Empires and Walls

Globalization, Migration, and Colonial Domination


Why do empires build walls and fences? Are they for defensive purposes only, to keep the ‘barbarians’ at the gate; or do they also function as complex offensive military structures to subjugate and control the colonized? Are the colonized subjects also capable of erecting barriers to shield themselves from colonial onslaughts? In Empires and Walls Mohammad A. Chaichian meticulously examines the rise and fall of the walls that are no longer around; as well as impending fate of ‘neo-liberal’ barriers that imperial and colonial powers have erected in the new Millennium. Based on four years of extensive historical and field-based research Chaichian provides compelling evidence that regardless of their rationale and functions, walls always signal the fading power of an empire.
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Biographical Note

Mohammad A. Chaichian (Ph.D., 1986) is an architect, urban planner, and Professor of Sociology at Mount Mercy University. He is the author of White Racism on the Western Urban Frontier (Africa World Press, 2006), and Town and Country in the Middle East (Lexington, 2009).

Table of contents

List of Photos, Figures and Tables Foreword by David Fasenfest Preface 1. Walls, Borders and Imperial Formations Borders, Walls and Globalization PART I: THE IMPERIAL WALLS THAT ARE NO LONGER AROUND 2. Hadrian’s Wall: an Ill-Fated Strategy for Tribal Management in Roman Britain Geopolitics of Hadrian’s Wall Why Did Hadrian Build the Wall? Hadrian’s Wall: Beginning of the End? 3. Red Snake: The Great Wall of Gorgan, Iran Was the Red Snake a defensive Wall? The Wall’s Architecture The Wall’s associated hydraulic structures and functions The Red Snake as a Yet Unsolved Enigma 4. Clash of Empires: Prelude to the Berlin Wall The Rise and Fall of the German Empire Preparing Germans for Occupation, 1945-1947 Emergence of the Two Germanys under Occupation, 1947-1949 Post-War Dependent Development of a Divided and Occupied Germany 5. Build the Wall: The Two German Economies are Now United! The Wall’s Architecture Was the Wall a Sign of East Germany’s Weakness? Concluding Remarks PART II: ANTI-IMPERIALIST WALLS 6. Dismantling the Defensive Wall of the Colonized: The Islamic Hijab in France The French Colonial Presence in North Africa French Republicanism and the Problematic “Collective Identity” Muslim Immigrants in France Social Spheres and the ‘Maghrebi’ Muslim Identity Hijab as the Last Defensive Tool of the Colonized Conclusion PART III: NEO-COLONIAL WALLS 7. An Empire in the Making: American Colonial Interests South of the Border Migration of Mexicans to the United States Maquiladoras, NAFTA, and the Evolution of Twin Cities along the U.S.-Mexico Border The Border is No Longer: Long Live the Border! 8. The Great Offensive Wall of Mexico: Border Blues Erecting the Offensive Barrier, or ‘The Great Wall of Mexico” The Fence/Wall Architecture Is the Border Fence/Wall Effective? Notes from the Field 9. Israel and Palestine: a Settler Colony is Born Israel: The Birth of a Nation Advancement of Zionist Settler Colonies in Palestine under British Occupation Zionist Colonization and the Land Question in Palestine 10. Bantustans, Maquiladoras, and the Separation Barrier Israeli Style Israel’s First Expansion Phase, 1947-1949 Israel’s Second Expansion Phase, 1949-1967 Israel’s Third Expansion Phase, 1967-1991 The Second Intifada: Prelude to the Wall/Fence Israel’s Final Expansionist Offensive: The Separation Barrier The Separation Barrier’s Architecture The Two Economies Are Now Fully Integrated: Erect the Separation Barrier! A “Villa in the Jungle”? From Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall’’ to the Separation Barrier 11. Epilogue: Conceptualizing Walls and borders—“Globalization from Within” Post-Wall Berlin References Index


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