BOOK: “Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India and Israel” by Reece Jones 15Aug12 August 15, 2012


Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, why are leading democracies like the United States, India and Israel building massive walls and fences on their borders? Despite predictions of a borderless world through globalization, these three countries alone have built an astonishing combined total of 5,700 kilometers of security barriers. In this groundbreaking work, Reece Jones analyzes how these controversial border security projects were justified in their respective countries, what consequences these physical barriers have on the lives of those living in these newly securitized spaces, and what long-term effects the hardening of political borders will have in these societies and globally.

Border Walls is a bold, important intervention that demonstrates that the exclusion and violence necessary to secure the borders of the modern state often undermine the very ideals of freedom and democracy they are meant to protect.


Reece Jones’ ‘Border Walls’ is a bridge that links together the paranoid narratives of terror and security emanating from the great democracies: the United States, India and Israel. Rather than see the border walls that strangle these countries into delusions of security, these walls are frameworks to thwart the widest aspirations for human freedom. Like graffiti on the border walls, Jones’ book tries to bring sunlight into the darkness of these states. – Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.

At a time when many commentators are preoccupied by forces undermining the power and authority of the territorial state, ‘Border Walls’ serves as an important reminder that the modernist political-territorial order still matters. Reece Jones convincingly shows that the border security arrangements of the past decade are likely to be among the most enduring consequences of the global ‘war on terror’ – not just for how people move around and use space, but for how they think about the political geographic organization of the planet.’ – Alexander B. Murphy, Department of Geography, University of Oregon

In a compelling analysis of the political agendas, identity politics and growing civil militarization underlying the construction of border barriers between neighboring counties and peoples, Reece Jones makes a significant contribution to the emerging but vital field of securitization studies. – Jeff Halper, Director of the Israeli Committee Against Demolitions (ICAHD)

Reece Jones provides an incisive and lucid examination of why wall-like barriers have become the tool of choice of so many countries along their geographical perimeters in the post-9-11 era. In doing so, he compellingly demonstrates not only how boundaries are produced, but also how they shape those within, and the relations with peoples and places beyond, in worrisome ways. Empirically rich, theoretically sophisticated, and highly accessible, ‘Border Walls’ is an important and valuable book. - Joseph Nevins, Department of Geography, Vassar College and author of Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid

With imagination and erudition, Jones investigates the fundamental tensions between democratic ideals and the brute realities of the enforcement of state power on the ground.

Karthika Sasikumar, Assistant Professor of Political Science, San Jose State. The full review is available at the e-International Relations site here

Order online UK: Zed Books; Amazon
Order online US: Palgrave MacMillan; Amazon
Order online Canada: Amazon

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