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Publisher Description

A major new exploration of the refugee crisis, focusing on how borders are formed and policed

Forty thousand people have died trying to cross between countries in the past decade, and yet international borders only continue to harden. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union; the United States elected a president who campaigned on building a wall; while elsewhere, the popularity of right-wing antimigrant nationalist political parties is surging.

Reece Jones argues that the West has helped bring about the deaths of countless migrants, as states attempt to contain populations and limit access to resources and opportunities. “We may live in an era of globalization,” he writes, “but much of the world is increasingly focused on limiting the free movement of people.”

In Violent Borders, Jones crosses the migrant trails of the world, documenting the billions of dollars spent on border security projects and the dire consequences for countless millions. While the poor are restricted by the lottery of birth to slum dwellings in the ailing decolonized world, the wealthy travel without constraint, exploiting pools of cheap labor and lax environmental regulations. With the growth of borders and resource enclosures, the deaths of migrants in search of a better life are intimately connected to climate change, environmental degradation, and the growth of global wealth inequality.

Newly updated with a discussion of Brexit and the Trump administration.

Politics & Current Events
October 11
Verso Books
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Rudebou19 ,


This book delves into the various ways sociocultural borders are constructed in various ways. I believe that that the author tackles an interesting view point in the ways in which people are secluded and excluded by the borders, whether physical or cultural, and reify violence among these peoples and bodies of color. The salience of this book parallels the type of rhetoric being used in American society to excludes refugees, black and brown people from different nations, and the general hardening of American borders. I highly recommend this book.