Narrativas de reforzamiento de la frontera: El rol del saber y el poder de las comunicaciones

Narratives of border reinforcement: The role of knowledge and communications power

Palabras clave: conocimiento y poder, frontera Estados Unidos-México, frontera y poder, poder de las comunicaciones


El objetivo del artículo es analizar y explicar la paradoja del por qué el saber objetivo basado en “datos y hechos” es insuficiente para crear una narrativa que conduzca a una integración y cooperación más profunda, y de esa manera producir una frontera más fluida, funcional e integrada. La pregunta central es ¿Por qué la narrativa de reterritorialización, que refuerza las diferencias y solidifica la frontera, ha prevalecido? El marco teórico que guía el análisis se fundamenta en el concepto de frónesis, que es un tipo de saber práctico a través del cual los actores sociales llegan a un acuerdo cuando este no puede lograrse por medio de la racionalidad científica. El tema de poder juega un rol importante en el análisis —particularmente, la relación entre el saber y el poder de la comunicación para articular una narrativa de diferenciación. La conclusión es que el poder de la industria militar y de vigilancia ha tenido mayor influencia en darle forma a la política fronteriza comparada con el poder de la academia y el conocimiento científico.


The general objective of this paper is to analyze and explain the paradox of why objective knowledge based upon “facts and hard data” has been insufficient to forge a narrative, particularly in the U.S. side, that would lead towards a deeper cooperation and make the U.S.-Mexico border more fluid, functional and integrated. The main question is:  why the “re-territorialization” narrative of reinforcing differences and solidifying the border has prevailed? The theoretical framework that guides this analysis is the Aristotelian concept of “phronesis” or “practical wisdom” to settle beliefs that cannot be reached through an objective scientific rationality. The issue of power is of great interest in this analysis; particularly, the paper explores the relationship between knowledge and communications power as explanatory factors to understand the forging of a narrative of reinforcing borders. The conclusion is that the military-surveillance industrial complex has been the most influential actor behind the kind of knowledge that shape border policy compared to academic and scientific knowledge.


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Sergio Peña
Mexicano. Doctor en planificación urbana y regional de la Florida State University. Actualmente es profesor investigador en el Departamento de Estudios Urbanos en El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Líneas de investigación: planificación urbana y regional y estudios transfronterizos. Publicaciones recientes: Fuentes, C., Peña, S. y Hernández, V. (2018). La medición multidimensional de la pobreza a nivel intra-urbano en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (2012). Estudios Fronterizos, 19(38).