We hear constantly of controversies concerning the political, cultural, and economic borders of the world. Borders are central features in current international disputes relating to security, migration, trade, and natural resources. They also factor in debates about land use and property rights. ‘A very bordered world’ analyses why we have borders and considers the need for the study of borders. Borders define space; they also outline areas of differing laws and social norms. In this way, they create and signify varied legal obligations, social categories, and behaviour expectations for different areas. The bounding of space has been an essential component of human activity for millennia, creating and differentiating places. Borders are integral components of human activity and organization.