Frontiers and Boundaries are international political concepts that divide political territories and national jurisdictions.
Frontiers and Boundaries
The concept of Frontier is an older concept and it represent zone at the Periphery of the state which is the populated because of unfavourable physical condition. Most of the frontiers eventually have been demarcated as distinct lines and are called boundaries.
Frontiers have a sense of ambiguity and are not objectively define. But boundaries are more defined and develop only after a treaty. In our contemporary geopolitics, most frontiers have now become zones of conflict. because of which frontiers still have some relevance when countries cannot agree on the precise boundary. Frontiers continue to be relevant as on of the options in dispute resolution between countries.
Classification of boundaries
- Morphological boundaries
- The boundary is demarcated on the basis of some feature of the surface
- Physical feature - Rivers, Deserts Mountains
- Cultural features - Traditional ethnic and linguistic borders
- Most of such morphological boundaries are very old traditional boundaries but man-made boundaries can also include the ones that were demarcated on the basis of mutual treaties. Eg - the Macmohan line, the Radcliffe line, the Duronto line.
- The genetic classification of boundaries
- in 1936 Richard Hartshorne suggested types of boundaries on the basis on the origin of the boundaries
- They include
- Antecedent boundaries
- superimposed boundaries
- subsequent boundaries
- consequent boundaries
These are boundaries which were delimited much before the area was settled by people who established them. These are boundaries that came up in totally undeveloped territories and much before the clusters have developed across the boundaries. Antecedent boundaries are the most stable boundaries
- The 49th parallel between Canada and US.
- The German polish territory
- The Russia before World War across silesia River
Superimposed boundaries & Subsequent boundaries
These are boundaries that have come up after the culture and political histories of a place have developed and such boundaries are negotiated by political treaties or cease-fire lines and they cut across the uniformity of the cultural landscape. Super imposed boundaries are drawn why not considering the administrative divisions the boundaries of Africa are superimposed
Subsequent boundaries do follow some pre-existing administrative boundaries Indo Pak boundary Radcliffe line is an example of subsequent boundary
Both the boundaries are unstable and prone to conflicts
Such boundaries separate two distinct cultures that have first developed and established their identity but there after they acknowledge that some area between which has physical disability Can be converted into a boundary. Mountain regions are generally the favoured location of consequent boundary
Example - Pyrenees between Spain and France
Laws of boundaries
- Conventions for land boundaries
- Conventions for Sea boundaries
Conventions for land boundaries
Land boundaries are generally drawn on the basis of any of the above genetic types example forest mountain culture which has conflicts.
For physical features like
- For mountains, the crest line principle is followed.
- For rivers, the thalweg line or the median line principle is followed.
- In areas of conflicts that have actively participated in Wars, the ceasefire lines are converted into boundaries.
Conventions for Sea boundaries