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Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement

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Border control continues to be a highly contested and politically charged subject around the world. This collection of essays challenges reactionary nationalism by making the positive case for the benefits of free movement for countries on both ends of the exchange. Open Borders counters the knee-jerk reaction to build walls and close borders by arguing that there is not a Border control continues to be a highly contested and politically charged subject around the world. This collection of essays challenges reactionary nationalism by making the positive case for the benefits of free movement for countries on both ends of the exchange. Open Borders counters the knee-jerk reaction to build walls and close borders by arguing that there is not a moral, legal, philosophical, or economic case for limiting the movement of human beings at borders. The volume brings together essays by theorists in anthropology, geography, international relations, and other fields who argue for open borders with writings by activists who are working to make safe passage a reality on the ground. It puts forward a clear, concise, and convincing case for a world without movement restrictions at borders. The essays in the first part of the volume make a theoretical case for free movement by analyzing philosophical, legal, and moral arguments for opening borders. In doing so, they articulate a sustained critique of the dominant idea that states should favor the rights of their own citizens over the rights of all human beings. The second part sketches out the current situation in the European Union, in states that have erected border walls, in states that have adopted a policy of inclusion such as Germany and Uganda, and elsewhere in the world to demonstrate the consequences of the current regime of movement restrictions at borders. The third part creates a dialogue between theorists and activists, examining the work of Calais Migrant Solidarity, No Borders Morocco, activists in sanctuary cities, and others who contest border restrictions on the ground.


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Border control continues to be a highly contested and politically charged subject around the world. This collection of essays challenges reactionary nationalism by making the positive case for the benefits of free movement for countries on both ends of the exchange. Open Borders counters the knee-jerk reaction to build walls and close borders by arguing that there is not a Border control continues to be a highly contested and politically charged subject around the world. This collection of essays challenges reactionary nationalism by making the positive case for the benefits of free movement for countries on both ends of the exchange. Open Borders counters the knee-jerk reaction to build walls and close borders by arguing that there is not a moral, legal, philosophical, or economic case for limiting the movement of human beings at borders. The volume brings together essays by theorists in anthropology, geography, international relations, and other fields who argue for open borders with writings by activists who are working to make safe passage a reality on the ground. It puts forward a clear, concise, and convincing case for a world without movement restrictions at borders. The essays in the first part of the volume make a theoretical case for free movement by analyzing philosophical, legal, and moral arguments for opening borders. In doing so, they articulate a sustained critique of the dominant idea that states should favor the rights of their own citizens over the rights of all human beings. The second part sketches out the current situation in the European Union, in states that have erected border walls, in states that have adopted a policy of inclusion such as Germany and Uganda, and elsewhere in the world to demonstrate the consequences of the current regime of movement restrictions at borders. The third part creates a dialogue between theorists and activists, examining the work of Calais Migrant Solidarity, No Borders Morocco, activists in sanctuary cities, and others who contest border restrictions on the ground.

38 review for Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Tamiko Da Dalt

    This book was an incredible collection of perspectives on borders, migration, and the role of the state in restricting movement. I am an enormous fan of Prof. Jones' work and his book Violent Borders, and Open Borders surpassed my already-high expectations. As the first person (!) to receive the Toronto Public Library's copy that I placed on hold many months ago, I was heartbroken to have to return it today. For the time I had it in my hands, though, it was a comforting reassurance that very int This book was an incredible collection of perspectives on borders, migration, and the role of the state in restricting movement. I am an enormous fan of Prof. Jones' work and his book Violent Borders, and Open Borders surpassed my already-high expectations. As the first person (!) to receive the Toronto Public Library's copy that I placed on hold many months ago, I was heartbroken to have to return it today. For the time I had it in my hands, though, it was a comforting reassurance that very intelligent people and communities are thinking about, and working to dismantle, militant border regimes and their effects on people around the world. I found myself most feverishly writing notes during Chapter 1: Sanctuary, Solidarity, Status! by Thomas Nail, Chapter 4: Dispossessing Citizenship by Nandita Sharma, Jenna Loyd's Chapter 5: Prison Abolitionist Perspectives on No Borders, and Chapter 7: Migration as Reparations (pp. 129-140) by Joseph Nevins. Chapter 15: Comunicados desde Chicagoiguala by SEMILLAS AUTÓNOMAS draws together communications materials from the grassroots organizing group out of Chicago; not to be missed. I'll end the review with Dr. Jones' words in the opening, a reminder that this particular moment of xenophobia and isolationism is nothing new: "The claims that migrants bring different cultural beliefs that threaten the way of life of receiving countries have been around for centuries. In the nineteenth cnetury United States, the fear was that Italian, Iraish and Catholic migrants would not assimilate. Later it was Asian, communist, and Meixcan migrants. Today, the fear is that Muslims will bring a different set of beliefs. In each era, there is a narrative of invasion that evokes feelings of group membership, that 'our' way of life is threatened by 'them.'"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Ertel

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anton Rose

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fiver

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Trevino

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Fahrenthold

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Cappelli

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eren Gündemir

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra Di Cataldo

  13. 5 out of 5

    Esgardo Esparza

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ogbaoghene

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Ray

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sezen Akyıldız

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nashat Nimer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Afeef Daffy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emma Murray

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Grace

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joseph McGuire

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Em

  25. 5 out of 5

    j

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelby

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yelteek

  28. 4 out of 5

    Josh McBee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Antonio

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Kelly

  31. 5 out of 5

    Farzanadiamandis

  32. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Yeung

  34. 5 out of 5

    Landry S

  35. 4 out of 5

    Josef Terlaeken

  36. 4 out of 5

    Frida

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sonya Ghori

  38. 5 out of 5

    Yonis Gure

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