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Borderlands and Political Settlements


This work strand explores the ‘lived’ political settlement experienced at border areas in contexts in conflict or emerging from conflict. Border areas are often ‘ungoverned’, marginalised spaces and may be sites for securitisation during and post-conflict. The work explores how the priorities of those living in border regions relate to central state-building projects, and understand how particular interests affect the security, economic, and political activity of border populations. It includes looking beyond state-delineated borders to understand cross-border relations as more immediate sources of economic and social security. In contrast to political economy analysis, the work explores how bargaining processes are shaped as much by local understandings of legitimacy and authority as by the provision or denial of material resources, mediated through particular institutional arrangements.


This project worked with local partners to document and illustrate case studies in three different borderland settings, drawing on Conciliation Resources’ project work in West, East and Central Africa. The research model used in Nepal/Afghanistan research was followed, including: joint stakeholder analysis workshops; first hand documentation of the three case studies; and final production and dissemination of the Borderlands Accord issue.


This project is important to addressing the relationship between national, sub-national and regional conflicts and political settlements, complementing the analysis from Project 5.3 on Ethiopia/Ogaden.


Jonathan Cohen, Zahbia Yousuf, and Alexander Ramsbottom (Conciliation Resources)


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Photo: Martina Bacigalupo/Vu

Details :
  • Author : Harriet Cornell
  • Category : Case Studies, Comparative, Ethiopia-Ogaden
  • Date : July 16, 2015
  • Tags : Borderlands