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This topic provides an opportunity to explore political issues connected to borders through a case studies approach.
Many of the topics, political issues and key concepts encountered in the four core units of this course are also central to discussions of borders. Borders may be physical borders between countries, but they can also be less concrete but equally influential borders of, say, social class, ethnicity or gender. Sometimes, it is not the existence of borders that is problematic, but rather a lack thereof, such as could be argued in the case of cross-border movement of capital or treatment of labour. Migration is closely linked to the concept of globalization, as physical borders between nations are increasingly reduced. Immigration is a controversial and topical issue in many countries, and political backlashes to immigration on the face of changing and unstable economic conditions are widespread. Many conflicts have a dimension that has to do with borders of various kinds, and often human rights are violated in crossing borders, as for example, in human trafficking.

Learning outcomes:
• knowledge and understanding of a specific case study and a specific political issue related to borders
• application of relevant key concepts, theories and ideas from the core units to analysis of the case
• evaluation of the case study from different perspectives and in the wider context of global politics
• an experience of having carried out a self-directed, teacher-supported research process and communicating the conclusions of this process through an oral presentation.

Suggested examples
Students must undertake a detailed case study relating to the global political challenge presented by borders, and deliver an oral presentation focused on a political issue embedded in the case. The case studies and political issues below are examples only.

• The 2014 Scottish referendum for independence—the role of various borders between England and Scotland in strengthening the “yes” campaign

• The USA–Mexico border fence—the effect of new migration legislation in the USA on the principles and practice of operations on this border

• Forced relocation and ancestral land conflict between the government and Bushmen in Botswana—do claims emphasizing a different way of life hold any force in modern land conflicts?

• Migration in Europe—the role of national versus regional (EU) policies in facilitating youth migration from the south to the north

• Gender borders—the role of Islam in shaping women’s rights in Egypt