Borders are ubiquitous in political life. Indeed, they are perhaps even constitutive of political life. Borders are not natural, neutral nor static, but historically contingent, politically charged, dynamic phenomena that first and foremost involve people and their everyday lives. This chapter describes the concept of the border of the state in contemporary political life; a blind spot in International Relations (IR) theory; the vacillation of borders; and the quest for alternative border imaginaries. The concept of the border of the state underpins the arrangement of, and indeed the very condition of possibility for, both domestic and international legal and political systems.
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