Borders matter

One of the cen­tral con­tentions of my book Glob­al Trade Advo­cate is that bor­ders have grown in impor­tance as a con­se­quence of the eco­nom­ic process­es accom­pa­ny­ing the appar­ent­ly bor­der-eras­ing process of glob­al­iza­tion. Here’s con­fir­ma­tion from the CIA

Some­thing there is that loves a wall, per­haps. But the rea­sons are not always that admirable.

Stretch­ing over 250,000 km, the world’s 325 inter­na­tion­al land bound­aries sep­a­rate the 192 inde­pen­dent states and 73 depen­den­cies, areas of spe­cial sov­er­eign­ty, and oth­er mis­cel­la­neous enti­ties.  Eth­nic­i­ty, cul­ture, race, reli­gion, and lan­guage have divid­ed states into sep­a­rate polit­i­cal enti­ties as much as his­to­ry, phys­i­cal ter­rain, polit­i­cal fiat, or con­quest, result­ing in some­times arbi­trary and imposed bound­aries. Mar­itime states have claimed lim­its and have so far estab­lished over 130 mar­itime bound­aries and joint devel­op­ment zones to allo­cate ocean resources and to pro­vide for nation­al secu­ri­ty at sea … Oth­er sources of con­tention include access to water and min­er­al (espe­cial­ly petro­le­um) resources, fish­eries, and arable land … Region­al dis­cord direct­ly affects the sus­te­nance and wel­fare of local pop­u­la­tions, often leav­ing the world com­mu­ni­ty to cope with resul­tant refugees, hunger, dis­ease, impov­er­ish­ment, defor­esta­tion, and deser­ti­fi­ca­tion” CIA World Fact­book

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