Borders, Walls and Violence: (Im)Mobility, Vulnerability and Resilience

Panel Code

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the following redefinition of international relations were meant to open an age of globalization in which states and sovereignty were to become obsolete and borders irrelevant. However, in the wake of 9/11, borders came back into focus and new ones were drawn. With this trend, border barriers, fences, and walls that were expected to be a historical symbol of a collapsed bipolar system were erected at a pace that defied all predictions.
Walls lead to redrawn migration routes; they don’t deter crossings as shown by data from humanitarian and government agencies. The new routes are often more dangerous, remote and controlled by smugglers and criminal groups. All of which heightens the risks for migrants, who become more vulnerable and faces new challenges, both during and after migration.
Through their hardening, borders have been (re)defined, becoming internalized and externalized through securization of borderlands and immigration policies. The border now encompasses the border line, the borderlands as well as individuals who have become sites of control. Often represented as way to gain security, border walls also impact daily life in the borderlands, redefining the surroundings and the lives of borderland communities.
It is now clear that walls have become a normalized response to insecurity. Thus, if globalization is blurring borders, walls emphasize them. This panel seeks to understand the impacts of border walls on migration influx and borderlands communities. We seek to understand the local perspectives of border walls in relation to the violence produced.