Borderlands: Towards an Anthropology of the Cosmopolitan Condition

Written by Michel Agier | Polity Press | August 29, 2016

The images of migrants and refugees arriving in precarious boats on the shores of southern Europe, and of the makeshift camps that have sprung up in Lesbos, Lampedusa, Calais and elsewhere, have become familiar sights on television screens around the world. But what do we know about the border places these liminal zones between countries and continents that have become the focus of so much attention and anxiety today? What do we know about the individuals who fill these places, their hopes and fears, and about the kinds of social relationships that form between the groups of people who confront one another there the migrants and refugees, the local residents, the police and other officials of the state?

In this timely book, anthropologist Michel Agier addresses these questions and examines the character of the borderlands that emerge on the margins of nation-states. Drawing on his ethnographic fieldwork, he shows that borders, far from disappearing, have acquired a new kind of centrality in our societies, becoming reference points for the growing numbers of people who do not find a place in the countries they wish to reach.

More information is available on the publisher's website.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

Decadence of Industrial Democracies

Bernard Stiegler is one of the most original philosophers writing today about new technologies and their implications for social, political and personal life. Drawing on sources ranging from Plato and Marx to Freud, Heidegger and Derrida, he develops a highly original account of technology as grammatology, as a technics of writing that constitutes our experience of time, memory and desire, even of life itself. Society and our place within it are shaped by technical reproduction which can both expand and restrict the horizons and possibilities of human agency and experience.
new titles

Eve Out of Her Ruins

With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country's endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only weapon and source of power; Savita, Eve's best friend, the only one who loves Eve without self-interest, who has plans to leave but will not go alone; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in love with Eve; Clélio, belligerent rebel, waiting without hope for his brother to send for him from France.
new titles

The Iran-Iraq War

Razoux’s account is based on unpublished military archives, oral histories, and interviews, as well as audio recordings seized by the U.S. Army detailing Saddam Hussein’s debates with his generals. Tracing the war’s shifting strategies and political dynamics—military operations, the jockeying of opposition forces within each regime, the impact on oil production so essential to both countries—Razoux also looks at the international picture. From the United States and Soviet Union to Israel, Europe, China, and the Arab powers, many nations meddled in this conflict, supporting one side or the other and sometimes switching allegiances.