Trans-border movements and the states: Experiences from South Asia

Nasir Uddin's picture
Call for Papers
June 1, 2017 to July 1, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Area Studies, Political Science, Social Sciences, Sociology

Call for book-chapter

Concept note

The states produce borders as much as borders reproduce the states in terms of territoriality whilst ‘deterritorialisation’ (Appadurai, 1990) features the contemporary globalised world. Therefore trans-border movement, what denotes the mobility of people across borders, has become a part of modern state-system as borders both separate and connect the states. Generally border is understood as a form of demarcation, but it opens up the flow of people, goods, and the ideas of legality & illegality. Therefore, borders are dynamic and dyadic in the interface of state and non-state actors involved in border operations. Besides, people migrate from one state to another due to environmental disasters, mounting river-bank erosion, periodic flood & cyclone and devastating earthquake (for instances, Nepal and Pakistan earthquakes), which render them ‘climate migrants’. Consequently the trans-border movement becomes a complex web when the states deal with the movement as an issue of national/regional security, legal/illegal trades, growing militancy, terrorisation of regions, and the questions of citizenship. Though borders are called the ‘zones of limited statehood’ (Scott, 2009), the states are present in the borders with unlimited forces, finance, and policies. The states in South Asia could be ideal cases to understand such dynamic and dialectical relations between trans-border movements and the states. Particularly, due to mounting pace of trans-border movements, borders between India and Pakistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh, Bangladesh and Myanmar, India and China, India and Nepal, Sri Lanka and India frequently feature tensions of potential security threats, intermittent border killings, loaded military deployment, space of illegal migrations, channels of informal trade, movements of militants, influx of refugees, boundary (un)making through border fencing, hub of terrorist groups, movements of climate migrants, and the area of strategic interests.

Given the context, this edited book intends to focus the ways how borders are dealt with from strategic and diplomatic point of view in South Asia; how borders become spaces for people to move from one state to another in search of a better fortune (economic migrants), escaping persecution (refugees) and finding a disaster-free living place (climate migrants); how the states in South Asia address trans-border movements at both policy level and practical fields; how borders are used for illegal trades and informal economy in South Asian states; How refugee issues, illegal migrations, citizenship issues and camp/stranded people are dealt with in South Asian states as consequences of trans-border movement; and how the notions of territoriality of statehood become blurred due to the increasing trans-border movements in South Asia.

This book proposal on ‘Trans-border movements and the states: Experience from South Asia’ invites abstract of 350 words from the scholars working on borders and borderland people; migration and refugee issues; camp/stranded people and citizenship issues; the state and statelessness; border trade and informal economy; trans-border mobility and statehood; border policy and strategic issues; border, security issues, and militancy in South Asia. Abstract along with short academic biography of 150 words should be sent to: or by July 01, 2017.



Professor Nasir Uddin, Department of Anthropology, University of Chittagong

Dr. Nasreen Chowdhory, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi


Contact person:

Professor Nasir Uddin

Department of Anthropology

Faculty of Social Science

University of Chittagong




Potential publisher (one of the followings):

Routledge (South Asia Series), SAGE, Palgrave McMillan, OUP, Spinger         

Contact Info: 

Prof. Nasir Uddin, Department of Anthropology, University of Chittagong

Contact Email: