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Barrier and Bridge

Spanish and Gibraltarian Perspectives on Their Border

Andrew Canessa is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Essex. He has published numerous books and articles on issues race ethnicity and gender in Latin America. He has recently completed a four-year ESRC funded study titled Bordering on Britishness: An Oral History Account of 20th Century Gibraltar.

Brexit looms ever closer one of the many problem raised by the UK's departure from the EU is the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar which shares a land border with Spain across which approximately 40 per cent of Gibraltar's labour force cross daily. Real questions are being raised on the future of this border and how it will be managed but one can only understand its future based on a sound knowledge of its evolution.

Barrier and Bridge explores the recent history of the border drawing on documentary and oral history accounts on both sides. It offers a human as much as a political history and argues that whereas at the beginning of the twentieth century there was virtually no border and strong cultural, economic, linguistic, and ethnic ties that straddled it, by the end of the century the border denoted a much more profound sense of difference between the populations. The book traces the complex developments over the twentieth century, looking at language change, marriage patterns, governance through the border, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War and the changing relationship between the UK and the residents of the Rock who, over this period, identified increasingly as British. Eschewing a linear historical narrative, Barrier and Bridge explores the twists and turns, ambivalences and ambiguities, that inhere around this contentious border and concludes that we cannot expect its future to be as predictable as many would assume.

Published in association with the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-905-0
Hardback Price: £60.00 / $74.95
Release Date: September 2018
Page Extent / Format: 200 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Series Editor's Preface by Paul Preston

Andrew Canessa

Chapter One
Small Territories/Big Borders: Gibraltar, Lampedusa, and Melilla
Giacomo Orsini, Andrew Canessa, Luís Martínez,

Chapter Two
Ceuta (un)chained: Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Irony on the Spanish Border with Morocco.
Brian Campbell

Chapter Three
Gibraltar, Spain, and the Western Mediterranean during the Twentieth Century
Julio Ponce

Chapter Four
An Example to the World!’: Multiculturalism in the Creation of a Gibraltarian Identity
Luís Martínez, Andrew Canessa, Giacomo Orsini

Chapter Five

The Campo de Gibraltar Transfrontier Community in Linense Memory
Beatriz Diaz

Chapter Six
Gibraltar as a Gated Community: A Critical Look at Gibraltarian Nationalism
Giacomo Orsini, Andrew Canessa, Luís Martínez

The Editor and Contributors

Nearly a decade ago, Sussex Academic Press published a path-breaking study by Dr Gareth Stockey on the complex issue of the three-way relationship between Spain, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.  Since the appearance of that splendid volume with its rich sense of place and people, a bombshell has been thrown into the delicate relationship between the three parties.  Accordingly, the present wide-ranging collection edited by Professor Andrew Canessa of the University of Essex could not be a more timely addition to the series.  As the subtle guest editor’s preface by Dr Stockey makes clear, the book casts its light well beyond the Spanish–Gibraltarian frontier and is an important contribution to the study of borders.
Professor Paul Preston, London School of Economics

This volume represents a serious and scholarly contribution to studies of communities living on borderlands. It will appeal to scholars of migration and nationalism, as well as to those who have specific interest in the geographical areas studied. And taken with Canessa’s Bordering on Britishness, these two volumes together offer a notable sociological and historical advance in studies of twentieth-century Gibraltar.
Reviewed by Chris Grocott in the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, XCVI, No.10 (2019)

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