles, as well as the strategies and practices used by diverse social movements in today's globally interconnected world.

    Contributors: Phillip Ayoub, Renata Blumberg, Yvonne Braun, Moon Charania, Michael Dreiling, Jennifer Johnson, Jesse Klein, Andrej Kurnik, Sarah Maddison, Duncan McDuie-Ra, Jennifer Bickham Mendez, Nancy A. Naples, David Paternotte, Maple Razsa, Raphi Rechitsky, Kyle Rogers, Deana Rohlinger, Cristina Sanidad, Meera Sehgal, Tara Stamm, Michelle Téllez

    eISBN: 978-1-4798-0679-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    • 1 Border Politics: Contests over Territory, Nation, Identity, and Belonging
      (pp. 1-32)
      JENNIFER BICKHAM MENDEZ and NANCY A. NAPLES

      In 2007 a group of protesters gathered outside the Office of the High Representative of the European Union in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ethnic Bosnian “erased” workers whose citizenship had been revoked following Slovenia’s independence were joined by their allies from the newly formed country—the Invisible Workers of the World—to protest the unjust enforcement of EU borders, which had rendered these workers illegal immigrants in their own homeland. That same year, activists from across Europe and beyond camped on the border between the Ukraine and neighboring new Eastern European member states of the EU to protest the increased militarization of...

  5. PART I: GENDERED, ETHNO-NATIONALIST STRUGGLES AND MILITARIZATION
    • 2 “Border Granny Wants You!”: Grandmothers Policing Nation at the US-Mexico Border
      (pp. 35-59)
      JENNIFER L. JOHNSON

      On a bright October day in the desert, a dozen ladies array themselves to be photographed along the skeleton of a fence that demarcates the sovereign territory of the United States of Mexico and that of the United States of America.¹ Dressed uniformly in pink camouflage T-shirts and tennis shoes, they call themselves the Granny Brigade and have come to this place at the behest of Minuteman organizers. In a moment they will link their arms, twist their hips, and raise their legs to strike a classic chorus-line pose for the photographer.

      This chapter examines how grandmotherhood is performed at...

    • 3 Defending the Nation: Militarism, Women’s Empowerment, and the Hindu Right
      (pp. 60-94)
      MEERA SEHGAL

      This chapter examines how women in the right-wing Hindu nationalist movement in India conflate women’s personal self-defense with national self-defense in ways that transform these women into symbolic “border guards,” who deepen and regulate boundaries between Hindu and Muslim communities. Hindu nationalist women are taught to see themselves as embodiments of symbolic boundaries in the national iconography, as “symbols of the fecundity of the nation … vessels for its reproduction … and territorial markers” (Mostov 1995, 515). Skillfully appropriating elements from feminist discourses about violence against women, and under the guise of empowering Hindu women, the movement uses training programs...

    • 4 Borders, Territory, and Ethnicity: Women and the Naga Peace Process
      (pp. 95-119)
      DUNCAN MCDUIE-RA

      In mid-2010 the federal state of Manipur, located on India’s eastern border with Myanmar, was cut off from the rest of the country. During the blockade, the leader of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), Theungaling Muivah, attempted to enter Manipur to visit his home village for the first time in forty years. The visit was part of a peace and reconciliation tour in preparation for peace talks with the Indian government. Naga secessionists have been fighting the Indian government for over six decades. Muivah had not been to his home village for forty years after decades in exile. Yet...

    • 5 Imperial Gazes and Queer Politics: Re/Reading Female Political Subjectivity in Pakistan
      (pp. 120-150)
      MOON M. CHARANIA

      In July of 2007, a year marked as one of the most violent in Pakistan,¹ the infamous events of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad unfolded, and the country took center stage in the global political theatre. The Lal Masjid became the site of a violent weeklong siege between the mosque’s seminary students and the Pakistani military when the students of Jamia Hafza Madrasa, the enjoining religious school for women, rose in a violent resistance against what they perceived as foreign impositions of secularism and immorality. The women embarked on vigilante raids throughout the capital to stop what they...

  6. PART II: POLITICIZED IDENTITIES AND BELONGING
    • 6 Indigenous Peoples and Colonial Borders: Sovereignty, Nationhood, Identity, and Activism
      (pp. 153-176)
      SARAH MADDISON

      When colonial powers invaded North America and later Australia, the many hundreds of Indigenous nations that existed on these territories prior to the arrival of the Europeans were completely invisible to—or at least were ignored by—the invaders. Also invisible to the colonizers were the precolonial, national borders between diverse Indigenous nations. These borders had existed since time immemorial. In Australia, as elsewhere, the borders between nations had their origins in ancient, customary law, believed to have been laid down by creator beings and maintained by ancestors over many thousands of years.

      Indigenous peoples’ relationships to the land on...

    • 7 Constricting Boundaries: Collective Identity in the Tea Party Movement
      (pp. 177-205)
      DEANA A. ROHLINGER, JESSE KLEIN, TARA M. STAMM and KYLE ROGERS

      Collective identity, or a shared sense of belonging to a group, is the scaffolding of social movements.¹ Identity connects individuals to a community and a cause larger than themselves, providing a motivation for mobilization and a rationale for continued engagement over the long haul (Friedman and McAdam 1992; Polletta and Jasper 2001; Taylor 1989). As such, creating and articulating the boundaries of a group are integral to collective identity. Boundaries, whether they are geographic or symbolic, promote an awareness of a collective’s commonalities and effectively demarcate who is—and who is not—a legitimate member of a group (Taylor and...

    • 8 Occupy Slovenia: How Migrant Movements Contributed to New Forms of Direct Democracy
      (pp. 206-229)
      MAPLE RAZSA and ANDREJ KURNIK

      Defying the blazing July sun, forty migrant laborers, local organizers, and international activists gathered outside the concrete blast walls surrounding the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Sarajevo, Bosnia in 2010. Following the bankruptcy of the Slovene construction firm that employed them, the laborers had recently been deported back to Bosnia from Slovenia. Now they were joined by allies from the Invisible Workers of the World (IWW), an activist collective from Slovenia. Together they demanded that the OHR—the EU agency that has administered Bosnia since the end of armed hostilities in 1995—address the exploitation of Bosnians employed...

    • 9 Challenging Borders, Imagining Europe: Transnational LGBT Activism in a New Europe
      (pp. 230-258)
      PHILLIP M. AYOUB and DAVID PATERNOTTE

      In this chapter, we emphasize the role played by transnational lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists in imagining Europe as a political alternative to confines of national borders, with a focus on their activism at the international European level and on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).¹ Networks of LGBT activists, “bound together by shared values, a common discourse and dense exchanges of information,” have promoted issues beyond borders, often bypassing the boundaries of conservative states (Keck and Sikkink 1998, 2). We argue that these movements were inspired by specific ideas—democratic values and human rights responsibilities...

  7. PART III: CONTESTED SOLIDARITIES AND EMERGING SITES OF STRUGGLE
    • 10 Frames, Boomerangs, and Global Assemblages: Border Distortions in the Global Resistance to Dam Building in Lesotho
      (pp. 261-292)
      YVONNE A. BRAUN and MICHAEL C. DREILING

      National strategies for economic development commonly employ infrastructure projects that include mega-dams, hydroelectric power, and, as our case captures, international trade in water or “white gold,” as it is known in Lesotho.¹ Water development, however, is not without contention or consequence. Once erected, large dams conceal the modernist policies, violent practices, and local sacrifices that make these projects possible. Time and resources are dedicated to ensure that the narrative justifications for these projects ultimately erase the messy complications of lived social engineering that takes place in the communities of those who are displaced, dispossessed, and disrupted—individually and collectively—by...

    • 11 Networks, Place, and Barriers to Cross-Border Organizing: “No Border” Camping in Transcarpathia, Ukraine
      (pp. 293-322)
      RENATA BLUMBERG and RAPHI RECHITSKY

      Just months before much of the western border of the former Soviet Union became the external border of the European Union’s (EUs) Schengen area, hundreds of activists came together in a No Border Camp (NBC) in the Ukrainian borderlands of Transcarpathia to organize against the expansion of “Fortress Europe.”¹ The 2008 enlargement of the Schengen area to include several of the new EU member states of Eastern Europe marked the culmination of a gradual process of tightening border control between Ukraine and its neighbors to the West. With this development, residents of the new EU member states were granted greater...

    • 12 “Giving Wings to Our Dreams”: Binational Activism and Workers’ Rights Struggles in the San Diego–Tijuana Border Region
      (pp. 323-354)
      MICHELLE TÉLLEZ and CRISTINA SANIDAD

      This chapter examines the work of activists along the San Diego-Tijuana border region,¹ who are seeking to redress the injustices that workers experience in assembly factories, also known asmaquiladoras.² Abuses and corruption within the transnationalmaquiladoraindustry have been well documented by scholars (Bandy 2000; Cravey 1998; Landau 2005; Munoz 2004; Pena 1997; Fernández-Kelly 1983; Iglesias Prieto 1997; Sklair 1989); however, in our work, we are interested in understanding the collective responses to these conditions. Bandy (2004; 2000) and Bandy and Bickham Mendez (2003) have advanced an understanding of transnational organizing and regional coalition building through their research on...

  8. CONCLUSION
    • 13 Border Politics: Creating a Dialogue between Border Studies and Social Movements
      (pp. 357-380)
      JENNIFER BICKHAM MENDEZ and NANCY A. NAPLES

      The diverse case studies presented in this collection clearly demonstrate that borders and boundaries are central motifs within contemporary political struggles and popular imaginaries. They focus much-needed theoretical attention on the role that literal and figurative borders play in social movement formation and development and the dynamics of border struggles in the current age of globalization and securitization. Several of the chapters present cases of struggles situated in territorial borderlands—places where cultures intersect and collide, the global and the local come together viscerally, and the line between the international and the local becomes blurred. Other chapters depict militarized social...

  9. ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 381-386)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 387-405)