Political Ecology of Bordered Spaces

This set of commentaries addresses the complex, deeply entangled, and at times paradoxical roles of the human and nonhuman actors who inhabit the diverse ecological and geopolitical spaces of borderlands. Recent scholarship in political ecology and political geography draws attention to the intersection between the production of nature and processes of bordering. Nature is constantly enrolled in and remade through its engagement with ongoing practices and processes of delimiting, maintaining, securing, and militarizing (and in certain cases demilitarizing) the world’s territorially bordered and bounded spaces. Examining socio-natural processes and objects can, in turn, provide new perspectives for understanding the unique histories of these bordered spaces and the subjects which inhabit them. The essays included here represent a diverse group of scholars and scholarship united by a common interest in examining the embodied multiplicities, complexities, and contradictions encountered in borderland spaces. Examining these simultaneously united and ruptured spaces through a political ecology lens, the authors present commentary on significant and timely issues. Many of these themes were previously explored during a series of sessions of the same name organized for the 2014 Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference on Nature/Society in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lily House-Peters & Sarah Kelly-Richards