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Territorial borders, international ethics and geography : do good fences still make good neighbours ?

Williams, J. (2003) 'Territorial borders, international ethics and geography : do good fences still make good neighbours ?', Geopolitics., 8 (2). pp. 25-46.


The article surveys and summarises recent literature in political geography and normative international relations theory to highlight how territorial borders are increasingly regarded as social phenomena, rather than material facts, and how this opens them to ethical and normative critique. The article suggests this is a line of enquiry that has yet to be fully developed. In order to do so, though, it is necessary to recognise the ontological sedimentation and power of territorial borders understood as fences between states, suggesting that ontologically minimalist methodologies may be inappropriate. From here, the article argues that an ethically plausible defence of territorial borders-as-fences can be made, but only by scaling back the role that territorial borders play and linking it more closely to the role of borders in making possible and meaningful human ethical life.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Social phenomena, Boundaries.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:21 Jun 2007
Last Modified:19 Mar 2013 13:11

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