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Theory of the Border$
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Thomas Nail

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190618643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190618643.001.0001

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The Wall

The Wall

Chapter:
(p.64) Chapter 3 The Wall
Source:
Theory of the Border
Author(s):

Thomas Nail

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190618643.003.0004

This chapter develops a theory of the border structure of the wall. The wall as a border regime introduces a centrifugal social force that links together the fenced-in flows of territorial borders and mobilizes them into a single central power. This power is then deployed offensively through the use of military walls, defensively through the use of rampart walls, and as a technology of passage in port walls. In particular, the wall creates a centrifugal social motion that consolidates the centripetal accumulations of the previous fence regime into a central point and redirects them outward with a new force. Historically, centrifugal motion emerges as the dominant form of motion alongside the rise of the cities and ancient empires of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome, and Greece beginning around 3000 BCE, roughly during the period Gordon Childe refers to as the “Urban Revolution.”

Keywords:   centrifugal, politics, wall, brick, stack, military, port, ancient civilization, Greece, Rome, Egypt

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