Borders: What is their future?

For our annual Christmas Dinner, The Carnegie Club met with our guests to discuss the future of borders in an increasingly global world. The topic was broad and a challenging air imbued the debate due to the topicality of the matter. The Club sought to set the matter of economic migration against political refugees, the promotion of inclusive border policy beside the implications of isolationism. With the progressive rise of globalisation in every aspect of life, we saw fit to pre-empt our guests with Thomas Friedman’s infamous note that, in fact, ‘the world is flat’.

However, the libertarian outlook espoused by some was set in firm contradiction to increasing global policy trends toward isolationism and border restrictions. With global leaders popularising the concept of both literally and hypothetically building walls against people and trade, it was an illuminating discussion. Interesting to note is the diversity of our university and Club, and how much of the sentiment of academics in trade and politics runs polar opposite to national movements, such as Brexit and rising populism.

The debate left some lingering thoughts for our members and guests. Are borders arbitrary, constricting boundaries that we as societies create and handicap our own trade and progress with? Or are borders necessary to protect national interests? The topic was widely discussed in reference to morality, economic incentive and political progress. However, despite our fervent discussion, we continue unaware and expectant as to the future of borders around the world.

Farrah Barber