Introduction: Thirty Years of Borders since Berlin

Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, Pier Paolo Frassinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


November 9, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the physical and geopolitical barrier that divided Berlin and the East from the West. This event symbolically inaugurated the period of post-Cold War globalization. The birth of the World Wide Web that same year spurred on globalization and led many observers to believe that (national) borders had become passé. The zeitgeist seemed to promise a borderless world in which capitalism and democracy would flourish. However, instead, the last three decades have paradoxically borne witness to the proliferation, rescaling, and reinforcement of territorial and other types of borders-linguistic, religious, ethnic, class, racial, urban, cultural, digital, temporal etc. The contemporary preoccupation with borders and walls is the result of the "deglobalization" that is also, ironically, a global phenomenon-Brexit, Trump's border wall, Israel's concrete wall in the West Bank, xenophobia from South Africa to India to "Fortress Europe," and the growing power of right wing authoritarian leaders in several nations. The resurgence of (ethno)nationalism, racism, white supremacy, isolationism, populism, protectionism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and religious fundamentalism are all dialectical consequences of this global backlash. This is the subject of this special issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-300
Number of pages24
JournalNew Global Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Berlin Wall
  • borders and walls
  • deglobalization
  • nationalism
  • post-Cold War globalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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