Monumentalising the Border: Bordering Through Connectivity

Anthony Cooper, Chris Rumford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing accounts of the relationship between cosmopolitanism and borders tend to assume that cosmopolitans are able to cross borders with ease, or even live across borders. Consequently, such accounts bring to the fore a cosmopolitan agency that, by definition, renders borders easier to cross but crucially, in doing so, fail to take into account the changing nature of borders. This paper challenges the traditional relationship between borders and cosmopolitanism by focusing on the changing nature of contemporary border processes. Using this as a framework, it is asserted that focusing on post-national border monuments can generate new perspectives on borders. More specifically, in order to understand post-national border monuments, it is argued that borders must be viewed less as markers of division and more in terms of mechanisms of connectivity and encounter. To this end, the paper offers some novel intellectual resources – namely ideas concerning interfaces and scale – that capture the ways in which borders are able to connect well beyond that which is proximate. The paper also considers the rationale behind two recently proposed border monuments - the ‘Star of Caledonia’ situated on the English/Scottish border and the ‘White Horse’ at Ebbsfleet in the south of England – in order to show how certain borders, some of which are located in non-traditional locations, are being (re)configured as visibly welcoming and ‘outward looking’
Original languageEnglish
Early online date21 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • borders
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Monuments

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