"Understanding Life in the Borderlands offers everything an edited volume should have and almost never does—thesis, conversation among authors, sparkling case studies, and brilliant theoretical analysis. In the hands of the book's contributors, Zartman's model of borderlands as dynamic social processes, where the intractable complexities of life and the ingenuities of people meet the rigidities of sharp political boundaries, offers an exciting, multidisciplinary advance in our understanding of the relationships between places and spaces."
—Ian S. Lustick, author of Unsettled States, Disputed Lands
"An imaginative tour de force, tour du monde, and tour du temps that brings together multiple strands of scholarship covering four millennia and four continents to help us understand the nature and impact of our globalized condition. Today, all lands are borderlands."
These essays highlight three defining features of border areas: borderlanders constitute an experiential and culturally identifiable unit; borderlands are characterized by constant movement (in time, space, and activity); and in their mobility, borderlands always prepare for the next move at the same time that they respond to the last one. The ten case studies presented range over four millennia and provide windows for observing the dynamics of life in borderlands. They also have policy relevance, especially in creating an awareness of borderlands as dynamic social spheres and of the need to anticipate the changes that given policies will engender—changes that will in turn require their own solutions. Contrary to what one would expect in this age of globalization, says Zartman, borderlands maintain their own dynamics and identities and indeed spread beyond the fringes of the border and reach deep into the hinterland itself.
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