Contests over Territory, Nation, Identity, and Belonging
This chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to further understanding of the contestations that erupt in today's globally interconnected world by exploring the implications of borders—defined broadly to include territorial dividing lines as well as sociocultural boundaries—for the politics, identities, and meaning-making of contemporary social movements. Case studies are presented that capture the complex ways in which geographic, cultural, and symbolic dividing lines are blurred and transcended, but also fortified and redrawn. Critical analysis of border politics attends to the ways in which contestations over identity and social belonging that contour sites of struggle are shaped by globalization's twin processes of “deterritorialization” and “reterritorialization.” Analyzing these struggles over social inclusion and exclusion both within and across national boundaries shows how border politics destabilize constructions of agency and belonging as linked to formal legal categories of political membership. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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