Accepted Paper:

Inverting the telescope on borders that matter: conversations in Café Europa  


Marie Sandberg (University of Copenhagen)
Dorte Jagetic Andersen (University of Southern Denmark)
Olivier Kramsch (Radboud Universiteit)

Paper short abstract:

The paper develops a new critical comparative lens for the study of European borders, which displays bordering processes less as territorialized state-spaces than spatio-temporal assemblages.

Paper long abstract:

In proposing an 'inverted telescope' for border studies, the paper problematizes existing calls to 'see like a border', arguing that such moves, by adopting a choice-based and value-neutral approach to the problem of bordering's inherent violence and exclusion, miss an opportunity to define what is properly political about b/ordering space. Taking the multiplicity and historicity of European borders into account while simultaneously allowing for their continuous re-envisioning through extra-territorial and post-colonial enframings of Europe, the standard horizontal gaze of border studies, it is argued, is dislocated. 'Inverting the telescope' on border studies thus enables a productive space of tension - named Café Europa - in which the negotiations of geopolitical as well as everyday life border practices find expression and take place. Inside this tension of multiple realities and politics, border theory is challenged and charged. Taking Polish labour migration to Denmark in past and present as one illustrative case in point it is the aim of the paper to invite a furthering of ontological border politics in and across such conversations on borders that matter.

Keywords: border studies, border theory, new comparativism, ontological politics, multiplicity, extraterritoriality/deterritorialisation

Panel Mig004
Pursuing utopias/challenging realities: producing and resisting borders in and out of Europe