On Borders

civfanatic

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
3,318
Des Moines, Iowa
What is a border? When did borders first emerge in history? Is a state necessary for the formation of a border? Are borders necessary for the formation of a state? How does the nature of borders change as states evolve over time? Are borders only relevant when they are utilized by sovereign states, or can there also be borders between non-political entities? Is the formation of borders a teleological inevitability of nationalism? Are borders necessary for a nation to be secure?

Let us discuss these questions and any others relating to borders in this thread.
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
There was/is some sort of "border" separating the Schlamperei of southern Germany from the Alles in Ordnung mind-set in the north.

Interestingly enough, perhaps, being called "Swiss" means you're up-tight, dour.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
humans are territorial. so even tribes in the Paleolithic probably had borders, if not "go past this rock and the people who paint themselves blue live in that valley" or something.
 

civfanatic

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
3,318
Des Moines, Iowa
humans are territorial. so even tribes in the Paleolithic probably had borders, if not "go past this rock and the people who paint themselves blue live in that valley" or something.
Are you sure? I think a concept of fixed borders requires a permanent, sedentary society. Did Native American tribes of the modern-day U.S. in the 16th or 17th century have "borders"? Did nomadic Dakota or Comanche tribal groups on the Great Plains in the 18th and 19th centuries have "borders"?
 
May 2009
1,346
Are you sure? I think a concept of fixed borders requires a permanent, sedentary society. Did Native American tribes of the modern-day U.S. in the 16th or 17th century have "borders"? Did nomadic Dakota or Comanche tribal groups on the Great Plains in the 18th and 19th centuries have "borders"?

Tribal people had the concept of land ownership (or at least land use) too, that's why tribal maps are possible. Because we know which tribes claimed which areas as their own. And any time you have land ownership, there are going to be borders. And since most landscapes are filled with natural dividing lines like rivers and mountain ranges, establishing borders is actually pretty easy, even for primitive people.

No one likes having to find a new home every few days, so when humans come across a patch of land that suits our needs, we tend to claim it. Even nomadic tribes usually had set "circuits" of territory that included seasonal pasturelands and maybe a forest for hunting (or maybe all forest if they were hunter-gatherers).
 
Last edited:
May 2015
776
Wellington, New Zealand
Borders

Thank goodness we don't have any ... aside from a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) right round the country and outlying islands.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,771
Australia
Thank goodness we don't have any ... aside from a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) right round the country and outlying islands.
Yes, not having any land borders makes things much simpler and easier to control. In Australias case we do have a sea border with Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Indonesia which is somewhat contentious.

When I was doing my initial training on joining Customs we had a very interesting and philosophical dicussion on 'the border'...where is it, what is it, is it a physical thing or a legal construct?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,473
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Yes, not having any land borders makes things much simpler and easier to control. In Australias case we do have a sea border with Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Indonesia which is somewhat contentious.

When I was doing my initial training on joining Customs we had a very interesting and philosophical dicussion on 'the border'...where is it, what is it, is it a physical thing or a legal construct?
As a customs officer, of course you will know that legally, one has not crossed the international border until one has passed through immigration control. So long as one remains airside, one can travel through a country without ever "entering" it.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
Are you sure? I think a concept of fixed borders requires a permanent, sedentary society. Did Native American tribes of the modern-day U.S. in the 16th or 17th century have "borders"? Did nomadic Dakota or Comanche tribal groups on the Great Plains in the 18th and 19th centuries have "borders"?
yes, they did. not all pre-Colombians were nomadic.......the Aztecs weren't.