University of Oulu

Anssi Paasi (2022) Examining the persistence of bounded spaces: remarks on regions, territories, and the practices of bordering, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 104:1, 9-26, DOI: 10.1080/04353684.2021.2023320

Examining the persistence of bounded spaces : remarks on regions, territories, and the practices of bordering

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Author: Paasi, Anssi1
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-14


Regions and territories become institutionalized as part of wider geohistorical processes and practices in which these spatial entities accomplish their borders, institutions, symbolisms and normally contested identity narratives. The borders of bounded spaces are ever more topical today because of the mobilities of human beings (tourists, migrants, refugees), the rise of (ethno-)nationalism and regionalism, anti-immigration discourses and racism; features that expose the ideological significance of territories and the forms of physical and symbolic violence that are frequently embedded in borders/bordering. This essay explores the tenacity of bounded spaces in academic research and in social practices, and the meanings attached to such spaces. It will analyze how geographers and other social scientists have understood and conceptualized regional and territorial spaces and traces the evolution of the keywords in border studies. Borders are material and ideological constructs, institutions, processes and symbols that are critical in the production and reproduction of regions/territories, identities and ideologies. The article leans on author’s idea of spatial socialization and Shields’ notion of social spatialization in making sense of how the obstinate power of borders is embedded in the production and reproduction of bounded spaces and in the process of subjectification.

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Series: Geografiska annaler. Series B, Human geography
ISSN: 0435-3684
ISSN-E: 1468-0467
ISSN-L: 0435-3684
Volume: 104
Issue: 1
Pages: 9 - 26
DOI: 10.1080/04353684.2021.2023320
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.