Borders in World History

Simultaneous events in such disparate places as Arizona, Morocco and Hungary have suddenly made the subject of border walls highly relevant once again. This seminar explores the evolution of border infrastructures as tools of statecraft in global history. From the Chinese great walls of history and myth to the Berlin wall and beyond, states have attempted to regulate interaction between subjects and strangers. The seminar will address the following questions: Why do some states invest more heavily in boundary maintenance? Are 'hard' borders an exclusively modern phenomenon? Are borders constructed for political, economic or cultural reasons? How do local communities learn to live with borders?