Revisiting Borders and Boundaries: Exploring Migrant Inclusion and Exclusion from Intersectional Perspectives




Borders and bordering, boundary work, intersectionality, migrant exclusion


In recent years, scholarly interest in boundaries and boundary work, on the one hand, and borders and bordering, on the other, has flourished across disciplines. Notwithstanding the close relationship between the two concepts, “borders” and “boundaries” have largely been subject to separate scholarly debates, or sometimes treated as synonymous. These trends point to an important lack of conceptual and analytical clarity as to what borders and boundaries are and are not, what distinguishes them from each other and how they relate to each other. This Special Issue tackles this conceptual gap by bringing the two fields of studies together: we argue that boundaries/boundary work and borders/bordering should be treated as interrelated rather than distinct phenomena. Boundaries produce similarities and differences that affect the enforcement, performance and materialisation of borders, which themselves contribute to the reproduction of boundaries. Borders and boundaries are entangled, but they promote different forms and experiences of inclusion and exclusion. In this introduction, we elaborate the two concepts separately before examining possible ways to link them theoretically. Finally, we argue that an intersectional perspective makes it possible to establish how the interplay of different social categories affects the articulations and repercussions of borders and boundaries. The contributions in this Special Issue address this issue from multiple perspectives that reflect a variety of disciplines and theoretical backgrounds and are informed by different case studies in Europe and beyond.


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How to Cite

Fischer, C., Achermann, C. ., & Dahinden, J. (2020). Revisiting Borders and Boundaries: Exploring Migrant Inclusion and Exclusion from Intersectional Perspectives. Migration Letters, 17(4), 477–485.