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Borders determine who belongs to a group or society and who can be legitimately excluded. Paradoxically, the liberal script both grants the nation state the control over its borders while also constraining it from doing so, for such an act in turn contradicts the idea of personal and economic freedom and mobility.

RU Borders addresses three sets of questions:

1. Historical and contemporary analysis of borders

How do contemporary processes of globalisation, regional integration, and technological change challenge territorial integrity and citizenship? How do contemporary challenges to the liberal script fit into the larger historical pattern of border contestations?RU Borders distinguishes different types of contestations of the border script and compares them across Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as well as across time.

2. Endogeneous and exogenous factors in contestation

To what extent are contestations of territorial integrity driven by endogenous dynamics or exogenous shocks? Who are the actors involved in the alternatives to the liberal script? We focus on contestants of current border regimes as well as the usage of new technologies and global networks.

3. Contestation-driven changes to liberal border script

To what extent have contestations of the liberal script led to changes to the liberal border script itself? Has increased global integration of the world yielded practices regarding borders that look(ed) alike?

The RU Borders will analyse whether struggles over borders indicate an emerging split within liberal societies as well as a possible decline of the liberal script. By addressing such tensions, the RU Borders will help SCRIPTS to contribute to research pertaining to one of the major globalchallenges in the 21st century and its history: global migration flows