The transformation and repositioning of border cities facing the challenge of economic integration and securitization

Chair: Christophe Sohn (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research)
Border cities are urban configurations that more or less depend on the border for their existence. Yet, such a dependency relationship seems to be shaped by the ambivalent nature of borders, their changing roles and significance and the varying capacities of cities to react to these challenges and reinvent themselves. On the one hand, the relative opening of borders triggered by the intensification of globalization and the strengthening of regional integration mechanism has induced the urbanization of border regions and the formation of transborder urban spaces. On the other hand, the resurgence of nationalism in various part of the world, the tentative reintroduction of controls along integrated borders and the securitization/militarization of fracture lines of global uneven development have put into question the construction of transborder spaces predicated on principles of economic integration, cooperation, shared governance and identities. In a context marked by antagonistic forces and uncertain trajectories, border cities appear to be the privileged sites to assess and understand the impacts and consequences of these contrasting dynamics.
This panel invites papers which aim to contribute to the following questions:

  • How do debordering and rebordering dynamics impact the spatial development of border cities and regions, the governance of their territorial assemblages and the everyday practices of their inhabitants?
  • How do border cities react to these challenges and what strategies are being implemented, by whom and with what consequences on the material functioning and symbolic significance of borders?
  • How do these evolutions challenge the ways we conceptualize the relationships between urban development and bordering dynamics and their various spatial manifestations?

With a view to having the richest possible discussion, papers from all regions of the world are welcome. Cases located in Latin America, Africa and Asia are particularly desirable in order to broaden our conceptual and empirical understandings..
Abstracts can be submitted here!

Please also send proposals to
The deadline for abstract submissions is September 30, 2017.