This excerpt explores a variety of borders from around the world. These case studies provide examples of border relations ranging from hostile to cooperative and illustrate the types of issues — including political and ethnic tension, labor and immigration, and cooperation in the realms of environmentalism, transportation, health, and trade — that can either plague a region or make it prosper.
The spreading concern for national security has galvanized a renewed focus on border issues around the world, further sharpening autonomous and protective tendencies. Territorial disputes, contentious borders, and terrorist activities play considerable roles in the effort to secure (and oftentimes seal) international borders. Fortresslike walls are being discussed — and in some cases erected — as nations across the planet parlay with their neighbors in the post-9/11 global political climate.
Although hostility and distrust often plagues many bordering countries’ relations, some international neighbors have fostered relationships characterized by cooperation and innovative approaches toward mutual development. Cross-border transportation, binational environmental accords, and regional approaches to addressing health issues are just a few examples of the ways in which some nations have worked together despite the geopolitical boundaries that divide them. Such mutually beneficial relationships can serve as models for the rest of the world in a global climate often marked by apprehension and fear.
The Borders: North Korea and South Korea »
Hyperborder: The Contemporary U.S.-Mexico Border and its Future by Fernando Romero is excerpted with permission from Princeton Architectural Press.