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Winter Institute in Development Planning for Bhutan India Borderland Regions 2017 [WIDPBIBR] "The Transboundary Policy Innovation Laboratory"

Date 
03 December 2017 to 18 January 2018
Program Schedule: 
It is increasingly being recognized in the study of international relations that Borderlands represent a dynamic subsystem marked by complex and historical interlinkages between communities and local governance systems that transcend established inter-state boundaries. The concept of interstate bord Read More...

It is increasingly being recognized in the study of international relations that Borderlands represent a dynamic subsystem marked by complex and historical interlinkages between communities and local governance systems that transcend established inter-state boundaries. The concept of interstate borders (and the functional role of frontier regions) in international relations has undergone a fundamental shift, whereby the “unifying, symbolic, dividing, and exclusionary role of a border as a founding principle of a sovereign state”1 has been contested. Rather “social scientists, historians, anthropologists, economists, and functionalists have identied the crucial role of borderland communities as organized polities within the larger institutional architecture of their state of belonging and have underlined the importance of local culture.”2 According to Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (2005) the literature on borders, boundaries, frontiers, and borderland regions suggests four analytical lenses to interpret and understand borderlands: “(1) market forces and trade ows, (2) policy activities of multiple levels of governments on adjacent borders, (3) the particular political clout of borderland communities, and (4) the specic culture of borderland communities.”3 Despite the emergence of the interdisciplinary eld of Borderland Studies (and the creation of academic associations both regionally and globally) there is a marked disjuncture in terms of practical and academic training being provided to students of the social sciences (such as international relations, political science and sociology) for understanding developmental challenges of the Borderlands. Most academic associations for the study of Borderlands (and select courses being offered) are not accessible to students studying in the global south; and, very few International Relations programmes in South Asia provide opportunities for students (and scholars) to engage with contextual understandings of transboundary issues.