Making Sense of Borderscapes: Space, Imagination and Experience

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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in the ‘borderscapes’ concept in border studies and cognate fields. However, there is a lack of dialogue amongst the proliferating case studies that have adopted the borderscapes concept. Arguably, the theoretical and methodological vagueness of the concept renders it highly appropriable. Yet, articulation of the existing patterns and common conceptual apparatus are necessary for theoretical development and clarity. This paper examines a range of analytical and methodological applications of the concept for their practical implications in human geography by studying the institutionalisation of violence in Melilla–a small Spanish enclave in North Africa. It argues that revisiting Lefebvre’s theory on the ‘production of space’ may be useful for approaching the production of borderscapes through social practices and discursive tools. By examining the place and importance of imagination and experience in conflict situations in this border town, this paper clarifies how the borderscapes concept can be operationalised for analytical and methodological use in bottom-up border research. In doing so, this paper encourages a sustained dialogue between these diverse case studies by challenging the practical application of the borderscapes logic in field research and data analysis.

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Krichker, D. (2019). Making Sense of Borderscapes: Space, Imagination and Experience. Geopolitics. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2019.1683542

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