E.g., 06/17/2024
E.g., 06/17/2024
Managing Borders in an Increasingly Borderless World
Cover ManagingBorders
Page Length 
Migration Policy Institute

This volume showcases approaches toward border management in Europe, Central America, and North America, and reflects on the challenges that countries in these regions face in managing their borders.

In an ideal world, secure borders would ensure that wanted movements—such as legal goods, tourists, students, and business people—can flow unimpeded across borders, while unwanted movements—such as terrorists, drugs, weapons, and unauthorized migrants—are blocked. Given that there is no single policy tool that alone can achieve this result, governments must deploy an elusive “alchemy” of policies and programs, depending on the context. The many challenges to securing borders are complicated by the underlying paradox that fortified borders inherently attract smugglers. As long as there is demand to cross, there will be people who profit by evading border controls and facilitating this movement.

In Europe, the central challenge lies in the need for Member States to balance their national interests with those of greater regional cooperation. However, northern and southern Member States disagree on the terms of equitable burden-sharing. Meanwhile attempts to manage the border in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) are complicated by widespread corruption, weak institutions, and a coordination gap between relevant agencies and national and local governments across and within countries. In North America, all three countries have struggled to fortify the border post-9/11, including instituting new technology, which has brought with it an amalgam of challenges and controversies. Exacerbating these challenges, policymakers are operating in a politicized world where practical and economic considerations are subsumed by political calculations.

This volume, edited by Randall Hansen of the University of Toronto and MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou, brings together perspectives from both sides of the Atlantic on what border security means in practice, the challenges that continue to evade policymakers, and what policies have been the most (and least) successful in achieving “secure” borders. While border management contexts vary throughout the world, they share at least one commonality: at the core, strong states and institutions are fundamental to secure borders.

Table of Contents 

     Randall Hansen and Demetrios G. Papademetriou

Chapter 1: Securing Borders: The Intended, Unintended, and Perverse Consequences
     Randall Hansen and Demetrios G. Papademetriou

Chapter 2: Challenges to the Common European Asylum System: The Dublin Rules Under Judicial Pressure
     Kay Hailbronner

Chapter 3: Border Insecurity in Central America’s Northern Triangle
     Ralph Espach and Daniel Haering

Chapter 4: Human Smuggling and Trafficking into Europe: A Comparative Perspective
     Louise Shelley

Chapter 5: North America’s Borders: Finding the Future
     Brian Grant and Christopher Sands

Chapter 6: Faltering Schengen Cooperation? The Challenges to Maintaining a Stable System
     Elizabeth Collett