An excellent article by Stéphane Rosière – ‘Teichopolitics: the politics of border closure’, Si Somos Americanos. Revista de Estudios Transfronterizos, Volumen XI: No 1 (2011), pp. 151-163
Contemporary common sense would say that globalisation means the end of walls and the disappearance of borders. Nevertheless new systems of fenced boundaries are built all around the world and the global length of walls is longer now than it was in November 1989. This paper aims at analyzing the logic of “teichopolitics” – this new word finds its origin in the ancient greek teichos which meant “city wall” – pointing out to the politics of building walls. The security issue seems obvious to understand “teichopolitics”, the most ancient existing walls were built during the cold war, new war walls are erected (around Irak, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bangladesh); but migratory walls seem to be the real newness of the period: south borders of developed countries are slowly turning to fortresses (USA and European Union especially). The growth of social and economical unevenness generates huge migratory flows and teichopolitics appears to be the only solution. In fact, the economical dimension of “teichopolitics” seems more important than the efficiency of wall erection. In the “Risk society” (Beck 1992) building walls represents a source of profit for security and construction firms. So, governments and large companies have their own strategies which contribute to the proliferation of walls and the triumph of “teichopolitics”.
Stéphane Rosière, 2011