Fences and neighbours in the postmodern world: Boundary narratives in political geography

David Newman, Anssi Paasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

748 Scopus citations


State boundaries have constituted a major topic in the tradition of political geography. Boundary analysis has focused on the international scale, since international boundaries provide perhaps the most explicit manifestation of the large-scale connection between politics and geography. The past decade has witnessed a renewed interest in boundaries, both within geography and from the wider field of social theory. Geographers have sought to place the notions of boundary within other social theoretical constructs, while other social scientists have attempted to understand the role of space and, in some cases, territory in their understanding of personal, group, and national boundaries and identities. Recent studies include analyses of the postmodern ideas of territoriality and the 'disappearance' of borders, the construction of sociospatial identities, socialization narratives in which boundaries are responsible for creating the 'us' and the 'Other', and the different scale dimensions of boundary research. These can be brought together within a multidimensional, multidisciplinary framework for the future study of boundary phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-207
Number of pages22
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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