Journal article

The complex temporality of borders: Contingency and normativity

Adrian Little

European Journal of Political Theory | SAGE Publications | Published : 2015


Debates on borders in both normative political theory and critical border studies tend to focus on the spatiality of bordering. This article evaluates this territorialist epistemology by identifying the complex temporality of borders and highlighting the specific normative challenges that it engenders. In particular, it argues for the centrality of time–space governance as a frame for examining bordering processes. This challenge is exemplified through contemporary debates on the movement of people and theoretical arguments about how to construct migration policy. The article contends that complex temporality necessitates an orientation to the future that reconfigures the manner in which the..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Terry Macdonald, Nick Vaughan-Williams and two referees for the European Journal of Political Theory for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I would also like to acknowledge funding from the Australian Political Studies Association and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne that supported a workshop on 'Borders and Justice in Australian Migration Debates' that was held at Melbourne in September 2013.