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Borders: A Very Short Introduction by…
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Borders: A Very Short Introduction

by Alexander C. Diener, Joshua Hagen

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Great primer in border studies. Diener and Hagen give precise definitions of terms and examine borders from many different perspectives. Kind of weak on cultural production, but very strong on politics and geography. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Diener and Hagen here deliver what the title of the book promises: a brief primer to the history of borders and to the field of border studies. There is some discussion of metaphorical and cultural borders, but the focus is largely on the political and the geographical, from the fluid borders of ancient empires to the (supposedly) much more rigid ones enforced by the modern nation state. While the content it covers should suit it for an undergraduate class, or for the interested layreader, Diener and Hagen's prose unfortunately lets them down. It's certainly not the worst academic writing you'll definitely read, but this book needed at least one more editing pass to take it from something aimed at an academic audience (jargon-riddled, clunky) to something that the general person might actually make it through. Calling up pages at random from the book on Amazon gives me phrases like "the increasingly transportable and multiscalar nature of territory" or "Some scholars favor a constructivist approach that rejects the environmental determinist notions of primordialists" or "territoriality stems from an a priori instinct." It's not that the ideas here aren't comprehensible‚ÄĒit is, if you'll forgive the metaphor, that Diener and Hagen seem to have forgotten that their task in writing this book wasn't to demonstrate their location within the borders of Academe, but to invite engagement across those borders. ( )
  siriaeve | Nov 1, 2015 |
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Alexander C. Dienerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hagen, Joshuamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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We live in a very bordered world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199731500, Paperback)

Compelling and accessible, this Very Short Introduction challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map, revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic, social, political, and environmental processes that shape our lives. Highlighting the historical development and continued relevance of borders, Alexander Diener and Joshua Hagen offer a powerful counterpoint to the idea of an imminent borderless world, underscoring the impact borders have on a range of issues, such as economic development, inter- and intra-state conflict, global terrorism, migration, nationalism, international law, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. Diener and Hagen demonstrate how and why borders have been, are currently, and will undoubtedly remain hot topics across the social sciences and in the global headlines for years to come. This compact volume will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students, including geographers, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, international relations and law experts, as well as lay readers interested in understanding current events.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:00 -0400)

This volume challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map, revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic, social, political, and environmental processes that shape our lives. Highlighting the historical development and continued relevance of borders, the authors offer a powerful counterpoint to the idea of an imminent borderless world, underscoring the impact borders have on a range of issues, such as economic development, inter- and intra-state conflict, global terrorism, migration, nationalism, international law, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. They demonstrate how and why borders have been, are currently, and will undoubtedly remain hot topics across the social sciences and in the global headlines for years to come.… (more)

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