Alexander C. Diener and Joshua Hagen - Borders

Diener, Alexander C., and Joshua Hagen. Borders: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
“We are ‘geographic beings’ for whom the creating of places, and by consequence the process of bordering, seems natural. But borders are not ‘natural’ phenomena; they exist in the world only to the extent that humans regard them as meaningful.”
(page 1)

“Ultimately, the world has become crisscrossed with such a variety of geographic boundaries that they often appear natural and timeless. Yet reality is more complicated. Although the bounding of space may be common in human social organization, borders are not themselves strictly natural phenomena. Or put another way, humans may be geographic beings predisposed to spatial organization, but how we structure territory, and to what end, has evolved quite radically over time reflecting changing political, social, and economic contexts.”
(page 4)

“environmental impacts resulting from pollution or climate change transcend bounded spaces”
(page 8)

“For whom are borders constructed? By whom? And to what ends?”
(page 18)

“There seemed a real danger that competition could lead to war, so European leaders met at the Berlin Conference in 1884/85 to partition Africa. It was through this conference and later negotiations that Europe’s leaders largely created Africa’s modern political borders. They did so with limited information about the lands and peoples they were reorganizing and without input from Africans. A similar process was under way across much of Asia. Although most of the world’s political entities were bounded by relatively vague and ambiguous frontiers at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the situation had changed dramatically by 1900 as colonial powers hurried to mark the exact limits of their territorial claims.”
(page 49)

“Traditionally, research has focused on the physical aspects of borders, like walls, fences, and observation towers. More recently, scholarly attention has shifted to understanding borders and bordering as processes, rather than things. The word “border,” in essence, has become as much a verb as a noun.”
(page 59)