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Borderlines addresses international issues with the goal of revisioning global politics. It seeks to encourage a dialogue among scholars from a range of disciplines, including international relations, comparative politics, cultural studies, feminist theory, literary theory, and cultural anthropology. By analyzing specific events as well as broader theories and discourses, the series contributes larger contexts for and interdisciplinary approaches to historical and contemporary politics.

About This Book Overview. Toward a Global Idea of Race Breaks open the concept of race in a modern, global world. Virtue, Fortune, and Faith A Genealogy of Finance A revealing examination of the frequently misunderstood history of contemporary financial markets. The Politics of the Global Examines globalism as a social production, opening up new paths of resistance. Native to the Nation Disciplining Landscapes and Bodies in Australia How people manipulate local landscape to define their place in the world. Environmental Security A critical look at the relationship between environmental degradation and international relations.

Civilization and Violence Regimes of Representation in Nineteenth-Century Colombia Offers a new way of understanding the relationship between violence and the formation of foundational myths. Identity and the nature of its relation to the state are not given but are contested and rely on forms of policing, often less than fully efficient, to appear coherent.


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The resolution is thus processual and contested; it requires ideological and political domination for its vindication. The border here is a transformative and creative instrument; it marks the transition from a state of anarchy to one of order, thus enabling a narrative of justice and recognition centering on the clari- fication of what form of life or living constitutes belonging and what constitutes nonbelonging. Justice, in the territorial model, is cen- tered on generalizable rules and laws. The administration of these rules and laws is the same as the administration of justice.

Norms of justice are taken to have an independent standing; they do not de- pend on the extent of actors' commitments to specific values Fraser , In the normal model, norms of justice stem from the value ac- corded to territory not to nation. In the normal model, nation is understood in a way that allows it to be used by the state as a means of legitimating itself. That is, ethnic or nation-based claims for example, of indigenous populations are worded in ways that reassert the priority of the sovereign law of the territorial state. The imposition of the state over nations such as indigenous nations has its historical origins both in violent conquest and in epistemo- logical displacement.

The modern bureaucracy of the state collects and collates facts about its given population. This bureaucratization of knowledge about population distances that population from its cultural or historical bases and defines it in terms of categories and concepts allowed by the territorial state. This creates a veneer of ob- jectivity; it allows for the articulation of knowledge about and poli- cies for an objectively distinct population. The creation of knowl- edge about population allows for a mode of governing that separates the act of ruling from individual actors, making organizations in- dependent of particular settings or individuals.

The state's dominant imposition over territorial space is vindicated through the exercise of the law and through the bureaucratic creation of subjectivities that allow for a self-justifying mode of governing Foucault ; Foucault ; Andersen and Denis Z; Escobar ; Hyndman ; Appadurai The law, however, should not be taken as the final or sole arbiter of belonging or nonbelonging.

Homi Bhabha writes of the ambiva- lence underpinning the rational edifice of modern politics Bhabha The narratives of justice emanating from this edifice are not solely rooted in abstract law. Bhabha suggests that the narratives of justice rest on a violent suppression of often racialized or gendered otherness.


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This otherness shadows the norm and results in the radical relation of the norm with what it would exclude. It also results in a demand that belonging be determined not solely in terms of legal recognition, such as through the bestowal of citizenship, but also through forms of social performance. Belonging must be performed; groups must prove their cultural or social belonging through effec- tive identity performance.

The way people dress, speak, and socialize all have effects on recognition at particular points in society. Recognition is thus not something exclusively undertaken by an abstract managerial state. Neither is it something restricted to the be- stowal of citizenship. This differentiation and the nuance inherent in the generic terms belonging and recognition are also reflected in the concept of citizenship, which is often graduated and is to be distinguished in terms of the limits on its use and in terms of the rights it confers Ong The mark of "citizenship" may not allow effective or equal opportunity for all; racial distinctions remain important in restrict- ing access to housing, government loans, education, and government jobs in Israel and Malaysia, for example.

Other less official forms of discrimination exist toward migrants citizens or otherwise in a number of countries; the assumption of apocrypha in discrimination claims is perhaps an indication of the force of the public discourse of recognition and the law. Conferring belonging involves both state and society. If the analysis of recognition cannot be said to begin and end with the bestowal of rights, then the role of society in leavening and influ- encing the territorial narrative of justice emanating from a territo- rial resolution of ontology is important.

Society here becomes a zone or realm within which the state operates; society is constructed as a zone more or less independent of the state but amenable to interven- tion by the state. The state intervenes in society to solve society's problems: in this conception, the state envelops society. Society is a discursive construct, understood as a zone of intervention where power is ordered and where that ordering is made apparent Feldman , The construction of society thus is a means of making known, and legitimating, territorialized power and its embodiment in the state.

Society should not in itself be taken as a final or autonomous unit of analysis. The discursive and instrumental construction of society as a zone amenable to intervention is probably a secondary level of analysis. The construction of society in this way rests on a more fundamental construction of bodies and agencies and their location within society.

Bodies are fundamental sites of dis- cipline and punishment. The extent and force of such discipline and punishment vary across different bodies. Some bodies, as Perera, Haddad, and Toyota all show in this volume, are more exemplary sites than others for the coming together of the forces of domination and creation that reveal the structure of territorial power. What are particularly apparent are the processes of inclusion and exclu- sion upon which this power rests. These more exemplary bodies are often racialized or gendered recognized or misrecognized primarily in terms of race or gender or are migrants from particular areas.

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At the core of the territorial ordering of humanity are thus not only the abstract operation of law but also a hierarchy of bodies. This is the ambivalence that Bhabha speaks of, the emotive and violent concep- tions of impurity and relations of fear and desire underpinning the rational edifice of the modern state. The conferral of belonging and the mechanism of recognition arising from territorial conceptions of justice are thus not to be ana- lyzed solely in terms of the abstract law. Such analysis repeats the ruse of sovereign control and rationality integral to the maintenance of sovereign power.

The structure of order given by the territorial border is complex, precisely because that border is not a zone or space given to ready instrumentalization. The border is a landscape of competing meanings with a range of actors: the order, justice, and knowledge that emanate from it can only be viewed in abstract judi- cial terms if the element of semantic competition is removed. If it is not, then that order and that justice may be seen to be underpinned by ambivalent engagements with dispossessed and disenfranchised otherness. And the resultant knowledge may be understood as the bureaucratic or legalistic co-option and cajoling of identities, insti- tutions, and forces into concepts readily digestible.

Territorial knowledge is centered thus on an explication of mean- ing that, in a circular manner, justifies its taxonomic role in society. Knowledge operates by making perceptible that which has reason to be seen and seen in a particular light , while making imperceptible that which has no reason to be seen Ranciere Society be- comes subject to a taxonomic knowledge where the land, its mean- ing, and people within its political borders are affixed to a particular trajectory. Knowledge is thus performed in ways that repeat and vin- dicate the ontological resolution upon which it is based.

The efficacy and persuasiveness of statist conceptions of society and society's narratives of order, justice, community, belonging, tempo- ral continuity, and "an aspiration to a rigorous methodological ac- cess to truth and totality" Dillon , rest on the deferral of the question of human beings and their location.

The rigor of the conceptions rests on a postponement of the question of what and where it is to be effectively and properly human. This rigor frames recognition and misrecognition in a formal public discourse of the law and orients us to a solution framed in public discourse. This occludes the thinking of a fundamental intertwining of self and Otherness, citizen and noncitizen, existing either prior to or as a re- sult of the conferring of political subjectivity that distinguishes and separates.

The Subject of Coexistence : Otherness in International Relations

Indeed, stating the question of belonging and recognition tends to reinforce distinct and separate identities; it reinforces the sense that there is a group who already belongs and another seek- ing belonging from an external frame; it reinforces the territorial restrictions of community. The framing of questions about belonging and recognition and so about justice becomes thus a second-order relation between two or more already distinct groups. The argument is not that there is no distinction in the level of inclusion or exclusion among groups at any given moment or space; the problem is rather that the tying of groups to a particular landscape is enabled through a fundamental relation with groups excluded.

The identity of the included can only be thought with reference to the excluded; the framing of questions of belonging and of appeals for recognition thus acts as though there were no fundamental relation between those included and those ex- cluded. We presume that it is important to do work at the border between citizen and noncitizen, those who belong and those who do not belong, rather than taking the distinct categories as given. The landscape of justice is vastly changed if we presume a fundamen- tal relation.

Not least, the purposive spatial Utopia of the territorial state loses its trajectory; its goal of self-perpetuation in the same form can no longer be vindicated, and the maintenance of state sov- ereignty for its own sake becomes a problematic issue. In the purposive and narcissistic sovereign state, the question of belonging is thought in terms of the extent to which an indi- vidual may be reasonably expected to adhere to the state's norms. This community is teleological or narcissistically self-referential; commu- nity as commonality is both a point of departure and an end point Ahmed and Fortier , The conception of justice that sets for itself a border or limit that is reenacted and strengthened by each enactment of its laws refuses or makes unrecognizable the presump- tion of another justice.

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The operation and performance of belonging that is set in motion by territorially secured justice reinforces its basis or rationales. Mirroring the self-referential teleology of com- munity, territorially secured justice both inaugurates and reinforces a state-centric notion of what it is to be human. In this reinforce- ment, it asserts that the structure of justice and authority given by the territorial state is a creative rendering of the human being as an accountable and politicized subjectivity: a useful, necessary, and productive transformation from states of nature and bare lives.

Territorially secured justice is thus not merely one possible struc- ture of justice, but makes a claim to being the authoritative and ex- haustive form; it sets the basis and becomes the ground that renders the human being thinkable and accountable. Yet this proclamation of an authoritative and incontestable justice relies, ultimately, on shaky and contingent foundations. This is so in at least two senses.

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First, the proclamation relies on unruly lines that demarcate se- curity from anarchy, norm from exception Walker In the territorial reading, the border is a transformative line, distinguish- ing politicized subjectivity from chaos outside and maintaining this distinction.

This instrumental use of the border rests on the ca- pacity of the territorial imagination to fill the space of the border Donnan and Wilson , The border, however, is not a zone that is readily given to such space filling.

The border, or border- scape, is replete with actors and agents responding to, resisting, and relaying the set of discourses and practices that envision the border as an empty and pliable instrument of separation. That is, those ele- ments who are rendered unaccountable, who have no reason to be visible, do not simply disappear; it takes an act of some will, as well as a certain amount of institutional force, to effect their invisibility and erase their relation to the norm.

Second, the claim to an exhaustive rendition of justice relies on a varying capacity to contain difference. The priority accorded to the particular over the universal allows for the co-option of difference into nation-building strategies.

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This co-option of difference relies on the efficacy of the naming and incarcerating strategies that lead to both a semantic and a physical exclusion of difference. This efficacy again rests on a capacity to disregard the ambivalence and paradox at borders; it relies on a disregard or containment of the fluid inter- play of global and local, and of the fundamental relation between excluded and included.

In the preceding section, we have tried to show that the thinking of the question of belonging, recognition, and community within state and society rests on a number of abstractions; three are par- ticularly important. The first is that of the autonomous and public individual. This abstraction enables and encourages the thinking of belonging in a public, or legal, sense; it corresponds to an ontologi- cal resolution where the problematic question of what and where it is to be human is deferred indefinitely.