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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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Building Lines between Nations. Border-making and Police Practices at the French-Italian Frontier, 1890-1914 (Ilsen About)


← 40 | 41 → Building Lines between Nations

Border-making and Police Practices at the French-Italian Frontier, 1890-1914


Few borders in the Mediterranean have been studied, examined or described as often – and few as bitterly disputed and crossed by marching armies – as the short line between mountain and coast that separates France from Italy. A close reading of this history provides insight into the almost mythical features and specific social structures that surround the Passage des Alpes and sheds light on the series of upheavals that this border underwent until the mid-20th century (Fontaine, 2003; Thoral, 2007; Raviola, 2010). The inter-war period, in particular, has attracted considerable attention as it was a very complex period when several trends co-existed: labour migration to France, political exile, diplomatic rivalries and a greater presence of security forces in order to supervise the frontier (Panicacci, 1992; Vogel, 1997; Mourlane, 1999; Baycroft et al., 2001). Above all, this period made it possible to analyze a territory just before this frontier was once again at the heart of a rapid succession of occupations and of conquests during the Second World War (Panicacci, 2010; Sica, 2011). Meanwhile, the last part of the 19th century has been seen as a watershed, during which the newly formed French Republic (1870) and the newly united Kingdom of Italy (1861) jointly, but not without difficulty, devoted a considerable amount of energy to defining the limits of their territory and to strengthening their frontiers (Bouisset, 2002).

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