Neal Stephenson and the Franchise-State: Questioning Preconceptions of Nation-States and Borders from a Legal Perspective

Steve Crawford

Abstract


Migration and borders have been placed at the centre of recent political movements. Populist right-wing candidates in countries throughout Europe and in the US have built momentum by demonising migrants and calling for the institution of strong borders. Much of this political rhetoric is driven by agendas of cultural preservation and domestic prioritising of so called indigenous national populations. The maintenance and preservation of the home country is privileged above any consideration of wider humanity. The concept of the nation-state, with its inherent notion of borders, seem embedded in these ideas. By looking beyond the conventional arena of state theorising – law, politics, international relations etc. – can a new perspective be found to move past this impasse? Using Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash this article seeks to find a new conceptual position from which to consider prevailing narratives surrounding borders and migration. Attempting to conceive of an alternative way to frame questions stemming from considerations of national identity and geographic space, especially from the perspective of the central legal document to these processes, the constitution.


Keywords


Law and Literature; Migration; Constitution; Borders

Full Text:

PDF

References


Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Seventh International Conference of American States (Montevideo, 26 December 1933)

Anonymous, ‘Objection Sustained’, Economist, (29 July 2017) https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21725575-governing-law-and-justice-party-still-aims-nobble-judiciary-veto-gives-rule <https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21725575> [accessed 8 August 2017]

Anonymous, ‘Racists in Skinny Jeans’, Economist, (12 November 2016) https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21709986-france-austria-identitarian-movement-gives-xenophobia-youthful-edge-meet-ib <https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21709986> [accessed 8 August 2017]

BBC News, ‘UKIP Needed to Stop Brexit ‘Backsliding’’, BBC News, UK Politics, (28 April 2017) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39742407 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk> [accessed 8 August 2017]

Brubaker, Rogers, ‘Between Nationalism and Civilizationism: the European populist moment in comparative perspective’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40 (2017), 1191-1226

Darroch, Gordon, ‘Geert Wilders Found Guilty of Inciting Discrimination’, Guardian, (9 December 2016) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/geert-wilders-found-guilty-in-hate-speech-trial-but-no-sentence-imposed <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/geert> [accessed 8 August 2017]

de Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko, ‘George Orwell’s ‘1984’ Is Suddenly a Best-Seller’, New York Times, (25 January 2017) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/books/1984-george-orwell-donald-trump.html <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/books/1984> [accessed 8 August 2017]

Doerr, Nicole, ‘How right-wing versus cosmopolitan political actors mobilize and translate images of immigrants in transnational contexts’, Visual Communication, 16 (2017), 315-336

Foucault, Michel, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, ed. by Michel Senellart, trans. by Graham Burchell (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2009)

Hameleers, Michael, Linda Bos and Claes H. de Vrees, ‘“They Did It”: The Effects of Emotionalized Blame Attribution in Populist Communication’, Communication Research, 44 (2017), 870-900

Henderson, Barney and David Lawler, ‘Donald Trump: The 22 Wildest Moments of His 2016 Presidential Election Campaign - So Far’, Telegraph, (31 August 2016) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/donald-trump-the-20-wildest-moments-of-his-2016-presidential-ele <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/donald> [accessed 8 August 2017]

Ignatieff, Michael, ‘The Refugee as Invasive Other’, Social Research, 84 (2017), 223-231

Kumar, Vidya, Revolutionary Constitutionalism and International Law, Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) guest lecture (University of Kent: 9 February, 2016)

Law, Jonathan and Martin, Elizabeth (eds.), A Dictionary of Law, 7th edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)

Loughlin, Martin, The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

Matheson, Richard, I am Legend (London: Gollancz, 2001)

McCarthy, Cormac, The Road (London: Picador, 2009)

Orbán, Viktor, ‘Those Who Are Overwhelmed Cannot Offer Shelter to Anyone’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, (3 September 2015) Hungarian Government English translation available at http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/those-who-are-overwhelmed-cannot-offer-shelter-to-anyone <http://www.kormany.hu/en/the> [accessed 8 August 2017]

Rettman, Andrew, ‘Poland: Election Talk on Migrant ‘Protozoas’ Gets Ugly’, EUobserver, (14 October 2015) https://euobserver.com/political/130672 <https://euobserver.com/political/130672> [accessed 8 August 2017]

Stephenson, Neal, Snow Crash (London: Penguin, 1993)

Stothard, Michael, ‘Marine Le Pen launches presidential campaign’, Financial Times, (4 February 2017) https://www.ft.com/content/a5519f64-eaeb-11e6-930f-061b01e23655 <https://www.ft.com/content/a5519f64> [accessed 8 August 2017]

The Oxford Popular English Dictionary (London: Paragon, 1998)

Waller, Luke, ‘Viktor Orbán’, Politico, http://www.politico.eu/list/politico-28/viktor-orban <http://www.politico.eu/list/politico> [accessed 8 August 2017]




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24134/be.v2i1.92

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2018 Steve Crawford

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.