39. Borders and Border-Crossings

  1. Nuala C. Johnson2,
  2. Richard H. Schein3 and
  3. Jamie Winders4
  1. Anssi Paasi

Published Online: 14 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118384466.ch39

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography

How to Cite

Paasi, A. (2013) Borders and Border-Crossings, in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography (eds N. C. Johnson, R. H. Schein and J. Winders), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118384466.ch39

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Queen's University Belfast, UK

  2. 3

    University of Kentucky, USA

  3. 4

    Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. Academy of Finland, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 27 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470655597

Online ISBN: 9781118384466



  • border-crossings;
  • borders;
  • cultural geography;
  • political geography;
  • relational thinking


This chapter scrutinizes the meaning of borders in human geography and illustrates that “border” is an important category not only for political but also for cultural geographers who have mapped and represented “bounded spaces” for various purposes at various spatial scales. It asks how critical cultural geography could contribute to border studies and raises new questions about bounded spaces. The chapter first lays out the backgrounds for the rapid rise of interdisciplinary border studies. From there, it examines the rise of relational thinking and its challenge to both political-geographic and cultural-geographic understanding of borders. The third section of the chapter problematizes this idea in cultural-geographic terms. The penultimate section provides a theoretically informed, empirically illustrated discussion of where borders and boundary producing practices are located. The chapter concludes with suggestions for further research.