We tend to think of a border as a static line, but recent bordering techniques have broken away from the map, as governments have developed legal tools to limit the rights of migrants before and after they enter a country’s territory. The consequent detachment of state power from any fixed geographical marker has created a new paradigm: the shifting border, an adjustable legal construct untethered in space. This transformation upsets our assumptions about waning sovereignty, while also revealing the limits of the populist push toward border-fortification. It also presents a tremendous opportunity to rethink states’ responsibilities to migrants. This book proposes a new, functional approach to human mobility and access to membership in a world where borders, like people, have the capacity to move.
The Zolberg Institute welcomes Ayelet Shachar, Professor of Law, Political Science, and Global Affairs at Toronto University, to discuss her recently published book.