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Rethinking borderlines: Exploring borderland threats and vulnerabilities Dr Francois Vreÿ Stellenbosch University.

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Presentation on theme: "Rethinking borderlines: Exploring borderland threats and vulnerabilities Dr Francois Vreÿ Stellenbosch University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rethinking borderlines: Exploring borderland threats and vulnerabilities Dr Francois Vreÿ Stellenbosch University

2 2 Background The borderline focus People, goods, services and globalisation Governments, elites and securitisation Reality of people ignoring borders Militarization, economic liberalisation and criminalisation Return to security: Militariation & criminalisation Overstretched security forces vs political quick solutions What gets overlooked? It is about borders and borderlands

3 Aim A twofold aim: First, to outline selected elements of border theory, strands of research and features of borderlands. Secondly, to describe the insecurities that reside in borderlands and the threats they hold to central government.

4 Scope Border theory and research Borderlands: The true threat? Threatening what? Aspects of politics Framing the threat: Government rule and sovereignty Appraisal and conclusions

5 Food for border thought Borders are incidental and an obstacle to peace and progress. Sound policy options follow new understandings and old understandings reproduce past mistakes. It is about unlearning what we take for granted. [Vale, P.C.J. Security and Politics in South Africa: The Regional Dimension, Boulder: Lynne Rennier Press, (2003)]

6 Border theory In retrospect: Zones of conflict to zones of cooperation Formative actions: Human activities and social practices Competing thought: A borderless world or securitization accentuating borders More choices: Regionalism and supra-nationalism & local identities - Contemplating inner & outer borders Dense human flows: Militarize or criminalize? Border security: Lack of good decisions A choice: Hard or soft borders? Suggestion: Borderlines a comfortable focus: What about borderlands? [Brunet-Jailly, 2007]

7 Border studies research Multiplicity of government activities: Inclusive exclusive trends Role of borderland cultures: Integrative or fragmented Borderland communities: Political clout as organised activist entities Impact of market forces: Borderless world, RECs & globalisation Internal-external face: Where is the threat? Democracy & liberalism: Human security & human rights Soft threats: Refugees, crime, drugs, terrorism, pollution, dangerous materials [Brunet-Jaillie, 2007 ; Walters, 2002]

8 National or regional security? Inner borders Outer borders

9 A borderline fixation?

10 Disputed and insecure maritime borderlands?

11 Borderlands Cultures, market forces & local political clout Government activities Zones of transition & molded over time Reinforcing national identity : Facilitating local identities Militarisation, economic liberalisation & criminalisation Understanding borderlands & their communities [Brunet-Jailly, 2007]

12 Threats from borderlands Earlier views: Endemic instability in / from borderlands Climate for anti-government sentiments Distance factor: being there & responding Local rapport and local cultures Historic lands for brigands, criminals and rebels Influential actors: For, neutral or anti- Borderland elites People from the borderlands Distant government Provincial counterparts Borderland stability and co-operation Alienated to coexistent Interdependent to integrated [Alroy, 1975 ; Baud & van Schendell, 1997]

13 Maturity and security of borderlands Maturity spectrum Embryonic: Unsettled Infant: National sovereignty Adolescent: Emergent integration Adult: Uncontested and accepted Declining: Supranational and looses function – new contests Defunct: No longer serves a purpose Security spectrum Quiet borderlands: Tight stable amicable borderland relations Unruly borderland: Enmity and contest in relations with possible militarization Rebellious borderland: Direct challenges to central government and a contested borderline [Baud & van Schendell, 1997]

14 Aspects of politics Framing challenges from borderland actors Political community: Opposition to or violent rejection of those who make up the state and make, execute and have to live with political decisions – Sudan & Thailand The political system: Values, rules, and structures guiding how binding political decisions are made – Nigeria & Afghanistan The authorities: Rejecting who rules on grounds of discrimination, values, corruption, incompetence – Zaïre - DR Congo Policies: Existing social political and economic policies perceived as discriminatory – Tuaregs in Mali [ONeill, 1990]

15 Africa: Borderland threats

16 Borderland communities Some observations Traditional and agricultural societies more sensitive Growing impoverishment and unemployment Critical of who rules and how they rule Inclusive-exclusive policies unfold as security-insecurity A coercive government response or Tolerance by central government for differences [Prussin, 2010]

17 Threat of hybrid wars Over-extending the warfare typology overloads security forces: Conceptually, mentally and physically? Conventional, insurgent styled/irregular, terrorism styled Mutations that fit with conventional operations Simultaneity and multi agency: Dangerous and destructive Local nature, networked & swarming: ZAPTISTAS Security-insecurity migration of agencies Pirates, militias, insurgents, PMSCs Economic imperatives: Lootable resources An ever-extending armed conflict continuum The role of receptive borderlands? [Hoffman, 2007 ; Bunker, 2010 ; Moller, 2009]

18 ZAPATISTAS: Networking and swarming from a borderland

19 Where to start?

20 A typology of threats Challenging the rule: Ideological and leadership challenges, but the state and resources remain uncontested. Challenging the state: Resources and ethnic challenge the state, but ideology and ruler uncontested. Certain modes of contest along the spectrum of hybrid wars, depending on the intensity of the contest Resource and ethnicity generate most intense armed conflicts [Angstrom 2001]

21 Suggesting a framework [Angstrom 2001]

22 Borderlands: Porosity and stability Local cross-border culture Integrates or disintegrates borderlands Policy activities of multiple government levels integrate or disintegrate borderlands Local cross-border political clout Integrates or disintegrates borderlands Market forces and trade flows Integrate or disintegrate borderlands Hypothesis (1): The More culture, political clout, and market forces are INTEGRATED, the MORE POROUS THE BORDERLAND. Hypothesis (2): The MORE the policy activities of multiple governments are INTEGRATED, the LESS POROUS THE BORDERLAND [Brunet-Jaillie, 2007]

23 Appraisal and conclusions Border dynamics largely human induced Policy makers and borderland societies most influential Border insecurity: perceptions of policies gone wrong Borders reflect maturity-security interplay of borderlands Borderlands absorb and distill or project and sustain threats and vulnerabilities Irregular threats and dangerous non-state actors Aspects of politics key vulnerabilities for borderland threats Challenges to the rule Acute dangers threaten state integrity Thoughts beyond militarisation-criminalisation? Smart integrated border policies

24 Thank You Questions?

25 References Alroy, G.C. Insurgencies in the countryside of underdeveloped societies, in Sarkesian, S. (ed), Revolutionary Guerrilla Warfare, Chicago: Precedent Publishing Inc. (1975). Angstrom, J. Towards a Typology of Internal Armed Conflict: Synthesising a Decade of Conceptual Turmoil, Civil Wars, 4(3), (2001). Baud, M. and W. van Schendel, A Comparative History of Borderlands, Journal of World History, 8(2) (1997). Beckett, I. The future of insurgency, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 16(1), (March 2005). Brunet-Jailly, E. Borderlands: Comparing Border Security in North America and Europe, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, (2007). Bunker, R. (ed), Non State Threats and Future Wars, Oxon: Frank Cass, (2005). Cunningham in Bartholomees, J.D. 2006, Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, 2 nd Ed, Carlisle: US Army War College. [Slide 19] Hoffman, F.G. Conflict in the 21st Century: The Rise of Hybrid Wars, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, (2007). McNall and Huggins, Guerrilla warfare: Predisposing and precipitating factors, in Sarkesian, S. (ed), Revolutionary Guerrilla Warfare, Chicago: Precedent Publishing Inc. (1975). Møller, B. The security sector: Leviathan or Hydra? In Cawthra, G. (ed). African Security Governance: Emerging Issues, Johannesburg: Wits University Press, (2009),

26 References cont… ONeill, B. Insurgency and Terrorism: Inside Modern Revolutionary Warfare, Washington: Brasseys, (1990). Prussin, A. The Lands between: Conflict in the East European Borderlands, 1870-1992, Oxford: Oxford University Press, (2010). Vinci, A. Greed – grievance reconsidered: The role of power and survival in the motivation of armed groups, Civil Wars, 8(1) (2006). Walters, W. Mapping Schengenland: Denaturalising the border, Environment and Planning: Society and Space, 20(5), (2002). Yoon, M.Y. Internal conflicts and cross-border military interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Post- Cold War era, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 33(2), (2005). Maps Piracy: Taken from Google maps Accessed 02/03/2011 @ Chiapas: Taken from Google maps Accessed 02/03/2011 @ Africa: Taken from Google maps Accessed 02/03/2011 @ 02/03/2011 02/03/2011 South Africa: Taken from Google maps Accessed 02/03/2011 @ SADC: Taken from Google maps Accessed 02/03/2011 @ Off shore gas : Taken from Google maps Accessed 02/03/2011 @

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