Boundaries and Belonging

States and Societies in the Struggle to Shape Identities and Local Practices


This interdisciplinary volume maintains the importance of a spatial understanding of society and history, but suggests a way of conceiving of borders and space that goes beyond a school map of states. Its subject is the struggle among differing spatial logics, or mental maps. It is concerned with the meaning that state borders hold for people, but recognizes that such meaning varies and is contested by other social formations. To what degree do state borders encase the mechanisms that make the decisive rules governing people's lives and to what extent do they give way to other rulemakers? To what extent do states circumscribe the communities to which people feel attached and to what extent do they intersect with other communities of belonging? These essays home in on the struggles and conflicting demands on people, given that state borders are not automatically pre-eminent and that other spatial logics demand attention.
  • Cambridge University Press; May 2004
  • ISBN 9780511192609
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Boundaries and Belonging
  • Author: Joel S. Migdal (ed.)
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

Review of the hardback: '… these well-written, interesting chapters form a useful addition to the study of political identities.' Political Studies Review