Borderland: Are You Inside or Outside?

Due to transborder activities, states throughout the world installed physical barriers to manage how people flow in or out their country. Besides these formal governmental structures, there are also “countless informal social boundaries, such as gendered spaces, gang territories, gated communities, and ethnic neighborhoods [...]” (Diener and Hagen 3).

Have a look at this incomplete, but astonishing list of fenced borders and their length:

Location Length (approx) [in km] Source
The Great Wall 20’000+ (UNESCO)
India-Bangladesh 4000 (Diener and Hagen)
India-Pakistan 2900 (Diener and Hagen)
Mexico-USA 1030 (Pike)
Iran-Pakistan 700 (Diener and Hagen)
Israel-Palestinian areas in the West Bank 760 (under construction) (Diener and Hagen)
Hadrian’s Wall 117 (demolished) (Bowden)


In 2011, roughly 20’000 kilometers of the world’s borders were secured by either wall or fence and an additional 18’000 kilometers had security measures, such as surveillance technology and guards (Diener and Hagen).



  1. Bowden, Charles. “U.S.-Mexico Border.” National Geographic May 2007. Web. 26 Oct 2012.
  2. Diener, Alexander C., and Joshua Hagen. Borders: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
  3. Pike, John. “US-Mexico Border Fence / Great Wall of Mexico Secure Fence.” GlobalSecurity 13 July 2011. Web. 25 Oct 2012.

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