On August 24, KUBS team member Edward Boyle took part in a session at the 33rd International Geographical Congress in Beijing with a presentation entitled “Beyond the Borderline: Rescaling cross-border linkages in a globalizing Asia”. The session was C12.33 Political Geography – The Transformation of Political Space and Prospects for New Governance in the Contemporary Phase of Globalization (2).
The paper joined a number of others in seeking to dig into how the notion of scale and the practices of state rescaling have become crucial to understanding the contemporary political order. The presenter focussed on recent attempts by the Indian state to redefine its Northeast as a region of connectivity rather than a region of security, one which reflects changes in the state’s perception of its borders that cascade through the various layers at which it was formed. The paper also spoke to how actors perceived as international are involved in defining border functions and the way in which the various scales at which the border exists do or do not influence one another. It concluded by noting that attention to the scale of the state is not restricted by the state’s own understanding and material enactment of its borders and territorial space, but extends beyond this to incorporate the competing interpretations held at various scales.