The New Era of Borders

What happens when closed borders become the norm?

In much of the West, and particularly in Europe, such “ancient” geo-political sign had simply disappeared from the daily physical and mental landscape. Free movement had seemingly become the new normal, at least for fellow citizens.

The coronavirus pandemics has sent the clock backwards by decades: claiming back such key statehood prerogative, or rather reminding us all of how hard being stuck behind a closed frontier can be. Just as it happened earlier for millions across the world.

Borders are, after all, the most visible of socially constructed realities to regulate transnational relations.  As the world learns to live with the virus, will they be back as a stable, defining feature of 21st century life?

 

Photo: Johann GRODER / AFP