Key Findings: Borderlands
Despite growing interest in inclusive peacebuilding, responses to borderland instability tend to prioritise security, overlooking historical processes of marginalisation or complex cross-border political, economic and social interdependencies (Plonski and Yousuf, 2018).
These securitised responses, which are often built on mainstream policy’s assumption that peace and development is built from the centre, may exacerbate marginalisation and exclusion of borderland communities (Plonski and Yousuf, 2017).
Balancing inclusion of borderland interests and communities with the stabilisation priorities of states is a core challenge for interventions (Plonski and Yousuf, 2017).
Research by Plonski and Yousuf (2018) finds that the strategic location of borderlands means they can be important for accessing regional economic markets, facilitating trade flows and shaping diplomatic relations and national security, and thus play a key part in efforts towards peaceful change.
Analytical frameworks focused on borderlands, political settlements and inclusion can help better understanding of the margins and support more effective and inclusive peacebuilding policy and practice (Plonski and Yousuf, 2017).
PSRP research finds that there is a need for a detailed and precise typology of the violence that finds place in the borderlands in order to support the development of early warning systems and preventive options (Plonski and Yousuf, 2017).
There is also a need for a thorough understanding of who exercises authority and through what structures in borderlands, as these places are often areas of highly contested authority and hybrid governance structures (Plonski and Yousuf, 2017).
Much of the need for increased awareness and knowledge of borderland communities roots in the acute challenge to accessing information on borderlands for researchers, policymakers and others. This challenge requires innovative methodologies such as spatial mapping of data and comic strips (Plonski and Yousuf, 2017).