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Bordered Perspectives: Local Stakeholders' Views of Border Management in the Cascade Corridor Region

Donald Alper, Bryant Hammond

Abstract


Increased centralization of control on the Canada–United States (US) border in response to security concerns emanating from 9/11 has prompted a continuing debate about future border policy. Broad top-down strategies, responsive to the agendas of national security managers have been deployed. These strategies formulated by national authorities may be at odds with the requirements of border stakeholders and authorities who face unique circumstances in the borderlands. It is at this micro level where those closest to the border and most affected by its functioning have routinely engaged in complex bi-national interactions. These people, termed stakeholders in this study, are critically involved in a host of relationships across the border. Yet, knowledge of the attitudes and perspectives of border stakeholders is lacking. This paper's purpose is to examine Canadian and US border stakeholders' perspectives on the state of border management and how such perspectives can contribute to its improvement. Stakeholders and officials play critical roles in the decisions and implementation of border control at the local level, making such an examination important. The analysis is based on 46 long interviews with key stakeholders, equally divided between Canadians and Americans. Because current issues surrounding the Canada–United States border in the Cascade Corridor relate as much to local practice as to national policy, understanding the perspectives of those who are most involved with the border expands opportunities for problem-solving and improved management. Such understanding is vital to improving management practices and long-term security.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229

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