Placing Borders in Development

Article English OPEN
Novak, Paolo (2017)

Development is inextricably related to the state-centred cartography of world spaces defined by borders, both in its historical trajectory and contemporary entanglements. Yet the multiplicity of channels and directions characterising their articulation are scarcely explored. This article contributes to this emerging field of enquiry. It delineates the essential traits of the borders and development nexus by establishing a systematic dialogue between the fields of Border Studies and Development Studies, a dialogue framed by concerns with scalar politics. More specifically, the paper places borders in development in two ways. First, it places borders in Development Studies: it identifies borders as a useful analytical vantage point that lay at the intersection between state- and non-state centred geographies of development. Second, it places Border Studies in development: focusing on the tension between borders and bordering processes, it interrogates economic growth- and poverty-related policies. Three contributions to the study of development arising from placing borders in development in this way are highlighted. The paper also expands the emerging field of enquiry concerned with the relation between borders and development, by considering development policies not yet been examined through the prism of borders, and by emphasising the hierarchical and yet unpredictable nature of the borders and development articulation. At its broadest, the discussion dis-entangles the multiplicity of scales and directions in which borders, bordering and the development process intersect. It is at this scalar intersection that the force of development, and the potentials for engaging, opposing, avoiding, or subverting it, lay.
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