Fencing, Biosecurity and Wild Boar Politics in the Danish-German Borderland

Michael Eilenberg, Annika Pohl Harrisson

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Abstract

This paper investigates the spatial strategies of fencing and the politics of biosecurity in a European borderland setting. It considers the way in which national spaces and borders are co-produced through spatial strategies of fencing, discourses of biosecurity, and notions of the intrusive other. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the Danish-German borderlands, the paper examines the physical and discursive creation of a (bio)security fence stretching the entire length of the border–constructed to prevent the migration of Eurasian wild boars and the spread of the highly contagious viral disease African Swine Fever. A disease that could potentially contaminate domestic farmed pigs and severely affect pork exports. Although government narratives justifying the border fence focus on external factors like African Swine Fever, the paper argues that this physical security barrier is not only a biosecurity defense against external threats, but to some also a reflection of symbolism, political imaginaries and ideas of belonging (for both humans and non-humans)
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Borderlands Studies
Pages (from-to)1-19
ISSN0886-5655
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Dec 2023

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