The past two decades have seen an intense, interdisciplinary
interest in the border areas between states-inhabited territories
located on the margins of a power center or between power centers.
This timely and highly original collection of essays edited by
noted scholar I. William Zartman is an attempt "to begin to
understand both these areas and the interactions that occur within
and across them"-that is, to understand how borders affect
the groups living along them and the nature of the land and people
abutting on and divided by boundaries.
These essays highlight three defining features of border areas:
borderlanders constitute an experiential and culturally
identifiable unit; borderlands are characterized by constant
movement (in time, space, and activity); and in their mobility,
borderlands always prepare for the next move at the same time that
they respond to the last one. The ten case studies presented range
over four millennia and provide windows for observing the dynamics
of life in borderlands. They also have policy relevance, especially
in creating an awareness of borderlands as dynamic social spheres
and of the need to anticipate the changes that given policies will
engender-changes that will in turn require their own solutions.
Contrary to what one would expect in this age of globalization,
says Zartman, borderlands maintain their own dynamics and
identities and indeed spread beyond the fringes of the border and
reach deep into the hinterland itself.
Subjects: Political Science
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