What is the border?

Borders are geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governmentssovereign statesfederated states, and other subnational entities like states. Borders are established through agreements between political or social entities that control those areas; the creation of these agreements is called boundary delimitation.

A border may have been:

  • Agreed by the countries on both sides
  • Imposed by the country on one side
  • Imposed by third parties, e.g. an international conference
  • Inherited from a former state, colonial power or aristocratic territory
  • Inherited from a former internal border, such as within the former Soviet Union
  • Never formally defined.
  • de facto military ceasefire line.

Types and classification:

International borders:

Open and completely unguarded

open and completely unguarded or lack of regulation on the movement of persons between nations and jurisdictions, this does not apply to trade or movement between privately owned land areas.  Eg - All European Union members under the Schengen Area, United States and Canada. 

Partially or fully controlled

These borders may be crossed legally only at designated border checkpoints and border zones may be controlled  by following procedures like visa check, passport check or customs checks.

Demilitarized zones

demilitarized zone (DMZ) is a border separating two or more nations, groups or militaries that have agreed to prohibit the use of military activity or force within the borders bounds. A DMZ can act as a war boundary, ceasefire line, wildlife preserve, or a de facto international border. 

Natural borders:

Natural borders are geographical features that present natural obstacles to communication and transport. Existing political borders are often a formalization of such historical, natural obstacles.

Geometric borders:

These are formed by straight lines (such as lines of latitude or longitude), or occasionally arcs (Pennsylvania/Delaware), regardless of the physical and cultural features of the area. these are often found around the states that developed out of colonial holdings, such as in North AmericaAfrica and the Middle East. Eg-The Canada–United States border (49th parallel).

Fiat Border:

Fiat boundaries are typically the product of human demarcation, such as in demarcating electoral districts or postal districts. 

Relict Border:

A relict border is a former boundary, which may no longer be a legal boundary at all. For instance, the boundary between East and West Germany.

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 (in the context of territorial waterscontiguous zones, and exclusive economic zones).These are the jurisdictional borders recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Airspace borders:

Airspace is the atmosphere located within a countries controlled international and maritime borders. Regulation and protection of air space comes under the international law of Air sovereignty. The horizontal boundaries of airspace are similar to the policies of "high seas" in maritime law. Airspace extends 12 nautical miles from the coast of a country. The vertical boundaries of airspace are not officially set or regulated internationally. However, there is a general agreement of vertical airspace ending at the point of the Kármán line.[14] The Kármán line is a peak point at the altitude of100 km above the earth's surface, setting a boundary between the earths atmosphere and outer space.[15] Airspace regulations differ by country and location. International Airspaces such as the Pacific Ocean are also controlled by some nations as per international agreements. 

Lines of Control:

line of control (LoC) refers to a militarized buffer border between two or more nations that is yet to be resolved or implemented for permanent border status. LoC borders are under military control and are not recognized as an official international border.

Border controls:

Border controls are measures taken by a country or a bloc of countries to monitor its bordersin order to regulate the movement of people, animals and goods.

Quarantine: Quarantine policies exist to control the spread of disease.

Customs: Each country has its own laws and regulations for the import and export of goods into and out of a country, which its customs authority enforces. A customs area is an area designated for storage of commercial goods that have not cleared border controls for customs purposes. Duty-free shops are Common at international airports and occasionally at seaports or land crossings, duty-free shops sell products tax-free to customers who have cleared exit border controls prior to boarding an international flight.

Border zones are areas near borders that have special restrictions on movement. Governments may forbid unauthorised entry to or exit from border zones and restrict property ownership in the area. The zones function as buffer zones specifically monitored by border patrols in order to prevent illegal entry or exit.

Immigration policy is the aspect of border control concerning the transit of people into a country, especially those that intend to stay and work in the country. Often, racial or religious bias is tied to immigration policy.

An international zone is a type of extraterritorial area not fully subject to any country’s border control policies. 

A border vista or boundary vista is a defined cleared space between two areas of foliage located at an international border intended to provide a clear demarcation line between the two areas along undefended international boundary lines, where border security is not as much of a necessity and a built barrier is undesired, and are a treaty requirement for certain borders. Eg- Canada–United States border.

An Electronic Travel Authorisation or Electronic Travel Authority is a kind of pre-arrival registration, which is not officially classified as a visa, required for foreign travellers to a country who normally do not require a visa under some circumstances.

Reasons for border disputes:

  • A state with malicious intent can willfully dispute border to trouble its neighbour country to hamper its progress and to derail its growth.

Last modified: Sunday, 27 October 2019, 1:37 PM