Asian borderlands in a global perspective
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is concerned with border situations that, while being contested, are at the same time taken for granted when used to make claims about identity, belonging, and the neighbours across the border, or the duties of the state. It suggests a classification of borderlands into four types – alienated, coexistent, interdependent, and integrated – according to the relations between nation states and the respective restrictions on cross-border interaction. The book addresses the ideological and practical power of the Free Burma Rangers, an American evangelical organization working clandestinely in Burma, vis-a-vis the generalized morality of humanitarian organizations like Medecins Sans Frontieres. It describes a different kind of border mobility: enclaves at the India–Bangladesh border that, after decades, saw their precarious administrative status settled. The book looks at cases of agrarian transformation and changes in the use of forests in the borderlands of Asia.