Examining the persistence of bounded spaces: remarks on regions, territories, and the practices of bordering

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This article is published as part of the Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography special issue based on the Vega symposium: ‘Bounded spaces in question: X-raying the persistence of regions and territories, edited by Anssi Paasi. ABSTRACT Regions and territories become institutionalized as part of wider geohistorical processes and practices in which these spatial entities accomplish their borders, institutions, symbolisms and normally contested identity narratives. The borders of bounded spaces are ever more topical today because of the mobilities of human beings (tourists, migrants, refugees), the rise of (ethno-)nationalism and regionalism, anti-immigration discourses and racism; features that expose the ideological significance of territories and the forms of physical and symbolic violence that are frequently embedded in borders/bordering. This essay explores the tenacity of bounded spaces in academic research and in social practices, and the meanings attached to such spaces. It will analyze how geographers and other social scientists have understood and conceptualized regional and territorial spaces and traces the evolution of the keywords in border studies. Borders are material and ideological constructs, institutions, processes and symbols that are critical in the production and reproduction of regions/territories, identities and ideologies. The article leans on author’s idea of spatial socialization and Shields’ notion of social spatialization in making sense of how the obstinate power of borders is embedded in the production and reproduction of bounded spaces and in the process of subjectification.

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Paasi, A. (2022). Examining the persistence of bounded spaces: remarks on regions, territories, and the practices of bordering. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 104(1), 9–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/04353684.2021.2023320

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