Borders and Bordering in the 21st Century


26th – 28th September 2019

A symposium titled Borders and Bordering in the 21st Century will be opened at the Gibraltar Garrison Library later this month by the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia.

The topic this year has certainly been driven by the 2019 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the closure of the border in 1969, but also by wider concerns in relation to borders.

Discussions throughout this symposium will be dedicated towards Brexit and borders, certainly the Gibraltar and Irish borders; the closure of the border in 1969; migrations; the neutral ground between borders; the perceived breakdown of authority and good governance; the protection of and security measures at borders together with their corresponding theoretical underpinnings.

“Brexit, for example, enters into this debate but borders have been under focus for some considerable years now,” a statement from the Deputy Chief Minister’s office read.

“If on the one hand we have a vision of a federal borderless Europe, on the other we see the impact of Globalisation and new technologies as they impact on virtual and physical borders.”

“In the last decades we have seen a far greater movement of people, many from war torn countries, and indeed, the knock on effect this has had upon available resources, perceptions towards migrants and security.”

“As such the themes under discussion are very pertinent to the on-going debates taking place in Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and globally.”

The event has been organised by Dr Jennifer Ballantine Perera together with the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister. This is the seventh year for this event, and in the past the symposiums at the Garrison Library have focused on issues that impact on Gibraltar and other like territories within a European and global framework. This year, a delegation from The Åland Islands Peace Institute has been invited to attend. The Åland Islands are culturally, linguistically and geopolitically linked to Finland and Sweden given their constitutional relationship. A panel of fifteen high-profile international and local speakers will put their views forward during the symposium, which will include academics from Cambridge, Kings College London, St Patrick’s College Dublin City University, The Åland Islands Peace Institute, State Watch, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Lisbon & Inter Press Agency (IPS), University of Albany, State University New York, Newcastle University, Royal Holloway, Madrid and the University of Gibraltar.

The event will be formally opened by the Deputy Chief Minister on Thursday September 26 at 5:00pm at the Gibraltar Garrison Library.

The symposium will run from Thursday to Saturday and sessions for Friday and Saturday will be from 9.30am to 5:00pm.

The event is open to the public and the entrance is free of charge.

Contact Chris Tavares on or on 200 77418 for further details and a programme.

Programme of Events

Thursday 26th September 2019

5.00pm  Opening by the Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar The Hon. Dr Joseph Garcia MP.

6.00pm  Welcome Reception at Garrison Library gardens.

Friday 27th September 2019

Panel 1 – State Craft and Authority

9:30  Dr Roberto Savio, Economist,  journalist and writer, Director of the External Relations of  the European Centre for Peace and Development, established by the UN.

Do Borders Represent Nationalism? The Roots of the Crisis of Multilateralism

10.00  Dr Ben Hayes, Transnational Institute.

From Crimes of Arrival to Crimes of Departure: 30 Years at the Edge of “Fortress Europe”

10:30  Q&A

11:00 – 11:30  Coffee Break

Panel 2 – The Åland Islands

11:30  Susann Simolin, Ålands fredsinstitut / The Åland Islands Peace Institute.

The Åland Islands – Borders and Boundaries

12:00  Göran Lindholm, Ålands fredsinstitut / The Åland Islands Peace Institute.

12:30  Gun-Mari Lindholm, Speaker of the House of the Åland Islands, The Åland Lagting.

12:30  Q&A

13:00 – 14:30  Lunch

Panel 3 – Brexit and Borders (Gibraltar and Ireland)

14:30  Dr Jamie Trinidad, University of Cambridge.

Gibraltar’s Boundaries  

15:00  Prof. Jason Dittmer, UCL.

The Brexit Interval and its Effect on Gibraltarians’ Expectations of Governmental Agency

15:30  Q&A

16:00 – 1630  Coffee Break

16:30  Dr Jennifer Ballantine Perera, Gibraltar Garrison Library, University of Gibraltar.

Borders of Empire: Past and Present  

17:00  Prof. Cathal McCall, Queen’s University Belfast.

Irish Backstop and the Good Friday Peace Agreement

17:30  Q&A


Saturday 28th September 2019

Panel 4 – Migrations

9:30  Noelle Molton, University of Cambridge.

Building Borders, Breaking Borders: The Impact of Migratory Pressures on UK Bordering Policies in Calais between 1994 and 2018

10:00  Dr Kate Coddington, University at Albany, State University New York.

The Production of Transit Space as Border Enforcement: Migrant Deterrence in Thailand

10.30  Q&A

11:00 – 11:30  Coffee Break

Panel 5 – Space between Border

11:30  Dr Alasdair Pinkerton, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Re-Inhabiting No-Man’s Land: From Dead Zones to Living Spaces

12:00  Sergio Del Molino, Author, Journalist and Broadcaster, Madrid.

Unusual Borders in Spain  

12:30 – 1300  Q&A

13:00 – 1430  BREAK FOR LUNCH


Panel 6 –

14:30  Dr Matthew Benwell, Newcastle University.

Bringing the Falklands/Malvinas Home: Young People’s Everyday Engagements with Geopolitics in Domestic Space

15:00  Dr Gerry O’Reilly, Dublin City University.

Border Narratives: Geopolitics and Brexit

15:30 – 16:00  Q&A