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Borders have been conceptualized in two main ways. The “static border” is the fixed line on a map that separates one country from another. Post 1989, the concept of the “disappearing border” came into fashion, the notion that borders and their influence onhuman mobility would become increasingly irrelevant. In this video, AYELET SHACHAR argues that though contemporary borders are not static, they have certainly not disappeared. Proposinga model of the “shifting border”and analyzing the ways in which countries like the U.S., Canada and Australia have effectively moved their territorial borders in order to control human mobility, Shachar argues that if borders are dynamic, then human rights should be equally agile. Highlighting the dramatic effects that the“shifting border” can have for those seeking asylum, Shachar’s work pinpoints the central importance that debates around immigration have for contemporary conceptions of citizenship and national sovereignty.


Professor Ayelet Shacharis Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, and Professor of Law, Political Science and Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She has previously held visiting professorships at Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School. Shachar’s main research foci include citizenship theory, immigration law and multiculturalism as well as cultural diversity, women’s rights and global inequality. Having provided consultancy expertise to the European Parliament and the World Bank, Shachar was awarded Germany’s most prestigious research award in 2019, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize.


Max Planck Society

"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." ( Source )
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Original publication

The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility

Shachar Ayelet
Published in 2020

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Beyond Open and Closed Borders: The Grand Transformation of Citizenship

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