Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION


MONTAG, 23.9.

Matthew Longo: Beyond Sovereign Exclusion: Progressive Alternatives to the Wall


Borders are changing in myriad and multifaceted ways. After 9/11, states redoubled efforts at shoring up their perimeters and building walls. But borders are not merely increasingly securitized, they are also becoming thicker and bi-national. This new ‘zonal’ border emerging worldwide radically shifts the debate about borders and sovereignty. If sovereignty is indivisible, unitary and final, how can it be shared between states at their mutual perimeters? This talk suggests that sovereignty is changing shape - a worrisome trend, given the potential harm in a system designed to maximize states’ abilities to organize against migratory flows, but also one that opens the door for progressive solutions. This talk foregrounds one avenue specifically: democratic citizenship in the borderlands. If borders are increasingly bi-national spaces (with border dwellers subject to two sovereigns), it is only fair that they also be given certain cross-border rights and permissions. The idea would be to delineate a perimeter-zone comprised of proximate districts along the border, and offer citizens on both sides some role in border policy decision-making (especially in matters that affect local communities). Such citizens would retain their own national membership but be afforded special rights and responsibilities unique to the perimeter-zone. In this way, bi-national citizenship zones would correspond to (and help ameliorate the harms of) the bi-national security zones that are increasingly common.


Matthew Longo is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. He received a PhD from Yale University in 2014 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Saint Anne’s College, Oxford University, 2014-2017. He is the recipient of the Leo Strauss Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation in Political Philosophy, given by the American Political Science Association (APSA). His first book, The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11 was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. It has just won the Charles Taylor Book Award, which celebrates the best book in political science that employs interpretive methods, also given by APSA. The book has been reviewed favorably in academic journals, such as, Perspectives on Politics as well as by Publisher’s Weekly. In addition to his academic work, he contributes regularly to public debates about borders, including in the Nation, Boston Review, New York Times, L.A. Times and Christian Science Monitor.




Péter Balogh: From the ‘border as barrier’ to the ‘border as resource’


This presentation will trace the shift from the notion of the ‘border as barrier’ to the ‘border as resource’. This emerged as borders have not disappeared as anticipated earlier by some, but their functions have unquestionably changed. It will be argued that the openness of borders is generally to be embraced, at the same time as not all cross-border activities are benevolent. Whereas the focus will be on formal and informal local and regional interactions and development, macro-regional and global processes will also be taken into account. On the international level, the openness of borders is the outcome of two diverging logics and lobbies: free trade and security. Yet borders are unlikely to ever be abolished since capital – big and small – benefits from diverging regulations in different political entities. Open and semi-open borders also create new dynamics on the local and regional level, particularly in borderlands that can now function as bridges rather than the “ends of the world”.


Péter Balogh is research fellow at the Institute for Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His fields are political geography, borders, nationalism, and critical geopolitics. He is generally interested in how different narratives and ideologies can create communities but also bind people into various political entities. Péter’s PhD thesis is entitled Perpetual borders: German-Polish cross-border contacts in the Szczecin area (Stockholm University, 2014). He co-edited the book Crossing the borders: Studies on cross-border cooperation within the Danube Region (CESCI, 2016). More recently he co-authored a book chapter titled "Limits to integration: persisting border obstacles in the EU" in the anthology European Territorial Cooperation, edited by E. Medeiros (Springer, 2018).

For further information please visit:



Anne von Petersdorff: Shared Spaces, Different Mobilities (AT)


The talk will combine excerpts from the feature-lengths documentary Wanderlust (2017) and theoretical explorations of aesthetic practices at borderlands. The attempt to intervene in established border narratives of travel and tourism will take center stage and guide a creative-critical exploration for new aesthetic representations: What processes of demarcation take place in aesthetic practice (especially film and media) when we talk about different forms of mobility, e.g. tourism and migration? What social and aesthetic practices of demarcation and appropriation of borders do we (re)produce through (visual)language? Given the physical proximity of different forms of human mobility, how do we acknowledge this multiplicity of borderlands, while recognizing the chasm that exists between the experience of tourists and that of millions of people trying to cross the same spaces with the “wrong” passport, “wrong” body, “wrong” language?
Collaborative, aesthetic practice will be presented as a possible way of tackling these questions and as opening up decolonial perspectives to aesthetic representation. Since so much of our perception and our lived experience at borders depends on our positionality (largely defined by the passport we carry and the body we carry), collaborative processes of creation can become an important instrument to make perceivable the simultaneous reality of other geo-political subjects. Understanding, describing, and making visible the complex workings of borderlands through collaboration, might then allow us to grasp a border through different perspectives simultaneously.


Anne von Petersdorff is scholar and filmmaker from Berlin. She received her Ph.D. in German Studies and Digital Humanities from Michigan State University where she created her hybrid dissertation “Unexpected Journeys: At the Crossroads of Collaborative Filmmaking and Feminist Scholarship”. Her thesis is concerned with female bodies in transit and sets out to complicate the current economies of representation of women travelers. As part of her dissertation she created Wanderlust, cuerpos en tránsito (2017), a bi-autobiographical travel documentary (co-directed together with Maria Pérez-Escalá), which has been invited to several international film festivals in Europe and Latin America and aired on national TV in Argentina. She is currently working with the editorial team at Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduction, as a producer/director on a documentary series with Wonder Filmproduction in Lisbon, and as a speaker/advisor helping faculty and graduate students to explore the intersections of creative practice and research, building bridges between academia and the public sphere.


Julia Schulze-Wessel: Grenzfigur Flüchtling


Obwohl politische Ordnungen ohne Grenzziehungen nicht gedacht werden können, gehören sie dennoch bislang nur selten zu den Themen politischer Theoriebildung. Vor allem in den Zeiten einer begrenzten Nationalstaatlichkeit haben sie lange Zeit den Rahmen vorgegeben, in dem über zentrale politische Begriffe wie Freiheit, Gleichheit oder auch wohlfahrtstaatliche Solidarität nachgedacht und diskutiert worden ist. In ihrer Selbstverständlichkeit blieben sie meist unsichtbar. Grenzen werden jedoch spätestens dann sichtbar, wenn sie verletzt werden – dafür kann das Jahr 2015 paradigmatisch stehen. Heutige Grenzverletzer*innen, wie Flüchtlinge und (andere) undokumentierte Migrant*innen verweisen dabei auf tiefgreifende Transformationen der Grenze, die in den letzten Jahrzehnten vollzogen worden sind. Grenzen können nicht mehr als statische Linien verstanden werden, die feste Orte der Kontrollen haben. Grenzen zeichnen sich vor allem durch ihre Beweglichkeit und Ortlosigkeit aus. In ihrer neuen Gestalt zeigen sie ihre anhaltende Wirkmächtigkeit vor allem bestimmten Gruppen von Menschen gegenüber.


Dr. Julia Schulze Wessel ist Gründungs- und Vorstandsmitglied des Dresdner Instituts anDemos-Institut für angewandte Demokratie- und Sozialforschung e.V. Davor hatte sie Lehrstuhlvertretungen (Politische Theorie) an den Universitäten Leipzig und Dresden inne. Zu ihren Forschungsschwerpunkten gehören die Themenfelder Demokratietheorie, Grenzen der Demokratie, Partizipation und (Staats-)bürgerschaft, Politische Theorie des Flüchtlings.

Jüngste Veröffentlichungen (Auswahl): 

Grenzfiguren. Zur Politischen Theorie des Flüchtlings (2017); Grenzfigur Flüchtling. Nationale Grenzziehungen und neue Räume des Politischen, in: Mittelweg 36 27 (2018) H. 3, S. 43-60

Aufsatz unter:

Demokratien in Bewegung. Bonnie Honig und Julia Kristeva über die Ährenleserin Ruth (2019). In: Hidalgo, Oliver/Pickel, Gert (Hrsg.): Parteien, Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften vor den Herausforderungen von Flucht und Migration in Europa. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 49-67.

FREITAG, 27.9.


Anne-Katrin Will: Fluchtmigration, Grenze und gesellschaftliche Ordnung: Statusfunktionen von Grenzziehungen


Grenzübertritte machen Menschen zu Objekten der Bürokratie, insbesondere Menschen, die aus humanitären Gründen kommen oder Gründen, die innerhalb der Zuwanderungsregulierung als nicht legitim gelten. Mein Beitrag fragt deshalb: Welche Kategorien sieht die deutsche Bürokratie für Geflüchtete vor? Wie werden Abgrenzungen gemacht und begründet? Welche Auswirkungen haben die Kategorien auf den Alltag der Betroffenen?
Ich nutze das Konzept der „differential inclusion“ von Mezzadra & Neilson (2012), um die Veränderungen im Feld des humanitären Aufenthalts zu beschreiben. Insbesondere in der 18. Legislaturperiode (2013-2017) nach dem Sommer der Migration überschlugen sich förmlich die Gesetzgebungsverfahren und führten in Rekordzeiten zur Verabschiedung neuer gesetzlicher Regelungen. Ergebnis ist eine Differenzierung von Geflüchteten nach Staatsangehörigkeit (Bleibeperspektiven und sichere Herkunftsländer), (Integrations-)Leistung (Deutscherwerb, Bildungsabschlüsse, Arbeitsaufnahme) sowie Devianz (Straffälligkeit, fehlende Mitwirkungsbereitschaft).


Anne-Kathrin Will ist PostDoc am Institut für Europäische Ethnologie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und forscht über den Migrationshintergrund als wissenschaftliche Kategorie ( Im Rahmen ihrer Promotion (Abschluss 2010) beschäftigte sie sich mit der Aufenthaltsgewährung für traumatisierte bosnische Flüchtlinge in Berlin. Für sie ist die kritische Migrationsforschung durch den Perspektivwechsel auf die Dominanzkultur eine große Inspiration und eine produktive Art, um migrantisierende Forschung „über“ angebliche „Gruppen“ zu reflektieren und zur Gesellschaftsforschung umzudrehen. Sie publiziert über die Kategorie Migrationshintergrund, humanitäre Aufenthaltsgewährung (bzw. -verweigerung), vertrauliche Geburt, Psychologisierung und weitere Themen: