The traditional understanding of borders as constituting physical and visible lines of separation between political, social and economic spaces is being replaced within the social sciences by an understanding of the border as processes.

"The process through which borders are demarcated and managed are central to the notion of border as process and border as institution. […] Demarcation is not simply the drawing of a line on a map or the construction of a fence in the physical landscape. It is the process through which borders are constructed and the categories of difference or separation created." (Newman 35)

These processes have a dynamic involving both institutional, top-down management of borders and performative bottom-up negotiations.

See also Border formation.


  • Newman, David. "The Lines that Continue to Separate Us: Borders in Our 'Borderless' World". Border Poetics De-Limited. Eds. Johan Schimanski & Stephen Wolfe. Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2007. 27-57.

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