Conceptualizing Border Regions and Explaining the Shaping Parameters

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Political Geography, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.

2 M.A Student of Political Geography, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Extended Abstract
Transformation and dynamics in different scientific concepts are one of the main factors in science development. In the meantime, the field of cross-border studies, which is one of the major areas studied in the field of political geography and other related fields such as political science, international relations, etc., is no exception and the movement and dynamics caused introduction of new concepts or highlighting or diminishing of concepts, redefinition etc. in this field of study according to changes and developments. Understanding these changes in the field of frontier studies and in any other field is a matter of scientific necessity, though there are numerous shortcomings and deficiencies in this area. One of the concepts in the field of border studies is the concept of border area. The present study attempts to analyze this important issue as far as possible and to provide more understandable conceptualization and acceptable parameters for the border region.
The present study is applied and the method of study is descriptive-analytic. In the present study, it has been attempted to recognize the concept of boundary zone and to identify and analyze its shaping parameters for future studies. For this purpose, by referring to library data (books, articles and journals related to the subject), the conceptualization of the boundary zone has been investigated and in the second step the parameters affecting the concept of boundary zone have been summarized in 8 dimensions (defense-security, legal-structural, actors, historical, political-sovereign, cultural-social, economic, territorial), and in order to prioritize the criteria and sub- ANP Hierarchical Analysis Model is used.
Results and Findings
Border regions are one of the strategic points of each country, with increasing emphasis on the interplay between actors and geographical linkages. Since there is no single definition of border area and most people confuse the concept of border area with the border line, the first step of the research is to try to conceptualize the border area correctly. In simple terms, the border area is the immediate geographical space of the border varying extent that is directly affected by the borders. It should be noted that the width of the border areas varies or decreases depending on the condition and performance of the borders and the surrounding environment. In general, however, with the increasing impact of border area through developments in various technologies and the expansion of the field of goods and human mobility increases, because these changes expand direct impacts and geographic spaces across borders.
Conclusions and Suggestions
From parameters that form the border area from the views and theories related to the border areas, 32 parameters extracted for better understanding and are classified into 8 dimensions. Then, in order to prioritize the effective parameters in forming border areas, ANP method is used. The prioritization results indicated that the defense-security dimension is more important than any other dimension in shaping the border region. The most important parameters of each dimension are as follows: having a natural link with the cross-border in the territorial dimension, low investment in the region (for security reasons, etc.) in the economic dimension, having an ethnic link with the cross-border in the socio-cultural dimension, the influence of communication policy towards the bordering country in the political-sovereignty dimension, with historical links beyond the historical dimension, the interplay of actors, an agreed-upon and legal area of ​​legal-structural dimension, and finally being at the forefront of attack and war later. Defense-security is the most effective parameters in shaping the border region


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Volume 17, Issue 63
July 2021
Pages 116-141
  • Receive Date: 03 April 2020
  • Revise Date: 19 May 2020
  • Accept Date: 07 July 2020
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2021