The Association for Border Studies, (ABS), the global platform for scholars and practitioners of border politics has announced three newly elected members to the Board of Directors for a term of three years starting on April 27, 2019. They include Dr. Willie Aziegbe Eselebor of Nigeria’s University of Ibadan. Others are Jim Gerber, an economist with interest in Latin American economies and US-Mexico relations and Edward Boyle, the SOAS educated Japanese multidisciplinary scholar with Border Studies bias who is now an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Kyushu University, Japan. He is credited with running the university’s Border Studies website (http://cafs.kyushu-u.ac.jp/borders/) as well as editor-in-chief of Border Bites, and tweets at @BorderstudiesRM.
According to the platform’s e-newsletter, the board of directors is comprised of nine members who play the crucial task of overseeing the functioning of the association, including making decisions on its bylaws, finances, membership, leaderships and the Journal of Borderlands Studies.
The entry for Dr. Eselebor in the newsletter reads as follows: is a border scholar, seminar and publications coordinator of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He was the Focal Person – BRIT 2018 Conference – held in Nigeria & Benin Republic. He is also the immediate past President of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (2011-2016). Prior to joining the academic community, he worked with the Nigeria Immigration Service (1980-2012), where he attained the rank of Assistant Comptroller and served in various capacities in land, air and maritime borders. He has published widely in Border Studies.
Border Studies has always been a controversial realm because the border was the all time marker of the state. It has become even more controversial with the collapse of the defunct USSR and the end of the Cold War and with the arrival of alternative notions that says that the border is not a physical reality as such but a construct. The transformation of that claim into reality with the Revolution in Military Affairs, (RMA), particularly Drone Warfare, has left the world breathless, making Border Studies such an attractive site of scholarship.
Today, attention is on the US-Mexico border but no less is going on everywhere else in the world where fences, walls and thick barriers are coming up at a time the world is supposed to be borderless. Dr Eselebor has a big job on his hands as he takes Nigeria to the hub of what Dr. Vickie Squire, the leading UK scholar of borders would call The Contested Politics of Mobility