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Managing International Borders: Balancing Security with the Licit Flow of People and Goods

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Technical Report

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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National borders represent the geographic boundaries of a nation and define the territory where governments exercise legal jurisdiction over the structures, actions, and people that reside within the boundaries. The term border is often associated with a boundary established to control and, in some cases, to prevent the flow of people, goods, and services into a country. Hence, borders are frequently associated with establishing a security perimeter for controlling entry into the territory of a sovereign nation. This Perspective takes a more expansive view of borders, introducing the concept of border management, which creates a balance between security and the licit flow of people and goods. This concept rests on the understanding that a tension exists between the need to prevent undesirable people and goods from crossing borders and the economic vitality that a country gains through trade and travel. Building on the concept of border management, this Perspective proposes opportunities to strengthen security while simultaneously improving the flow of licit travelers and goods through national policies, programs, regulations, and activities.

Subject Categories:

  • Civil Defense
  • Civil Defense

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