CfP – Borders and Boundaries in Asia

2nd ABS World Conference


Borders denote lines of separation, but can have regionally specific connotations.  For a person living in Europe, border crossing can be a daily affair. By contrast, in Asia, borders primarily reflect the security anxieties of the state. This security- centered approach to borders is partly a colonial legacy, but also stems from the presence of serious political divides in Asia. Indeed, Asian borders are complex but distinct in a number of ways. Moreover, there are regionally specific issues in Asia that make Border Studies more challenging. In South Asia, the two nuclear powers of India and Pakistan remain deadlocked and refuse to bridge the partition of 1947. In Central Asia, economic imperatives are now posing questions regarding the utility of national borders. In East and South-East Asia, varied maritime border issues are complicating the regional security situation. In West Asia, political instability and religious fundamentalism are making border issues increasingly intractable.

Asia is also a region with abundant natural resources and immense economic potential. By improving border connectivity, commercial possibilities hold out the promise of realizing the dream of an Asian century. Asia is also a melting pot of different cultures, which are undefined by territorial limits and defy all sorts of borders and boundaries. There are also sensitive questions connected to societal limits that find themselves manifested in patriarchy, class discrimination, religious fundamentalism and terrorism. Finally, there are also critical issues like migrations, refugees, and environmental degradation, the resolution to which requires cross border cooperation. Consequently, in this panel, we are interested in discussing various aspects of Asia’s borders.

This is a Call for Papers (CfP) on borders in Asia for the 2nd ABS World Conference, and we invite submissions on themes related to Asian borders and boundaries. A few examples of suggestive topics are offered below but any issue related to Asian borders is welcome.

  1. Post-colonial borders and boundaries in Asia
  2. Conceptualizations of border in different regions – East Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and South Asia
  3. Comparative borders in Asia
  4. Societal and mental borders in Asia
  5. Prospects for cross-border cooperation & regional integration
  6. Border narratives, border trade and border politics in Asia
  7. Border regions and border culture in Asia

For papers and panel proposals, please contact Prof. Akihiro Iwashita (, Dhananjay Tripathi ( & Edward Boyle (