Inverting the Telescope on Borders that Matter: Conversations in Café Europa

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This article develops a new critical comparative lens for the study of European borders, which displays bordering processes less as territorialized state-spaces than spatio-temporal assemblages. Taking the multiplicity and historicity of European borders into account while simultaneously allowing for their continuous re-envisioning through extra-territorial and post-colonial enframings of Europe, the standard horizontal gaze of border studies, it is argued, is dislocated. 'Inverting the telescope' on border studies thus enables a productive space of tension – named Café Europa – in which the negotiations of geopolitical as well as everyday life border practices find expression and take place. Inside this tension of multiple realities and politics, border theory is challenged and charged. It is the aim of the article to invite a furthering of ontological border politics in and across such conversations on borders that matter.

Keywords: border studies, border theory, new comparativism, ontological politics, multiplicity, extra-territoriality/deterritorialisation
Original languageEnglish
Article numberVolume 23, Issue 4
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Studies (Print Edition)
Pages (from-to)459-476
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 142174902