Steffen Mau (c) HU/Matthias Heyde

Sorting machines. The reinvention of the border in the 21st century

Dissolution of borders – this is the great narrative of globalisation: borders are becoming more permeable, cross-border mobility is becoming a universal experience, states are less and less able to effectively control their own borders. Steffen Mau shows in his new book “Sorting Machines. Die Neuerfindung der Grenze im 21. Jahrhundert” (Edition Mercator, CH Beck 2021), that this view is deceptive: in many places there has been a new fortification, the construction of new deterrent walls and militarised border crossings. Borders are also becoming increasingly selective and – supported by digitalisation – upgraded to smart borders, and border control has expanded spatially on a massive scale. Borders are still powerful sorting machines and today fulfil their filtering function more effectively than ever – moreover, as a global and highly diversified enterprise. Nowhere is the Janus face of globalisation more evident than at the borders of the 21st century.

Sociologist Steffen Mau (Humboldt Universität Berlin) will discuss the theses of his book with migration researcher Naika Foroutan (Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research – BIM) and philosopher Stefan Gosepath (Freie Universität Berlin). The event will be moderated by journalist Christiane Hoffmann (Der Spiegel).

An event of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in cooperation with the publisher C.H. Beck, the Cluster of Excellence Contestations of the Liberal Script – SCRIPTS and the Stiftung Mercator.

26.08.2021, 19:00 to 20:30
Humboldt Labor im Humboldt Forum
10178 Berlin

Admission free, registration required – free tickets from approx. 14 days before the event via the Humboldt Forum website.

Photo: Steffen Mau (c) HU/Matthias Heyde