Recommend to your Librarian

Border Politics

The Limits of Sovereign Power

Nick Vaughan-Williams

eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Winner of the Gold Award, 2011 Past Presidents' Book Competition, Association of Borderlands Studies

This book, newly available in paperback, presents a distinctive theoretical approach to the problem of borders in the study of global politics. It turns from current debates about the presence or absence of borders between states to consider the possibility that the concept of the border of the state is being reconfigured in contemporary political life.

Show more


1. Borders are Not What or Where They are Supposed to Be: Security, Territory, Law
2. The Study of Borders in Global Politics: From Geopolitics to Biopolitics
3. Violence, Territory and the Borders of Juridical-Political Order: Problematising the Limits of Sovereign Power
4. The Generalised Biopolitical Border: Security as the Normal Technique of Government
5. Alternative Border Imaginaries: The Politics of Framing

About the Author

Nick Vaughan-Williams is Associate Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick, UK. He is co-author of Critical Security Studies: An Introduction (2010), and co-editor of Critical Theorists and International Relations (2009) and Terrorism and the Politics of Response (2008).


Border Politics is a wonderfully ambitious book, which outlines alternative conceptualisations of the border while avoiding the clichéd themes of geopolitical border studies... This is an agenda-setting book, both in terms of demonstrating how new and challenging ideas can be incorporated into border studies, and more importantly, in leading the way in thinking the problem of the border afresh in order to understand the diversity of bordering strategies which exist in world politics.

- ABS Book Awards 2011

The study of international boundaries ... has evolved from a rather descriptive study at the intersection of the legal and the geographical fields into a dynamic and exponentially growing field of boundary making, bordering, and othering ... [Border Politics is a] strong contribution to these academic debates ... [It] provide[s] insightful points of departure for those aspiring to contribute to this exciting research agenda and formulate[s] thought-provoking puzzles and moral dilemmas for all of us.

- Virginie Mamadouh, University of Amsterdam, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

A significant contribution to debates about borders that deserves wide-spread attention.

- John Williams, University of Durham

An urgently needed book.

- Yosef Lapid, New Mexico State University