China’s New Borders in the 21st Century

25 Feb 2019
Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly
Venue: Seminar Room, ICS
Time: 3:00 PM


In this era of global trade and connectivity, at the beginning of the 21st century, the geopolitical governance of borders is shifting from territorial bordering to regional, and possibly global bordering through functional connectivity. New border governance forms have appeared that have yet to be entirely understood by the literature in border studies.

The presentation is based on a recently completed paper by the speaker, which argues that borders organize the connectivity of non-contiguous territories between countries’ chains of production, of good and services, and labor markets, with the rest of the world. The paper is organized in four sections: the first section is a history of borders that emphasizes the territoriality of border governance. The second part, then, examines center periphery questions suggesting that border issues mirror culture and nationalism in their construction of the sovereign nation-state. Contemporary views on borders and frontiers are discussed in the third part, which underscores borders as territorial container, rooted in territoriality, sovereign culture and politics.

In the fourth and last section, he would reflect on China’s current ‘Road and Belt Initiative’ to illustrate his central argument: in the 21st century, borders are either territorial or they are functional.

About the Speaker

Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (Ph.D. Western, 99) is a Professor of Public Policy at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where he is Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance (2016-19). He has published widely on urban and border issues. His latest book: European Union Policy Making: A Canadian Perspective was short listed for best books in politics and policy by Canada’s The Hills-Times 2018. Currently, he is the principal investigator for Borders in Globalization, a research program that brings together 30 university research centres in 20 countries.


1 Dec 2019


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8 Nov 2019
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25 Sep 2019

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