Fencing In Democracy

Border Walls, Necrocitizenship, and the Security State

Fencing In Democracy

Global Insecurities

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Book Pages: 192 Illustrations: 28 illustrations Published: January 2020

Anthropology, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Sociology > Migration Studies

Border walls permeate our world, with over thirty nation-states constructing them. Anthropologists Margaret E. Dorsey and Miguel Díaz-Barriga argue that border wall construction manifests transformations in citizenship practices that are aimed not only at keeping migrants out but also enmeshing citizens into a wider politics of exclusion. For a decade, the authors studied the U.S.-Mexico border wall constructed by the Department of Homeland Security and observed the political protests and legal challenges that residents mounted in opposition to the wall. In Fencing In Democracy Dorsey and Díaz-Barriga take us to those border communities most affected by the wall and often ignored in national discussions about border security to highlight how the state diminishes citizens' rights. That dynamic speaks to the citizenship experiences of border residents that is indicative of how walls imprison the populations that they are built to protect. Dorsey and Díaz-Barriga brilliantly expand conversations about citizenship, the operation of U.S. power, and the implications of border walls for the future of democracy.


“Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey's argument that the role of the state in fomenting violence remains unrecognized and depoliticized is powerful and utterly convincing. With its superior scholarship and compelling ethnographic material, Fencing in Democracy will garner interest from scholars and the public alike.” — Patricia Zavella, author of I’m Neither Here nor There: Mexicans’ Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty


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Open Access

Spring 2019 sale
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Margaret E. Dorsey is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Richmond.

Miguel Díaz-Barriga is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Richmond.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Table of Contents Forthcoming
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0693-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0605-3
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