Borders, Walls and Violence : Costs and Alternatives to Border Fencing

International conference organized by the Raoul-Dandurand Chair at University of Québec at Montreal
June 2 and 3, 2016 – Montréal, Québec, Canada

More border walls and border fences are being built every year all across the world. Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, and Tunisia are among the latest to announce yet another border fence. Twenty-five years ago it was believed that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reconfiguration of international relations would open an age of globalization in which States would become obsolete, ushering in a world without borders. In the wake of 9/11, however, borders came back in light, new borders were created and new border walls erected. In the wake of the Arab Spring, came even more border barriers and walls, symbols that were thought to have disappeared with the collapse of the bipolar international system. Today, they reinforce borderlines the world over, transforming both soft and semi-permeable borders alike into sealed, exclusionary hard borders. Walls are symbols of identity reaffirmation, markers of State sovereignty, instruments of dissociation, locus of a growing violence.

The scientific committee is composed of :

  • Élisabeth Vallet (Raoul-Dandurand Chair UQAM – Canada)
  • Anne-Laure Amilhat-Szary (Geography, Université Joseph Fourier – France)
  • Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (Borders in Globalization, University of Victoria – Canada)
  • Reece Jones (Geography, University of Hawaii – USA)
  • Kenneth D. Madsen (Geography, The Ohio State University – USA)
  • Said Saddiki (International relations and law, Al-Ain University of Science and Technology – UAE)