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Compelling and accessible this Very Short Introduction challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic social political and environmental processes that shape our lives Highlighting the historical development and continued relevance of borders Alexander Diener and Joshua Hagen offer a powerful counterpoint to the idea of an imminent borderless world underscoring the impact borders have on a range of issues such as economic development inter and intra state conflict global terrorism migration nationalism international law environmental sustainability and natural resource management Diener and Hagen demonstrate how and why borders have been are currently and will undoubtedly remain hot topics across the social sciences and in the global headlines for years to come This compact volume will appeal to a broad interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students including geographers political scientists anthropologists sociologists historians international relations and law experts as well as lay readers interested in understanding current events


10 thoughts on “Borders

  1. says:

    Diener and Hagen here deliver what the title of the book promises a brief primer to the history of borders and to the field of border studies There is some discussion of metaphorical and cultural borders but the focus is largely on the political and the geographical from the fluid borders of ancient empires to the supposedly much rigid ones enforced by the modern nation state While the content it covers should suit it for an undergraduate class or for the interested layreader Diener and Hagen's prose unfortunately lets them down It's certainly not the worst academic writing you'll definitely read but this book needed at least one editing pass to take it from something aimed at an academic audience jargon riddled clunky to something that the general person might actually make it through Calling up pages at random from the book on gives me phrases like the increasingly transportable and multiscalar nature of territory or Some scholars favor a constructivist approach that rejects the environmental determinist notions of primordialists or territoriality stems from an a priori instinct It's not that the ideas here aren't comprehensible—it is if you'll forgive the metaphor that Diener and Hagen seem to have forgotten that their task in writing this book wasn't to demonstrate their location within the borders of Academe but to invite engagement across those borders


  2. says:

    If you were an alien life form with a perfect knowledge of the English language but no idea about bordersterritoriesdemocraciesmonarchies etc then this would be the book for you Otherwise it felt not like a short introduction as the title promises but a long compilation of definitions of each and every word related in any sort of geographical or sociological way to borders eg The related enterprises of human smuggling and human trafficking enable illegal flows of people across borders Human smuggling involves assisting a person to gain unauthorized entry into a foreign country usually in exchange for payment etc I do think the series A Short Introduction has potential as there are definitely subjects it covers like Choice Theory or The Blues where I may as well be that alien life form with a strong working knowledge of English and may thus get out of them


  3. says:

    This is largely a history of national borders but it does at least make mention of natural ethnic intellectual aerospace nautical and cultural ones Though pretty well endowed with thought provoking claims and insights for instance the whole idea of fixed national borders is relatively new only a couple three centuries old the discourse is pretty much composed of generalities and the prose is dry In support of this last I downloaded the audiobook in 2019 and had absolutely no memory of having read it beforeAny nonfiction authors out there looking for a subject? I see real potential for a book for young readers on this subject


  4. says:

    A very well done and nicely crafted brief introduction to the idea of how borders political but also social and ethnic have been constructed down the years and how the meanings of borders have changed Also Diener examines how we've changed the way we see borderlines and why borderlands and liminal zones have become so passionately embraced by academics and artists and writers over the past generation or two One of the better books in the VSI series and one very much worth reading


  5. says:

    As the title suggests this book was a brief overview of borders It began by detailing the varying perspectives on borders frontiers territory and sovereignty that occurred throughout history; later chapters discussed contemporary issues surrounding borders Having read and thoroughly enjoyed two other Very Short Introduction books I had high expectations going into this one but it failed to live up to them The writing was dull and I found some of the sections to be slightly repetitive which is kind of a bummer for a book of such a short length On the plus side I love the size and design of the books in this series If you have a burning desire to learn a little bit about border studies and collect a few neat facts along the way then maybe this book is for you I can't think of any other reason to read it though


  6. says:

    Could have been better 60% of the book is taken up categorizing and presenting historical context Only briefly discusses the current issues space the digital world melting ices caps


  7. says:

    Okay the topic of Borders is a huge one A short introduction to the subject is enough to overwhelm me due to its breath even with not much depth involvedIt is really hard to sum this up Let me try The author talked about historical development of borders its current forms roles also mentioned airouter space cyber world as borders borders means very much to human existance and also environmental ecological issuesuhmooo Roman Patrician wall Chinese Great Wall Summerians civilization Persian empire modern International Law The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS Talibans Somalia South Americasuhmmooo oh sht you blundering idiot Read the book's description maybe helpful please do it


  8. says:

    This was a solidly written book and should be useful as an introductory resource to those probably not too many who would like to pursue research into borders in the context of political science economics or general international studies Like good academics the authors were careful to maintain multilateralism neutrality and some rigor throughout the book although I felt I encountered the word “unprecedented” too many times in their description of our modern era which on the other hand made the book rather dry and humorless which probably will disappoint those who picked up this book for a uick entertainment or intellectual stimulus


  9. says:

    This is the first Very Short Introduction I've read and I was impressed I've regarded the series as a slightly intellectual Complete Idiots Guide to but this was much better than slightly intellectual A lot of theoretical groundwork and a very interdisciplinary look at borderingborder studies One thing I would have liked to have seen of was borders in artliteraturethis topic gets an interesting mention in the epilogue but could be worth a chapter or section of its own


  10. says:

    For a 150 page book was hoping for pages on very modern border issues Felt like than half the book centered the history of borders and feudal systems and stuff about which I didn't want to read My review reflects my expectations but I'm sure there are people who'll read it and thoroughly enjoy it