Journal Article

A Hermeneutical Approach to European Bordering

Published 29 February 2016 / By COMPAS Communications

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Post-Westphalia processes such as the increasing mobility of people, the rise of the international human rights framework, globalization, transnationalization and the political integration of Europe have ‘fundamentally changed the meaning of borders’ (Guild 2001, Moving the Borders of Europe. Inaugural Lecture. Nijmegen: University of Nijmegen, 3). Borders have a ‘polysemic nature’ (Balibar 2002, Politics and the Other Scene. London: Verso, 81), they do not have the same meaning for everyone. This article claims, however, there is another, yet new, fundamental shift as regards the meaning of border: a socio-psychological shift. There is a drastic increase in the public profile of borders. This hypothesized shift requires a new approach on borders. In part it confirms Balibar’s (2002) claim but the article considers the implications for research agendas (Politics and the Other Scene. London: Verso). The article posits a research agenda that goes back to basic questions. It suggests a hermeneutical approach to European bordering and border regimes.


Vollmer, B. (2016) A Hermeneutical Approach to European Bordering, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14782804.2016.1148591