The Spanish-Moroccan border complex: Processes of geopolitical, functional and symbolic rebordering

Xavier Ferrer-Gallardo

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    73 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper aims to theorize the major aspects of the Spanish-Moroccan rebordering since Spain joined the European Union in 1986. The paper starts by providing a brief historical-geographical overview of the evolution of this border. Afterwards, the core of the theoretical discussion is addressed. The theorization follows a three-fold structure that scrutinizes the geopolitical, functional, and symbolic aspects of the Spanish-Moroccan border reconfiguration. Taking the general Spanish-Moroccan border as the point of departure, the analytical framework is gradually channeled towards the (EU)ro-African border scenarios constructed around Ceuta and Melilla, the two North-African cities under Spanish sovereignty. In doing so, the paper describes how the tripartite rebordering process has shaped the contemporary geography of these peculiar segments of the land border between the EU/Spain and Morocco. To conclude, this paper underlines how the Spanish-Moroccan border is rooted in an increasing divergence between the implementation of EU external border securitization needs and the management of free-trade. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-321
    JournalPolitical Geography
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


    • Borders
    • Ceuta
    • European Union
    • Geopolitics
    • Melilla
    • Morocco
    • Rebordering
    • Schengenland
    • Securitization
    • Spain

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