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Guest Lecture | "Border Anxiety in a Globalizing World" with Beth A. Simmons

May 25, 2022 | 04:30 PM s.t. - 06:00 PM

The guest lecture by Beth A. Simmons (University of Pennsylvania Law School) looks at evidence, causes and consequences of growing anxiety about state borders on a global scale. Livestream on YouTube: https://youtu.be/R-uoNKiMkPk

The Golden Age of globalization has reached an end in the popular and political imagination. In its place has arisen growing anxiety about state borders. What is the evidence of such a shift? What are the causes and consequences? This talk presents a rich array of physical and rhetorical evidence of growing border anxiety, on a global scale. Some border concerns are indeed justified, but some flows from a vague sense of fear about myriad forces and threats beyond state control. When anxious border-related rhetoric seizes center stage, it can have unexpected consequences for politics and policy. Some border threats are of course real, but there should be a sober analysis of targeted approaches to deal with them.

This talk documents the trends in border hardening over the past two decades, and discusses its causes and consequences. Simmons uses new global data on border crossings and geocoded walls to visualize growing attention to border security and discourse analysis to try and understand it. The consequences of securitized borders are not always what people might expect – or desire. 


Lecture with Q&A afterwards.


Beth A. Simmons is the Andrea Mitchell University Professor in Law, Political Science and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is a former Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at the Department of Government. Her research interests include international relations, political economy, international law, and international human rights law compliance. She is best known for her research on international political economy during the interwar years, policy diffusion globally, and her work demonstrating the influence that international law has on human rights outcomes around the world. With Thomas Risse and Walter Carlsnaes, she edited the Handbook of international relations (SAGE, 2012).


Attending the Event

[Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not be able to have an in-person lecture with Prof. Dr. Beth Simmons, but the lecture will be streamed live on our Youtube channel.

Livestream on YouTube: https://youtu.be/R-uoNKiMkPk