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Guarding the gates: Reassessing the concept of borders in Tanzania
Södertörn University, School of Life Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Using discourse analysis, this study will apply a critical theoretical framework and discuss how perceptions of the Tanzanian national borders compares to problematized understandings of the socially constructed concepts of borders, sovereignty, and power. For example, the Tanzanian borders will be reassessed into something creating a safe ‘inside’ opposing an unsafe ‘outside, and into something dividing territories, thus, giving birth to the identities of ‘nationality’. Furthermore, the presence of biopolitical interventions will be discussed in order to see how biopower can help increase security in Tanzania. More substantially, the phenomena of roadblocks will be analysed as something potentially functioning as ‘extended arms’ of the national border. The analysis showed how the so called ‘geopolitical imaginary’, where borders are defined as the outer reaches of a sovereign state, is a well-established idea in Tanzania; the national borders were perceived as important and worthy of protection. However, they can also be seen as something ultimately creating non-coherent ‘insides’ and an ‘outsides’, where outside ‘threats’, often perceived as illegal immigrants, are dependent on the existence of territories. The analysis further showed that biopower in Tanzania is something which can create ‘social’ borders wherever there is authority. This form of exercised power does although suffer severely from corruption, and this leads to a conclusion that Tanzanian ‘security’, to a great extent, is being evaluated in terms of money.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
sovereign power, biopolitics, security, discourse, Tanzania
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-17178OAI: diva2:559733
Subject / course
Development and International Cooperation
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-10-10 Created: 2012-10-10 Last updated: 2012-10-10Bibliographically approved

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