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And typical policy responses to violence that rely on securitising or closing borders can paradoxically have detrimental effects for community security including undermining existing networks and community resilience.
‘Bringing in’ the view from the borderlands To incorporate the interests and concerns of borderlands and their communities – in either a national peace process or a sub-national process in a border region – peacebuilding policy and practice must grapple with various dimensions of borderland dynamics, the four most important of which are outlined below.
In association with the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford, the Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, Oslo, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF), Oslo and the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sandöverken.
With additional support from the British Academy, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE), Vienna, and the Public Diplomacy Division, NATO, Brussels.
Even when the abovementioned dynamics can be navigated, a core challenge for peacebuilding is that the introduction and inclusion of new interests inevitably challenges existing political arrangements, prompting resistance from power-holders.
‘Bringing in’ the borderlands can have multiple destabilising effects: there may be resistance to communities historically viewed as subversive now shaping national identities or being given political or socio-economic power, and new forms of insecurity may arise from efforts to integrate border regions back into the state.
For example, in Nepal pressure to ensure formal inclusion of marginalised groups including the Madhes from the borderland Terai region, but also other marginalised groups such as Janajtis and women, has been met with resistance.