The presence of neighboring nations has always posed a problem for utopian states. Wouldn't those nations naturally fear or envy their utopian neighbors? If they do not, why not? Should non-utopian neighbors be ignored, tolerated, or assimilated? This article looks at the various paradoxes associated with utopian borders and neighbors and compares the solutions proposed by utopian theorists and authors of utopian fiction with the work being done in the field of “border theory,” which seeks to redefine the relationship between states with asymmetrical power relationships.

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