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Annales de géographie

2013/2 (No 690)

  • Pages : 112
  • ISBN : 9782200928193
  • DOI : 10.3917/ag.690.0151
  • Publisher : Armand Colin

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This paper uses the example of a major international airport to better understand the meaning and spatiality of borders of a new kind, namely nodal and metropolitan borders, stressing the importance of (bordered) networks of mobility spaces. The case study focuses on Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the world’s second busiest airport in terms of international passengers. The research draws on fieldwork combining data collection through direct observation, interviews with diverse actors at the airport (passengers and managers) and the analysis of a set of documentary sources. The border at the airport turns out to be changing more and more and is increasingly polymorphous and networked, as it is intricately associated with multiple types of mobility. These factors help to categorize and territorialize mobile populations, transcending the conditions of the nation-state where the airport is situated. Far from leading to a dissolution of territorial limits, these border arrangements rather modify the meaning associated with border-crossing. The experience is that of ambiguous territoriality, both international and open to other territorial constructs.


  • border
  • mobilities
  • territoriality
  • airport
  • network
  • air transportation
  • international
  • Roissy
  • Paris
  • global


  1. A Variable-Geometry Border
    1. The Non-Schengen Area at the Scale of the Platform: An Evolving Archipelago Reflecting the Globalized Considerations of Network Operators
    2. A Multi-Sided Border That Also Shapes the Origin and Destination Countries
    3. A Multi-Speed Border: Social and Territorial Differentiation of Access to the Border Post
    4. A Negotiated Border: Public Actors, Private Actors and Passengers
  2. The Renewed Territorial Meaning of Crossing the Border
    1. Air Travel’s Rite of Passage: A Thick Border
    2. The Territoriality of the “International Area”: From Inter-state Margin to Transnational Imagining of a Transborder Space
    3. Commercial Exploitation of an Area-Border’s Territoriality
  3. Conclusion: The Strength of a Border Territoriality Constructed in Movement

To cite this article

Jean-Baptiste Frétigny, “ La frontière à l'épreuve des mobilités aériennes : étude de l'aéroport de Paris Charles-de-Gaulle ”, Annales de géographie 2/2013 (n° 690) , p. 151-174
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-annales-de-geographie-2013-2-page-151.htm.
DOI : 10.3917/ag.690.0151.

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