Crossing borders despite conflict : The role of communication routes
Abstract: Can cross-border interaction: interpersonal, economic, and otherwise, help ease relations between neighbouring political entities facing conflicts of interest and other differences? 1. How and why are border crossing communication routes created and maintained? 2. Under what circumstances are they used and how? 3. In what ways do they alter the conditions of a conflict between the parties that they link? 4. How do governments relate to the communication route and in what ways do they fit it into their policies? Seeking to reconcile the theories of the international system advanced by Hedley Bull and John W. Burton, we conduct a comparative case study, based on contemporary media and scholarship, of the situations regarding Senegal and the Gambia, as well as the two de facto (if not de jure) republics of Cyprus to answer these questions. Having sought to estimate the causes and effects of border crossing, we find that host factors, in particular divergent economies and the utilization of international partners, may in fact come to stem from the issues of border-crossing activity and contribute to complicating existing conflicts rather than resolve them.
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