• Chris Rumford
Part of the Mobility & Politics book series (MPP)


The chapter outlines ways in which borders exhibit a tension between fixity/unfixity. In a ‘world in motion’ borders are structures of fixity that lend order to everyday life. At the same time the permanence of the border can be undermined by the failure of the border to fulfil its function. Three case studies are explored. First, the’ stroud pound’, an example of borderwork leading to bottom-up securitization. Second, the chapter explores the ‘accidental unfixity’ resulting from the activity of drones around UK airports. Third, the EU’s Frontex border and the UK’s offshore border, both of which show an ambivalence between fixity and unfixity, and raise the question of whether the element of unfixity might be a strategy of governance, an idea further explored in the concluding section with reference to two recent events in the UK.


European Union Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Security Check Financial Service Authority Political Resource 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    ’stroud pounds are taking off among traders’, This Is Gloucestershire, November 2009,
  2. 2.
    ‘What do you mean by money “draining resources away from the area?”’, The Stroud Pound: FAQ General, available at
  3. 3.
    ‘Bristol pound hits £100,000 bank deposits mark’, BBC News, 10 April 2013,
  4. 4.
    Harvey, D. ‘Bristol pound launched to keep trade in the city’, BBC News, 19 September 2012, Scholar
  5. 5.
    An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), colloquially known as a drone, is an unmanned aircraft that can fly autonomously using GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to navigate a complex flight path without human control. It is also possible for the drone to be flown under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle. A drone is different from a model aircraft in that models are flown within visual line of sight and controlled by an operator who maintains control of the airplane during flight.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alternatively, the ‘pepperdroni’ (Gye, 2012).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    In this chapter we do not deal with military drones in the UK and their relation to borders and bordering. Arguably, military drones are particularly significant in this regard as they can have an obvious policing and surveillance function and could catalyse the transformation of borders.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    For example, the Parrot AR. Drone 2.0 available on,
  9. 9.
    This is a composite sketch based on information gathered from a number of small airports in rural Hampshire, UK.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The Times reported that ‘American researchers have created a $1,000 device that is capable of hijacking a pilotless drone, raising fears that unmanned aircraft could be turned into terrorist weapons’. Rhys Blakely ‘Terrorism warning as drones hijacked by $1,000 “spoofer”’, The Times, 27 June 2012,
  11. 11.
    ‘How long will unregulated FPV and RC last?’ by Ron Curry, 31 March 2012, Scholar
  12. 12.
    ‘No UK rollout for “go home” vans’, BBC News, 22 October 2013,
  13. 13.

Copyright information

© Chris Rumford 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Rumford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and International RelationsRoyal Holloway, University of LondonUK

Personalised recommendations