|The working paper addresses the question of how globalization affects the capacity of nation states to control the mobility of persons across their borders. Globalization is often conceptualized as an increase in cross-border transactions implying a weakening of the state’s capacity to control the movement of a wide spectrum of factors and resources. In our paper, this assumption is reviewed by means of a literature analysis covering the findings made by empirical studies in this area of research. In a brief overview, we examine how the cross-border movements of central resources such as information, goods, services, and capital, as well as the movements of persons have developed since the 1950s. Our aim is to scrutinize whether the assumption that an increase in mobility goes hand in hand with a loss of control capacity also holds true with regard to the mobility of persons. In the literature on globalization, we identify two strands of arguments: While some studies claim a general loss of relevance of nation state borders, others predict a lasting importance of borders with regard to the mobility of persons. In contrast to this, we argue that these views do not suffice to grasp the actual developments’ complexity. The scope of nation state reactions is broader than assumed and includes bi- or multilateral cooperation strategies, strategies of “macro-territorialization”, an increased use of technical equipment fostering the development of new technologies, and an integration of approaches towards internal and external security issues. As a consequence, we cannot confirm either of the two claims; instead we observe a transformation of the form and content of territorial mobility control and regulation.
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