Border Security


The ‘Border Security and Control’ is an important function of ‘State Sovereignty’. “Sovereignty of state is one of the key feature of the Westphalian order.”1 It is also accepted as the supreme legitimate authority within the territorial boundaries of the state.2 ...

Dr. Shahid A. HASHMAT
National Defence University, Pakistan


The ‘Border Security and Control’ is an important function of ‘State Sovereignty’. “Sovereignty of state is one of the key feature of the Westphalian order.“1 It is also accepted as the supreme legitimate authority within the territorial boundaries of the state.2 State sovereignty has two dimensions; political independence and equality on one hand and domestic and international on the other. Border security ensures that no person(s) or goods are allowed to enter into territorial borders, including its territorial waters without the official permission of the respective state(s). In order to ensure this states follow their domestic laws, while remaining within the limits of international law and respecting their international obligations. Over a period of time, many bilateral, multi-lateral agreements and international regimes conventions have been developed to exercise effective control and to regulate movement of individuals and goods and services.

1. State Sovereignty and Border Security

The international dimension of the ‘Sovereignty’ deals with the concept of legal equality of the state and its responsibility towards fulfilling her international commitments and obligations. The domestic aspect of ‘Sovereignty’ grant a state the authority of make domestic laws in order to ensure independence of the state and to provide protection to its citizens from internal disturbances and external aggression. An effective border control is an essential tool available to any state to ensure safety and security of its people and territory.

2. Linkage between Global Security and National Border Security The study of issues pertaining to national security and its connection with global / international security has always been of great interest to scholars of international relations. In fact, during the post-World War II, international relations have been dominated by strategic studies and international security studies. Moreover, “the process commonly referred as globalization has led to internal political issues increasingly externalized and external political issues becoming increasingly internalized.“3 Traditionally, military threat to a state was of main concern as regards national security but gradually many forms of threat such as economic threat, illegal immigration, human, drug and weapon trafficking, environmental degradation, and global warming have also emerged as verity of threats to national security. On top of that, during last two/three decades, terrorism has emerged as a major threat to national security. Thus, the demand for greater control over national borders. The second half of Twentieth century had witnessed emergence of many regional economic and political cooperation blocks, such as EU, NAFTA, ECOWAS, and ASEAN etc., which liberalized the movement of people, goods, services and financial transactions across the world. However, later developments pertaining to numerous terrorist attacks in various parts of the world have forced all such provisions to be placed under strict scrutiny. Therefore, Global security stands linked with national security, which in many ways depended on effective border security. As most of the terrorists are operating beyond their national borders and proxy wars by big powers encourage their transnational activities, it is imperative to adopt regional and global approach towards ensuring border security and thus contributing to global peace and security.

3. Importance of Effective Border Security and Border Control

As mentioned above, Border Security and Control’ is an essential function of a state. As any state is obliged to protect her borders (territory) against external enemy, it is equally responsible to ensure that the security at her borders is not compromised / breached to allow illegal immigration, human/drug/ weapons trafficking, cross border terrorism, smuggling etc. Such measure are important both from international and national perspectives. Purely from national perspective, border control is extremely important to keep a country safe from numerous crimes and internal security threat. In the contemporary context, the border control assumes greater importance as for as national strategies against regional / global terrorism and extremists are concerned. In some regions of the world, such as Middle East, North Africa and Europe, the issue of large scale influx of refugees, in view of constantly deteriorating humanitar ian conditions in different global conflict zones, is posing serious challenges for an effective border control vis a vis humanitarian considerations. Therefore, it is important to consider border control and as essential component of border security.

It is taken from TASAM Publishing's book named "Change in State Nature: Boundaries of Security".
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Africa 65 135
Asia 75 208
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Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
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Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
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Turkey 48 197

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