• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Borderlands

  • By: Peter Meserve
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term border, although still used as a synonym for boundary, implies interaction and passage between political regions (primarily states). Even though nearly all international boundaries regulate—if not restrict—the passage of people, goods, and communications, a boundary cannot erase the common concerns of bordering populations. Those areas whose populations are most strongly affected by boundaries are termed borderlands (or border regions). Borderlands exist because families, ethnic groups, businesses, and social networks straddling the boundary gain from overcoming political segregation.

The dimensions of borderlands are rarely defined because regions are determined by the degree of interaction and are therefore both in flux and indefinite. When governments specify a borderlands region, as the United States and Mexico did in the 1983 La Paz Agreement, it is for administrative ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles