Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Academic debate about the anachronism of national borders is extensive. The general population, however, has been less keen to embrace the idea of a ‘postnational’ world. This paper offers evidence from focus groups with Australians suggesting that in some quarters talking beyond the nation is occurring. However, the ideology of the nation-state remains strong, and such talk is quickly shut down using a particular rhetorical device. This is ‘the principle/practical’ dichotomy, which insists that dropping national borders is impractical for a range of reasons, despite it perhaps being a valuable idea in principle. The paper explores the ways this occurs, using detailed critical discourse analysis. Practical objections are generally framed in terms of governance rather than cultural issues. However, practical examples of existing ‘no borders’ situations are used to make the counter-argument that a postnational world is possible.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cosmopolitan; critical discourse analysis; nation; nationalism; no borders; post-national
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