Keynote Speech

gHow the Border Colonizes Our Everyday Life:
Urban Borderlands, Citizenship, and the Politics of Contestation h

Dr. Henrik Lebuhn

Assistant Professor Department of Social Sciences Humboldt University


Various countries in the world have seen a proliferation of borders over the past few decades. Rather than leading to a world of free migration and mobility, globalization appears to have transformed the old lines of territorial demarcation. New regimes of control and exclusion have emerged that expand into the public and private spaces of everyday life, far from any actual border. Simultaneously, immigrant rights movements have mobilized against restrictive border policies and progressive politicians and administrative agencies have developed strategies to maintain or create social entitlements for citizens and denizens alike. In this process, cities with their institutional density and as hubs of migration have become an important arena, where the connection between borders and citizenship is negotiated, contested, and re-shaped gon the ground.h

This concerns not only the regulation of regional labor markets, but also access to education, housing, health care, and cultural citizenship. This lecture draws from research in Europe and North America, and offers a conceptual framework that links border studies with research on urban citizenship and presents a comparative approach that explores the sociopolitical forces and effects at work in different settings.