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The BorderPolicy and Politics in Europe and the United States$
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Martin A. Schain

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199938674

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199938674.001.0001

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The Border Is Back

(p.208) 8 Conclusion
The Border

Martin A. Schain

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter focuses on both what is meant by the idea that the border is back, and how this has come about. The new focus on the border has evolved in a context of important, and seemingly successful, efforts of international cooperation toward the removal of barriers to trade and the movement of people on both sides of the Atlantic. The shift toward harder controls at the border has been driven by the emergence of new radical right movements and political parties on both sides of the Atlantic. Borders are closing not because of economic protectionism, but as a result of conflicting commitments of liberal democracies: rights and treaty-based immigration is running up against growing support for a reinforcement of national identity and border control. Although there has consistently been significant opposition to immigration in the West, the increase in rights-based immigration on the borders of Europe and on the southern border of the United States has given this opposition political traction. In the context of electoral politics, political parties have driven border issues as political priorities. Identity has trumped trade as a priority issue.

Keywords:   hard borders, soft borders, cycles of enforcement, problem-solving gap, NGOs

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