Agnes Horvath is a political theorist and sociologist. She was an affiliate visiting scholar at Cambridge University, UK, 2011 to 2014, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at University College Cork, Ireland. She is a founding editor of the academic journal International Political Anthropology. Marius Ion Benta is a sociologist, journalist and playwright. He received his PhD from University College Cork, Ireland, and teaches Broadcasting Journalism at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania. Joan Davison is Professor of Political Science and a Cornell Distinguished Faculty Member at Rollins College, USA. She has a PhD from the University of Notre Dame and specialises in international relations and comparative politics.
Few books alter the way you think. This is one of them. We tend to think of walls and boundaries as barriers, politically forced divisions or protective devices. After reading this book, you realize that walling is really an act of transformation. A dangerous, even perverted, kind of transformation, the consequences of which we all live with today, almost hopelessly. Almost. Bjorn Thomassen, Roskilde University, Denmark. The wall is both a constraint and a violent expansion, a paradox whose implications are explored in this sophisticated collection. Some leading scholars explore the political anthropology of boundaries, employing a rich vocabulary while extending our thinking beyond conventional categories, based on rich empirical research and a substantive critique of practices. This is an essential work that allows us to see beyond accustomed physical and conceptual frames. Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, UK. With case studies ranging from the Neolithic to the present, from Goebekli Tepe to Arizona, this interdisciplinary book places current walling in historical perspective and teaches fundamental lessons about society, boundaries, liminality and the ultimate futility of walling. Learned, enlightening and readable, this book also contributes to basic social theory. Highly recommended. Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo, Norway. An important work on significant issues. Paul M. Rabinow, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Timely, provocative and challenging, Walling, Boundaries and Liminality is essential reading for all those who seek to understand from a comparative, historical and contemporary perspective the social practice of walling and the stories, myths and passions that crystallise around it. Hastings Donnan, Director, The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen's University Belfast. This fascinating book contemplates from multiple angles one of the most curious human practices: constructing walls. It ponders the place of walling-the purposeful making of obstacles-in human history, exploring its different forms (such as, did a wall aim to keep something inside or outside?). From this perspective, the book casts unexpected light on such phenomena as the biblical story of Babel, refugee camps in Gaza, the Berlin Wall, the proposed U.S.-Mexican border wall, and the great Wall of China (which, it turns out, exists only in the minds of Europeans). Wonderfully original and thought-provoking! Katherine Verdery, Julien J. Studley Distinguished Professor, City University of New York Graduate Center, USA.