Posted on: 12 September, 2019
Application deadline: October 25, 2019

CfP: Cross-border mobility and geopolitics: an interdisciplinary discussion, AAG Annual Meeting, April 6-10, 2020, Denver, CO, USA

Sponsored by the Recreation, Tourism and Sports Specialty Group and the Political Geography Specialty Group

Session organizers:

Arie Stoffelen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Federica Bono (Old Dominion University, USA)

Borders have become ever more complex, high-profile and selective in recent years. Calls to close off borders for international migrants and to install trade tariffs have recently become more and more intensive. At the same time, international tourist arrivals (UNWTO, 2018), trade figures (World Bank, 2019), migration numbers (United Nations, 2017) and cross-border labour mobility (CGET, 2018) have reached unprecedented highs. Consequently, formal and informal border-crossings of people and goods become prime avenues to negotiate geopolitical transnational and interregional relations. In practice, various forms of border-crossings simultaneously underpin different multi-scalar geopolitical processes (and vice-versa) in the same location. This results in complex integrated practices spanning different sectors, stakeholders, and discursive frames within individual borderlands, impacting everyday life in these places.

The aim of this session is to critically analyse the geopolitical construction of different border-crossings, including, but not limited to, tourism, migration, commuting/labour and trade. Simultaneously, the session tackles the way everyday border-crossings negotiate and challenge border geopolitics. The session aims to pay attention to the following elements: (i) the simultaneous opening and closing (physically and discursively) of borders and borderlands for people and goods; (ii) the geopolitical effects from the bottom up through embodied border-crossing experiences and from the top-down in the political-discursive construction of these movements; (iii) the effects of scale in the framing of border-crossings and territorial relations; (iv) the impact of border geopolitics on everyday life in borderlands and, conversely, the way everyday life in borderlands negotiates and challenges border geopolitics.

Both conceptual and empirical papers are welcome in this session. The papers may focus on one specific type of border-crossing (e.g. tourism, migration, commuting/labour, trade), including illegal or informal border-crossing. Integrative, comparative perspectives between different types of border-crossings and areas are also highly supported.

Abstracts should be submitted to Arie Stoffelen ( and Federica Bono ( no later than October 25, 2019. All accepted contributors need to register for the conference and provide their PIN to the organizers by November 10, 2019 in order to be included in the session.


CGET. (2018). Regards sur les territoires: Population – conditions de vie – éducation – emploi transfrontalier. Retrieved August 14, 2019, from – moy_def.pdf

United Nations. (2017). International Migration Report 2017. New York.

UNWTO. (2018). 2017 Annual Report. Madrid.

World Bank. (2019). Trade. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from