Business | Social and Behavioral Sciences


In the globalized political economy of the early 21st century, national borders are both porous and heavily guarded. In a fluid global economic system, governing borders has become all the more important and difficult, the last frontier of mobility. The stories of Maria that follow are emblematic of what happens when human mobility tries to follow the paths of opportunity and safety in a global society open to free movement of money and goods, but not people (at least not those of limited means). The stories presented in this paper provide an example of connecting multiple narratives (Balfour and Mesaros 1994; MacIntyre 1984) to better understand and create ethical alternatives to exclusionary, and often deadly, border policies. In addition, the narratives demonstrate how government institutions and flawed policy have perpetuated the act of placing border security above ethics and human rights.

Original Citation

Balfour, D., & Gray, B. (2018). Voices from the Borders of Governance: Connecting the Local Narratives of Surplus Populations. Public Voices Government at the Margins: Locating/Deconstructing Ways of Performing Government in the Age of Excessive Force, Hyper-Surveillance, Civil Disobedience, and Political Self-Interest - Lessons Learned in “Post-Racial” America, XV(2), 4–19.