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Borders define geographic
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 boundaries of political entities
Political geography
Political geography is the field of human geography that is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures...

 or legal jurisdictions, such as government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...

—are open and completely unguarded. Other borders are partially or fully controlled, and may be crossed legally only at designated border checkpoint
Border checkpoint
A border checkpoint is a place, generally between two countries, where travellers and/or goods are inspected. Authorization often is required to enter a country through its borders. Access-controlled borders often have a limited number of checkpoints where they can be crossed without legal...

s. Some, mostly contentious, borders may even foster the setting up of buffer zone
Buffer zone
A buffer zone is generally a zonal area that lies between two or more other areas , but depending on the type of buffer zone, the reason for it may be to segregate regions or to conjoin them....

s.

Definitions



In the past, many borders were not clearly defined lines, but were neutral zones called marchlands
Marches
A march or mark refers to a border region similar to a frontier, such as the Welsh Marches, the borderland between England and Wales. During the Frankish Carolingian Dynasty, the word spread throughout Europe....

. This has been reflected in recent times with the neutral zones that were set up along part of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

's borders with Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 (however, these zones no longer exist). In modern times the concept of a marchland has been replaced by that of the clearly defined and demarcated border. For the purposes of border control
Border control
Border controls are measures used by a country to monitor or regulate its borders.The control of the flow of many people, animals and goods across a border may be controlled by government Customs services. Security is enforced by various kinds of Border Guards and Coast Guards...

, airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s and seaports are also classed as borders. Most countries have some form of border control to restrict or limit the movement of people, animals, plants, and goods into or out of the country. Under international law, each country is generally permitted to define the conditions that have to be met by a person to legally cross its borders by its own laws, and to prevent persons from crossing its border when this happens in violation of those laws.

Some legal orders require presentation of passport
Passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

s and visa
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

s, or other identity document
Identity document
An identity document is any document which may be used to verify aspects of a person's personal identity. If issued in the form of a small, mostly standard-sized card, it is usually called an identity card...

s to cross borders. To stay or work within a country's borders aliens
Alien (law)
In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.-Categorization:Types of "alien" persons are:*An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country which is foreign to him or her. On specified terms, this kind of alien may be called a legal alien of that country...

 (foreign persons) may need special immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 documents or permit
Work permit
Work permit is a generic term for a legal authorization which allows a person to take employment.It is most often used in reference to instances where a person is given permission to work in a country where one does not hold citizenship, but is also used in reference to minors, who in some...

s that authorise them to do so. Having such documents (i.e., visa and passport) however does not automatically guarantee that the alien will be allowed to cross to the other side of the border.

Moving goods across a border often requires the payment of excise tax, often collected by customs officials. Animals (and occasionally humans) moving across borders may need to go into quarantine
Quarantine
Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

 to prevent the spread of exotic or infectious diseases. Most countries prohibit carrying illegal drugs or endangered animals across their borders. Moving goods, animals or people illegally across a border, without declaring them, seeking permission, or deliberately evading official inspection constitutes smuggling
Smuggling
Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.There are various motivations to smuggle...

.

In regions where smuggling, migration, and infiltration are a problem, many countries fortify borders with separation barrier
Separation barrier
A separation barrier is a wall or fence constructed to limit the movement of people across a certain line or border, or to separate two populations. These structures vary in placement with regard to international borders and topography...

s and institute formal border control
Border control
Border controls are measures used by a country to monitor or regulate its borders.The control of the flow of many people, animals and goods across a border may be controlled by government Customs services. Security is enforced by various kinds of Border Guards and Coast Guards...

 procedures. Some borders are only signposted. This is common in countries within the European Schengen Area
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...

 and on rural sections of the Canada – United States border. Borders may even be completely unmarked, a common occurrence with remote or forested borders.

Hostile countries that are not at war may be separated by a militarized border. The most well-known of these is the former Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

. Furthermore, many hostile, militarized borders are separated by a buffer zone
Buffer zone
A buffer zone is generally a zonal area that lies between two or more other areas , but depending on the type of buffer zone, the reason for it may be to segregate regions or to conjoin them....

 or demilitarized zone
Demilitarized zone
In military terms, a demilitarized zone is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers , where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice, or other bilateral or multilateral agreement...

, such as the Korean Demilitarized Zone
Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and...

 and the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

, and may be separated by a buffer state
Buffer state
A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. Buffer states, when authentically independent, typically pursue a neutralist foreign policy, which distinguishes them from satellite...

. The most extreme borders are completely closed with no passage, such as the Blue Line
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

 that separates Israel and Lebanon.

Natural borders


Natural borders are geographical features that present natural obstacles to communication and transport. Existing political borders are often a formalization
Formalization
Formalization may refer to* formal system in formal logic* a process enhancing bureaucracy in sociology...

 of these historical, natural obstacles.

Some geographical features that often constitute natural borders are:
  • Ocean
    Ocean
    An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

    s: oceans create very costly natural borders. Very few nation states span more than one continent
    Continent
    A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

    . Only very large and resource-rich states are able to sustain the costs of governance across oceans for longer periods of time.
  • River
    River
    A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

    s: some political borders have been formalized along natural borders formed by rivers. Some examples are; the Rio Grande
    Rio Grande
    The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

     border (Mexico-USA), the Rhine border (France-Germany), and the Mekong
    Mekong
    The Mekong is a river that runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is , and it drains an area of , discharging of water annually....

     border (Thailand-Laos)
  • Lake
    Lake
    A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

    s: larger lakes create natural borders. One example is the natural border created by Lake Tanganyika
    Lake Tanganyika
    Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake...

     (Congo-Burundi-Tanzania-Zambia)
  • Forest
    Forest
    A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

    s: denser jungles or forests can create strong natural borders. One example of a natural forest border is the Amazon rain forest (Colombia-Venezuela-Guyana-Brazil-Bolivia-Peru)
  • Mountain range
    Mountain range
    A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

    s: research on borders suggests that mountains have especially strong effects as natural borders. Many nations in Europe and Asia have had their political borders defined along mountain ranges.


Throughout history, technological advances have reduced the costs of transport and communication across these natural borders. This has reduced the significance of natural borders over time. As a result, political borders that have been formalized more recently — such as those in Africa or Americas — typically conform less to natural borders than very old borders — such as those in Europe or Asia — do. States whose borders conform to natural borders are, for similar reasons, more likely to be strong nation-states.

Maritime borders



A maritime border is a division enclosing an area in the ocean where a nation has exclusive rights over the mineral and biological resources, encompassing maritime features, limits and zones. Maritime borders represent the jurisdictional borders of a maritime nation
Maritime nation
A maritime nation is any nation which borders the sea and uses it for any of the following: commerce and transport, war, to define a territorial boundary, or for any maritime activity ....

 and are recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea , which took place from 1973 through 1982...

.

Maritime borders exist in the context of territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

, contiguous zones, and exclusive economic zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical...

s; however, the terminology does not encompass lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 or river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 boundaries, which are considered within the context of land boundaries.

Some maritime borders have remained indeterminate despite efforts to clarify them. This is explained by an array of factors, some of which illustrate regional problems.

Border economics


The presence of borders often fosters certain economic features or anomalies. Wherever two jurisdictions come into contact, special economic opportunities arise for border trade
Border trade
Border trade, in general, refers to the flow of goods and services across theinternational borders between jurisdictions. In this sense, it is a part of normal legal tradethat flows through standard export/import frameworks of nations...

. Smuggling
Smuggling
Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.There are various motivations to smuggle...

 provides a classic case; contrariwise, a border region may flourish on the provision of excise
Excise
Excise tax in the United States is a indirect tax on listed items. Excise taxes can be and are made by federal, state and local governments and are far from uniform throughout the United States...

 or of import
Import
The term import is derived from the conceptual meaning as to bring in the goods and services into the port of a country. The buyer of such goods and services is referred to an "importer" who is based in the country of import whereas the overseas based seller is referred to as an "exporter". Thus...

export
Export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

 services — legal or quasi-legal, corrupt or corruption-free. Different regulations on either side of a border may encourage services to position themselves at or near that border: thus the provision of pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

, of prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, of alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 and/or of narcotics may cluster around borders, city limits, county lines, port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

s and airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s. In a more planned and official context, Special Economic Zone
Special Economic Zone
A Special Economic Zone is a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws...

s (SEZs) often tend to cluster near borders or ports.

Even if the goods are not perceived to be undesirable, states will still seek to document and regulate the cross-border trade in order to collect tariffs and benefit from foreign currency exchange revenues. Thus, there is the concept unofficial trade in goods otherwise legal; for example, the cross-border trade in livestock by pastoralists in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 sells an estimated $250 to $300 million of livestock to Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 and Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 every year unofficially, over 100 times the official estimate.

Human economic traffic across borders (apart from kidnapping
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

), may involve mass commuting
Commuting
Commuting is regular travel between one's place of residence and place of work or full time study. It sometimes refers to any regular or often repeated traveling between locations when not work related.- History :...

 between workplaces and residential settlements. The removal of internal barriers to commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

, as in France after the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 or in Europe since the 1940s, de-emphasises border-based economic activity and fosters free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

. Euroregion
Euroregion
In European politics, the term Euroregion usually refers to a transnational co-operation structure between two contiguous territories located in different European countries. Euroregions represent a specific type of cross-border region.-Scope:...

s are similar official structures built around commuting across borders.

Politics



Political borders have a variety of meanings for those whom they affect. Many borders in the world have checkpoints
Border checkpoint
A border checkpoint is a place, generally between two countries, where travellers and/or goods are inspected. Authorization often is required to enter a country through its borders. Access-controlled borders often have a limited number of checkpoints where they can be crossed without legal...

 where border control
Border control
Border controls are measures used by a country to monitor or regulate its borders.The control of the flow of many people, animals and goods across a border may be controlled by government Customs services. Security is enforced by various kinds of Border Guards and Coast Guards...

 agents inspect those crossing the boundary.

In much of Europe, such controls were abolished by the Schengen Agreement
Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

 and subsequent European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 legislation. Since the Treaty of Amsterdam, the competence to pass laws on crossing internal and external borders within the European Union and the associated Schengen States (Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

) lies exclusively within the jurisdiction of the European Union, except where states have used a specific right to opt-out (United Kingdom and Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, which maintain a common travel area amongst themselves). For details, see Schengen Area
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...

.


The United States has notably increased measures taken in border control on the Canada–United States border and the United States–Mexico border
United States–Mexico border
The United States–Mexico border is the international border between the United States and Mexico. It runs from Imperial Beach, California, and Tijuana, Baja California, in the west to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Brownsville, Texas, in the east, and traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from major...

 during its War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 (See Shantz 2010). One American writer has said that the 3600 km (2,236.9 mi) US-Mexico border is probably "the world's longest boundary between a First World
First World
The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a...

 and Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

 country."

Historic borders such as the Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

, the Maginot Line
Maginot Line
The Maginot Line , named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defences, which France constructed along its borders with Germany and Italy, in light of its experience in World War I,...

, and Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

 have played a great many roles and been marked in different ways. While the stone wall
Stone wall
Stone walls are a kind of masonry construction which have been made for thousands of years. First they were constructed by farmers and primitive people by piling loose field stones in what is called a dry stone wall, then later with the use of mortar and plaster especially in the construction of...

s, the Great Wall of China and the Roman Hadrian's Wall in Britain had military functions, the entirety of the Roman borders were very porous, which encouraged Roman economic activity with neighbors. On the other hand, a border like the Maginot Line was entirely military and was meant to prevent any access in what was to be World War II to France by its neighbor, Germany. Germany ended up going around the Maginot Line through Belgium just as it had done in World War I.

Cross-border regions


Macro-regional integration initiatives, such as the European Union and NAFTA, have spurred the establishment of cross-border region
Cross-border region
A cross-border region is a territorial entity that is made of several local or regional authorities that are co-located yet belong to different nation states.- Cross-border regions in Europe :In Europe, there are a large number of cross-border regions...

s. These are initiatives driven by local or regional authorities, aimed at dealing with local border-transcending problems such as transport and environmental degradation. Many cross-border regions are also active in encouraging intercultural communication
Intercultural communication
Intercultural communication is a form of global communication. It is used to describe the wide range of communication problems that naturally appear within an organization made up of individuals from different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. Intercultural communication is...

 and dialogue as well as cross-border economic development strategies.
In Europe, the European Union provides financial support to cross-border regions via its Interreg
Interreg
Interreg is an initiative that aims to stimulate cooperation between regions in the European Union. It started in 1989, and is financed under the European Regional Development Fund...

 programme. The Council of Europe has issued the Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation
Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation
The Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities, also called the 'Madrid Convention' was launched by the Council of Europe in 1980. The convention provides a legal framework for the establishment of cross-border regions. To date, it has been...

, providing a legal framework for cross-border co-operation even though it is in practice rarely used by Euroregions.

Border studies


There has been a renaissance in the study of borders during the past two decades, partially from creation of a counter narrative to notions of a borderless world that have been advanced as part of globalization theory. Examples of recent initiatives are the Border Regions in Transition network of scholars, the International Boundaries Research Unit
International Boundaries Research Unit
The International Boundaries Research Unit at Durham University in the United Kingdom integrates theory and practice in an academic setting. The research center provides practical expertise in boundary-making, border management and territorial dispute resolution.-History:IBRU was established in...

 at the University of Durham, the Association of Borderlands Studies based in North America, and the founding of smaller border research centres at Nijmegen and Queen's University Belfast.

Contemporary leading scholars in the field of border studies include Emmanuel Brunet Jailly
Emmanuel Brunet Jailly
Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly is a Canadian politics and public policy scholar at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where he is Associate Professor, co-director of the Local Government Institute, and director of the European Studies Program...

 at the University of Victoria
University of Victoria
The University of Victoria, often referred to as UVic, is the second oldest public research university in British Columbia, Canada. It is a research intensive university located in Saanich and Oak Bay, about northeast of downtown Victoria. The University's annual enrollment is about 20,000 students...

, who is the Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Association for Borderlands Studies
Association for Borderlands Studies
The Association for Borderlands Studies is an international scholarly association dedicated exclusively to the systematic interchange of ideas and information relating to international borders and frontier areas. Founded in 1976 with the original emphasis on the study of the United States-Mexico...

, (Emmanuel Brunet Jailly
Emmanuel Brunet Jailly
Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly is a Canadian politics and public policy scholar at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where he is Associate Professor, co-director of the Local Government Institute, and director of the European Studies Program...

, and Henk van Houtum and Martin van der Velde at Radboud University are the editors of the international scholarly Journal of Borderlands Studies), David Newman
David Newman (political geographer)
David Newman is a British-Israeli scholar in political geography and geopolitics. He serves as professor at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Department of Politics and Government and editor of the academic journal Geopolitics...

 at Ben Gurion University (co-editor of the international journal Geopolitics). Other leading scholars include Paul Ganster at San Diego State University's Institute for the Regional Study of the Californias, Akihiro Iwashita at Hokkaido University
Hokkaido University
Hokkaido University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It can be seen in the several rankings such as shown below.-General Rankings:...

, Oscar Martínez at the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

, Liam O'Dowd at Queen's University Belfast, Anssi Paasi at the University of Oulu
University of Oulu
The University of Oulu is one of the largest universities in Finland, located in the city of Oulu. It was founded on July 8, 1958. The university has around 16,000 students and 3,000 staff...

, Tony Payan at the United States-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua (Payan was President of the Association for Borderland Studies in 2009-2010), James Scott
James Scott
James Scott may refer to:*James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth , noble recognized by some as James II of England*James Scott , British MP 1710–1711*James Scott , British naval officer...

 at Karelian Institute, Joensuu University, David Shirk at the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute
Trans-Border Institute
The Trans-Border Institute was founded in 1994 at the University of San Diego to promote scholarship, studies, research, and activities related to Mexico and the United States-Mexico border, and to encourage an active role for the University in the cross-border community.The TBI provides ...

, Rick Van Schoik at Arizona State University's North American Center for Transborder Studies, and Doris Wastl-Walter at the University of Bern.

Image gallery


The following pictures show in how many different ways international and regional borders can be closed off, monitored, at least marked as such, or simply unremarkable.


See also



External links