Journal Article

Editorial: Why No Borders?

Published 1 January 2009 / By Bridget Anderson, Nandita Sharma, Cynthia Wright

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This editorial article argues for No Borders as a practical political project. We first critically examine borders as ideological, generating and reinforcing inequality. We consider some responses to injustices produced by borders: the call for “human rights”; attempts to make immigration controls more “humanitarian”; and trade unions’ organizing and campaigning with undocumented workers. Recognizing the important contributions of some of these responses, we argue that nevertheless they have often been limited because they do not question sovereignty, the territorializing of people’s subjectivities, and nationalism. No Borders politics rejects notions of citizenship and statehood, and clarifies the centrality of borders to capitalism. We argue that No Borders is a necessary part of a global system of common rights and contemporary struggle for the commons. The article concludes by highlighting the main themes of the papers that make up the Special Issue, a number of which explore practical instances of the instantiation of No Borders politics.

Anderson, B., Sharma, N. and Wright, C. (2009) 'Editorial: Why No Borders?', Refuge, 26(2): 5-18