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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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Postface (Evelyne Ritaine)


← 300 | 301 → Postface

The Border: Political Analyser of a Fluid World


In a globalized world in which everything is supposed to circulate, the object “border” provides an analyser for the contradictions that hinder, or reorganize, the fluidity of exchanges (Bauman, 2000, 2002).1

The Mediterranean region offers us a laboratory for observing these contradictions as demonstrated in the articles published here. Borders in this region have been tightened in recent years, whether as a result of political/territorial conflicts (Israel and Palestine, Morocco and the Sahrawi Territories, Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus) or as part of policies seeking to control immigration (the European Union’s external frontiers in the Mediterranean, Israel’s southern border). Often, borders are increasingly “armoured” (blindées) along the territory and extended by numerous remote controls (Ritaine, 2009, 2012).2

Armoured borders run along the fault lines of economic development and reveal differences in wealth which, in the Mediterranean, are amongst the highest in the world (Milanovic, 2005). Everywhere, they appear to separate the rich from the poor: Israel and Palestine, Spain and Morocco, Italy and the Balkans, the European Union (EU) and the African continent. So it is not surprising that one of the most common ways of circumventing borders is economic: crossing economies, whether legal or illegal, benefit from the wealth gap, enriching people who know how to play the border (entrepreneurs involved in relocation, smugglers and traffickers, all types of ‘brokers’), and permitting...

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