Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders
Edited By Ernesto Castañeda

Special Issue Reprint Social Sciences

ISBN 978-3-03943-979-9 (Hbk)
ISBN 978-3-03943-980-5 (PDF)

This volume provides information and analyses to better grasp the social implications of
geographical borders as well as the individuals who travel between them and those who
live in border regions. Sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, linguists, and scholars
of international relations and public health are just some of the authors contributing to
Rethinking Borders. The diversity in the authors’ disciplines and the topics they focus on
exemplify the intricacies of borders and their manifold effects. This openness to so many
schools of thought stands in contrast to the solidification of stricter borders across the
globe. The contributions range from case studies of migrants’ sense of belonging and
safety to theoretical discussions about migration and globalization, from empirical
studies about immigrant practices and exclusionary laws to ethical concerns about the
benefits of inclusion. It is timely that this collective work is published in the middle of a
pandemic that has affected every single part of the world. Unprecedented border
closures and stringent travel restrictions have not been enough to contain the virus
entirely. As COVID-19 shows, diseases, ideas, and xenophobic and racist discourses know
no borders. Plans that transcend borders are vital when dealing with global threats, such
as climate change and pandemics.

Introduction “Rethinking Borders: Reshaping the World”

Ernesto Castañeda and Maura Fennelly


Migration and Border Myths

"Overselling Globalization: The Misleading Conflation of Economic Globalization and Immigration, and the Subsequent Backlash"

Ernesto Castañeda and Amber Shemesh

"Methodological Nationalism in Global Studies and Beyond"

Agnes Katalin Koos and Kenneth Keulman

"The Ideal and the Real Dimensions of the European Migration Crisis. The Polish Perspective"

Barbara Cieślińska and Małgorzata Dziekońska

"Border Residents’ Perceptions of Crime and Security in El Paso, Texas"

Ernesto Castañeda and Casey Chiappetta


"Processes of Sub-Citizenship: Neoliberal Statecrafting ‘Citizens,’ ‘Non-Citizens,’ and Detainable ‘Others’"

Daile Lynn Rung

"White Diversity”: Paradoxes of Deracializing Antidiscrimination"

Milena Doytcheva

Ethical and Philosophical Questions

"Legitimate Exclusions of Would-Be Immigrants: A View from Global Ethics and the Ethics of International Relations"

Enrique Camacho-Beltrán

"Group Asylum, Sovereignty, and the Ethics of Care"

Luis Xavier López-Farjeat and Cecilia Coronado-Angulo

Successful Immigration Practices and Cultural Exchange

"Analyzing Migration Management: On the Recruitment of Nurses to Germany"

Jan Kordes, Robert Pütz, and Sigrid Rand

"Going by an English Name: The Adoption and Use of English Names by Young Taiwanese Adults"

Ivona Baresova and Marcel Pikhart

International Regionalism and Cooperation

"Global Health Diplomacy Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Strategic Opportunity for Improving Health, Peace, and Well-Being in the CARICOM Region — A Systematic Review"

Vijay Kumar Chattu and Georgina Chami

"On Decolonizing Borders and Regional Integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region"

Inocent Moyo

Homelessness Marginality and Mental Health in the US-Mexico Border

"Sick Enough? Mental Illness and Service Eligibility for Homeless Individuals at the Border"

Curtis Smith and Ernesto Castañeda

"The Dispossessed of Necropolitics on the San Diego-Tijuana Border"

Gustavo Aviña Cerecer

Photos of Paris © Ernesto Castañeda.

Photo of Paris' metro entrance

© Ernesto Castañeda.


Castañeda, Ernesto. 2018. A Place to Call Home: Immigrant Exclusion and Urban Belonging in New York, Paris, and Barcelona. Stanford , CA: Stanford University Press.

Winner of the 2019 LeoGrande Award!

As immigrants settle in new places, they are faced with endless uncertainties that prevent them from feeling that they belong. From language barriers, to differing social norms, to legal boundaries separating them from established residents, they are constantly navigating shifting and contradictory expectations to both assimilate and to honor their native culture. In A Place to Call Home, Ernesto Castañeda offers a uniquely comparative portrait of immigrant expectations and experiences. Drawing on fourteen years of ethnographic observation, and hundreds of interviews with documented and undocumented immigrants and their children, Castañeda sets out to determine how different locations can aid or disrupt the process of immigrant integration. Focusing on New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—immigration hubs in their respective countries— he examines the experiences of both Latino and North African migrants, and finds that subjective understandings, national and regional history, local contexts, and religious institutions are all factors that profoundly impact the personal journey to belonging.


"Based on extensive fieldwork in three immigrant-receiving cities, this book provides a rich first-hand look at how immigrants adapt and react to different contexts of reception and how these contexts affect long-term outcomes for their foreign-origin populations. A valuable and original contribution to the study of immigration and ethnicity."

—Alejandro Portes, Princeton University

"This brilliant transnational ethnography illuminates how immigrants constantly negotiate their host communities and their native ones. An astounding fourteen years of painstaking fieldwork provide a one-of-a-kind look at the lives of undocumented and documented immigrants within international, national, and community contexts. This social science masterpiece provides a definitive analysis on what must be done to improve the integration process for vulnerable immigrant populations."

—Victor M. Rios, University of California, Santa Barbara

“A Place to Call Home deepens our knowledge of how place matters in shaping immigrant integration. This book is an important contribution to the study of immigration and cities and leads to more interesting questions…The insights uncovered by this work have important implications for designing better policy for welcoming immigrants into cities.”

—Jackelyn Hwang, American Journal of Sociology

“This book is a valuable contribution to the ever-growing number of comparative urban studies of migrants. Building on the methodology of his mentor, Charles Tilly, Castañeda lays out a thoughtful and elegant comparative design. Urban sociology needs more rigorous comparative studies like this one in order to transcend theories based upon a few American cities.”

— Hilary Silver, City & Community

"To these works that either develop a case study or combine the efforts of multiple scholars studying one city under a unified theoretical framework, Ernesto Castañeda adds A Place to Call Home: Immigrant Exclusion and Urban Belonging in New York, Paris, and Barcelona to this growing field. He does this by studying three cities—himself. This research design is ambitious in at least three ways: in its case selection, in its relational epistemology, and in its multidisciplinary approach. Rather than looking for a uniform set of factors that explain how cities (should) do immigration right, he approaches each city on its own terms. Thus, he develops a rich dialogue between prior research, survey respondents, and ethnographic insights for each city. Drawing from a Charles Tilly social boundary perspective, he identifies the relevant social, economic, political, cultural, and, especially, religious aspects that shape relations between immigrants and natives. This relational approach allows for a highly contextualized analysis of immigration and integration in the historical and ideological context of each city using survey data and ethnographic vignettes. The existing political and institutional structures shape two disparate indicators of integration in each city, comparing “objective” data on how immigrants are doing—policies, inclusion on paper—with “subjective” data—by asking immigrants in each setting some basic questions about their integration. Insights from these experiences compare immigrant expectations before emigrating with later perceptions of the state, of civil society groups, and job experiences. The third ambition of A Place to Call Home is spurning disciplinary boundaries in order to better represent the relevant social context. It draws on literatures from migration studies, political science, sociology, and ethnic studies, creating what perhaps is best called a social history of the recent past."

—Stephen P. Ruszczyk, Sociological Forum

Read an excerpt here

​Buy it here:

Castañeda, Ernesto. Building Walls: Excluding Latin People in the United States. Lexington/Rowman and Littlefield. 2019. Paperback March 2021.

The election of Donald Trump has called attention to the border wall and anti-Mexican discourses and policies; yet these issues are not new. Building Walls puts the recent calls to build a border wall along the US-Mexico border into a larger social and historical context. This book describes the building of walls, symbolic and physical, between Americans and Mexicans, as well as the consequences that these walls have in the lives of immigrants and Latin communities in the United States. The book is divided into three parts: categorical thinking, anti-immigrant speech, and immigration as an experience. The sections discuss how the idea of nation-state constructs borders, how political strategy and racist ideologies construct the idea of irreconcilable differences between whites and Latinos, and how immigrants and their families overcome their struggles to continue living in America. They analyze historical precedents, normative frameworks, divisive discourses, and contemporary daily interactions between whites and Latin individuals. It discusses the debates on how to name people of Latin American origin and the framing of immigrants as a threat and contrasts them to the experiences of migrants and border residents. Building Walls makes a theoretical contribution by showing how different dimensions work together to create durable inequalities between U.S. native whites, Latinos, and newcomers. It provides a sophisticated analysis and empirical description of racializing and exclusionary processes. This book will be of interest to immigration, border, and race scholars and students, and to anyone interested in learning more about the realities behind current immigration debates and whether the wall would be a solution. 


"Where Castañeda excels, and a major strength of the book, is the clarity
of his theoretical expositions. While theory can often be dense and obtuse, Castañeda’s efficient writing and contemporary examples facilitate understanding... Buildings Walls is likely to appeal to a wide audience because of its strong theoretical underpinnings, applied work on boundary-formation processes, and focus on a unique aspect of the Mexican-origin experience in the United States. These intersecting foci make the book an appropriate choice for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in political sociology or in the sociology of immigration or courses focused on race and ethnicity in the U.S. context. Overall, Building Walls is a thought-provoking book on an exigent topic, particularly given the rising anti-immigrant rhetoric and increasing hostility toward Mexican immigrants in the United States."

—David Enrique Rangel in the American Journal of Sociology

"Much has been written about the wall that separates the United States and
Mexico, and about its adverse effects—the separation of families and communities between two countries, and the conflicts and tensions in U.S.–Mexico relations. Yet, there are other boundaries that divide the Mexican communities and communities of “Latin people” from the rest of the population within the United States. In their work Building Walls: Excluding Latin People in the United States, Ernesto Castañeda and his coauthors explore the building of boundaries, both symbolic and physical, and the exclusion that these boundaries entail for Latin American and Caribbean populations in the United States. This comprehensive book ... is highly recommendable for students and experts in several disciplines—including sociology, international relations, and political science—who take an interest in the migratory issue and in the everyday racism, nationalism, and discrimination suffered by the population of Latin American origin in the United States."

—Nuty Cárdenas, Latin American Policy

"Building Walls brings a much-needed critical race analysis to migration studies. Castañeda draws from a wide variety of sources and voices to paint a picture of the exclusion and racialization experienced by people with origins in Latin America who have made their homes in the United States. Expertly weaving in analyses of nationalism, border vigilantism, white supremacy, and immigration enforcement, Building Walls provides a clear and provocative analysis of our contemporary moment. This book would be an excellent addition to courses on race and migration across a wide variety of disciplines."

— Tanya Golash-Boza, University of California, Merced

"Despite facing a harsh context of reception, evidence shows that most immigrants today are successfully incorporating into the U.S. Nevertheless, anti-immigrant, and specially, anti-Latino sentiments have seemingly intensified and may have contributed to Trump’s presidential victory. Why? This book explains it. Castañeda marshals compelling ethnographic, statistical, and historical evidence to show the roots and consequences of the exclusion of Latin people in the U.S. For those who care about the future of the country, Building Walls is a required text."

— René D. Flores, University of Chicago

"This comprehensive and thoughtful book offers an antidote to anti-migrant scapegoating and dehumanization. Meticulously researched and accessibly written, it shines a light on the long history and contributions of Latinos in the U.S., the cultural richness of the borderlands, and the cruelty of the current deportation regime. By placing claims about the "border crisis" within a longer history of white supremacy, racial profiling, and discrimination, Castaneda offers an incisive counter-narrative to spectacularized media headlines and politicians' invectives."

—Denise Brennan, Georgetown

"How perfectly fitting that Castañeda has masterfully mapped how detrimental it has been for Latinos when the US has and continues to build walls, as Trump built his campaign and presidency on the promise to build a wall between the US and Mexico. This book is truly timely and relevant because it is a testament of Latino racialization and exclusion, and it demonstrates why building walls does not work to keep immigrants out or to unite a country."

— Celia Lacayo, UCLA

                                                      Buy here

Charles Tilly, Ernesto Castañeda, and Lesley J. Wood. Social Movements 1768-2018. Routledge 2020.

Social Movements 1768-2018 provides the most comprehensive historical account of the birth and spread of social movements. Renowned social scientist, Charles Tilly applies his theoretical skills to explain the evolution of social movements across time and space in a synthesized and accessible manner full of historical vignettes and examples. Tilly explains why social movements are but a type of contentious politics to decrease categorical inequalities. Questions addressed include what are the implications of globalization and new technologies for social movements? What is the connection between democratization and social movements? What are the prospects for social movements? The American and French revolutions are discussed in a transnational context. The overall argument includes data from mobilizations in England, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Russia, China, India, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq, and Kazakhstan. New case studies focus on social movements in Mexico, Spain, and the United States, particularly those led by Blacks and Latinos. This new edition has been fully updated and revised with young researchers and students in mind. New timelines orient the reader about the events discussed. Discussion questions are provided at the end. A brand-new over one-hundred-page Part II presents brief case studies of contemporary social movements including Black Lives Matter, immigrants’ rights movements, Occupy Wall Street, The Indignados, the Catalan movement for independence, #YoSoy132, Ayotzinapa43, mass incarceration and prisoner rights, as well as Anonymous. The book will help the reader better understand the implications, limits, and importance of historical and ongoing social movements.


"This new edition of Tilly’s excellent book is much more than a simple update. Castañeda and Wood very helpfully combine the historical and theoretical complexity of Tilly’s original monograph with the accessibility of an undergraduate textbook to produce in one small space almost everything a course on social movements needs. The addition of new contemporary case studies—thoughtfully chosen and analyzed here and written collaboratively with Castañeda’s students—brings to life Tilly’s conceptual framework and provides a ready-made lesson plan to teach this framework for social movement analysis to graduate and undergraduate students. The cases are international in scope and include a focus on the role of social media and the internet where these new technologies have played important roles in movement mobilization. This new edition has also expanded the original chapter discussion questions and added a whole new set of research questions for the case studies that are guaranteed to generate good classroom discussions and interesting essays. Highly recommended!"

— Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez, Whittier College

"Charles Tilly (1929-2008) was one of our most insightful and imaginative analysts of social movements and related forms of political contention. His remarkable knowledge of contentious politics spanned centuries and continents. This accessible volume introduces readers to Tilly's ideas about the historical invention and global spread of social movements. And in this edition, Tilly's students (and their students) bring the story right up to the present, drawing on Tilly's concepts to make sense of collective protest in the 21st century, including the immigrant rights movement, the Indignados and Occupy movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement. This volume will interest readers new to social movements as well as practiced scholars."

—Jeff Goodwin, New York University

"This new edition of Social Movements builds on Charles Tilly and Lesley J. Wood’s now-classic work. Tilly’s position on what social movements are, how they operate, and why—and crucially, how they relate to other kinds of political action and what social movements are not—as ever provides needed clarity in an otherwise often-muddy field. Through a case-study approach, Ernesto Castañeda now builds a new story onto the already-impressive edifice: a guide for contemporary students to how Tilly’s approach can help us to make sense of what’s going on in contemporary movements, and also to see what might be changing in the landscape of contentious politics."

​—John Krinsky, City University of New York

Castañeda, Ernesto and Cathy Lisa Schneider. 2017. Collective Violence, Contentious Politics, and Social Change: A Charles Tilly Reader. New York, NY: Routledge.

Spanish translation published by UNAM 2022.

Charles Tilly is among the most influential American sociologists of the last century. For the first time, his pathbreaking work on a wide array of topics is available in one comprehensive reader. This manageable and readable volume brings together many highlights of Tilly’s large and important oeuvre, covering his contribution to the following areas: revolutions and social change; war, state-making, and organized crime; democratization; durable inequality; political violence; migration, race, and ethnicity; narratives and explanations.

The book connects Tilly’s work on large-scale social processes such as nation-building and war to his work on micro-processes such as racial and gender discrimination. It includes selections from some of Tilly’s earliest, influential, and out of print writings, including The Vendée; Coercion, Capital and European States; the classic “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime;” and his more recent and lesser-known work, including that on durable inequality, democracy, poverty, economic development, and migration. Together, the collection reveals Tilly’s complex, compelling, and distinctive vision and helps place the contentious politics approach Tilly pioneered with Sidney Tarrow and Doug McAdam into broader context. The editors abridge key texts and, in their introductory essay, situate them within Tilly’s larger opus and contemporary intellectual debates. The chapters serve as guideposts for those who wish to study his work in greater depth or use his methodology to examine the pressing issues of our time. Read together, they provide a road map of Tilly’s work and his contribution to the fields of sociology, political science, history, and international studies. This book belongs in the classroom and in the library of social scientists, political analysts, cultural critics, and activists.


"Charles Tilly was one of the great sociologists of the last fifty years. He was the most important analyst of social movements and contentious politics, but also shaped inquiry into cities, inequality, and the understanding of social processes. Social change today makes his work all the more important. Castañeda and Schneider clearly present the scope of Tilly’s contributions and make his work accessible to a new generation of social scientists." 

— Craig Calhoun, London School of Economics and Berggruen Institute

"Over the course of several decades, Charles (Chuck) Tilly sent a great many ships (ideas/pieces of scholarship) into a great many seas. Some of us would follow a ship or three. Others would sit in the middle of an ocean or at a port to see what Chuck would send by. "Collective Violence, Contentious Politics and Social Change" serves as an amazing guide/companion/navigation device/travel log as one attempts to fathom all of the journeys taken by our dear friend. From revolutions to narratives, from theories to methods - it is all there. Like the guidebook to "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance," now we can revisit work that we thought we knew, visit works that we have heard about but never fully engaged with as well as see work that we didn’t even know that Chuck was doing."

— Christian Davenport, University of Michigan

"No scholar in the past half-century has more deeply shaped historical and political sociology, and no volume more effectively brings together a better sampling of his prodigious opus. This collection not only demonstrates how Tilly has shaped the agenda in many of sociology’s liveliest themes, but also captures his uncanny ability to seamlessly weave together theory, method, and substance. For the novice or the senior scholar, it is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand collective violence, contentious politics, and social change."

— William Roy, UCLA

"Castañeda and Schneider have brought together some of Tilly's most influential and compelling pieces. By reading his analyses of cities, protest, wars, states, democracy and inequality - one sees the way that empirical research can be critical for understanding patterns in historical and contemporary contexts. In this moment of great change, Tilly offers us tools to understand the present and shape the future. This collection will satisfy both new readers and current followers of Tilly's work."

— Lesley J. Wood, York University

"Charles Tilly shaped the thinking of several generations of scholars and activists. He was both prolific in his writing and generous in his engagement with the work of colleagues and students. He reached across disciplines, subfields and regions, diving deeply into empirical cases while working towards a more dynamic and relational conceptualization of political process. Precisely because his work is so far-reaching, it can be a challenge for emerging scholars to get a handle on the scope and evolution of his work. This collection by Ernesto Castañeda and Cathy Schneider provides the ideal entryway into Tilly's work. As Tilly would have hoped, it will help young scholars generate more questions, new research, and better explanations."

— Ann Mische, University of Notre Dame

Get your copy here.

Castañeda, Ernesto. 2018. Immigration and Categorical Inequality: Migration to the City and the Birth of Race and Ethnicity. New York, NY: Routledge. Available here

Immigration and Categorical Inequality explains the general processes of migration, the categorization of newcomers in urban areas as racial or ethnic others, and the mechanisms that perpetuate inequality among groups. Inspired by the pioneering work of Charles Tilly on chain migration, transnational communities, trust networks, and categorical inequality, renowned migration scholars apply Tilly’s theoretical concepts using empirical data gathered in different historical periods and geographical areas ranging from New York to Tokyo and from Barcelona to Nepal. The contributors of this volume demonstrate the ways in which social boundary mechanisms produce relational processes of durable categorical inequality. This understanding is an important step to stop treating differences between certain groups as natural and unchangeable. This volume will be valuable for scholars, students, and the public in general interested in understanding the periodic rise of nativism in the United States and elsewhere.


"Inspired by Charles Tilly’s brilliant insights, Ernesto Castañeda has assembled a superb roster of scholars to explore links between migration and the creation and persistence of inequality. Timely and engaging, Immigration and Categorical Inequality makes a novel contribution to scholarly debates. It will also interest a broad audience eager to understand migration."

—Viviana Zelizer, Princeton University

"Ernesto Castañeda's introductory tribute to the broad sweep of Charles Tilly’s scholarship, along with studies of migrant categorization, networks, and inequality, insightfully illuminate the relational processes of social closure based on nationality, race, and ethnicity. It is a "must-read" for those interested in social exclusion mechanisms."

—Hilary Silver, George Washington University

"Drawing on Charles Tilly’s foundational theorizing on migration and social boundaries, the chapters in Immigration and Categorical Inequality draw on an array of methods and contexts to show how categories of race and nation become reified, reinterpreted, redrawn. The authors in this volume stand on the shoulders of a social science giant in Tilly to help us see further into how migration shapes life across the globe."

—Tomás R. Jiménez, Stanford University

"Tilly’s relational perspective on human migration offers a fresh approach to understanding a social phenomenon affecting communities across the globe. The edited collection not only introduces Tilly’s relational approach to migration scholars but also offers new theoretical and empirical insights into contemporary processes of immigrant incorporation, social networks, group boundaries, and inequality. Castañeda’s collection successfully demonstrates the continued vitality of Tilly’s scholarship for contemporary and future migration scholars."

— Ali Chaudhary, Rutgers University


1.      Understanding Inequality, Migration, Race, and Ethnicity from a Relational Perspective.  Ernesto Castañeda

2.      Migration and Categorical Inequality.  Douglas S. Massey

3.      Immigration or Citizenship? Two Sides of One Social History.
Josiah Heyman

4.      Stigmatizing Immigrant Day Labor: Boundary-Making and the Built Environment in Long Island, New York.  Ernesto Castañeda and Kevin R. Beck

5.      Migration-Trust Networks: Unveiling the Social Networks of International Migration.  Nadia Y. Flores-Yeffal

6.      Ethnic Weddings: Reinventing the Nation in Exile. Randa Serhan

7.      Trust Networks and Durable Inequality among Korean Immigrants in Japan.  Hwaji Shin

8.      Ethnic Centralities in Barcelona: Foreign-Owned Businesses between “Commercial Ghettos” and Urban Revitalization.  Pau Serra del Pozo

9.      Remittance-Driven Migration in Spite of Microfinance? The Case of Nepalese Households.  Bishal Kasu, Ernesto Castañeda, and Guangqing Chi