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Bordering Practices Across Europe: The Rise of “Walls” and “Fences”

Burcu Togral Koca


This article explores the recent bordering practices across and around Europe, with a specific focus on the construction of walls and fences. Since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, thousands of refugees fleeing persecution have risked their lives crossing dangerous maritime and land borders while attempting to reach Europe. In the face of this intensification of refugee movements and the subsequent mass death around the borders, European countries have decided to erect more walls and fences instead of offering a protection to refugees.  Rather than a novel theoretical and conceptual framework, this article seeks to subject these bordering practices and their material and discursive underpinnings to critical–analytical scrutiny, drawing on the frameworks offered by critical border studies. Concomitantly, it reflects on the detrimental impacts these practices are having on the rights of refugees and problematizes the approaches of European countries vis-à-vis present-day refugee movements.


critical border studies; bordering practices; walls and fences; Europe; refugees

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