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Variegated borderlands governance in Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture along the China-Myanmar border

International borders and associated borderlands—especially as viewed at the national and international scales, and via regional and global-scale maps—are generally thought of as being primarily governed by national governments. In reality, however, national borders and associated borderlands are complex and varied spaces, ones that are governed not only through national laws and regulations, but also an array of policies and localized practices, both formal and informal, conceived and implemented by government agencies and other non-government entities operating at various scales. This is especially the case for the borderlands we are focusing on. In this article we conceptually apply Agnew’s idea of the ‘territorial trap’, Ong’s notion of ‘graduated sovereignty’, Laine’s conceptualization of the ‘multiscalar production of borders’, Amilhat Szary and Giraut’s concept of ‘borderity’, and Brambilla’s understanding of ‘borderscapes’ to consider the multiscalar and multi-sited nature of borderlands governance along the China-Myanmar border in Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. Focusing on the China side of the border, we emphasize how different scales of government agencies and non-government entities variously interact. Ultimately, these different actors create multiscalar borderscapes dependent on various situational factors, ones which are more complex than is typically acknowledged by national governments.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Land
  • Ministries and other national bodies
  • National government
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • China
  • Myanmar
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Accessible at:

Version / Edition 1.0
License unspecified

Ian G. Baird: Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 550 N. Park St., Madison, WI 53706, USA. Email: Li Cansong: School of Tourism and Geography, Yunnan Normal University, China. Email:

Co-author (individual) Ian Baird, Li Cansong
Publisher Geoforum
Publication date 2017
Pagination 11
General note

Geoforum 85 (2017) 214-224

Keywords boarderlands,boarder,Yunnan
Date uploaded August 19, 2017, 09:19 (UTC)
Date modified April 4, 2021, 14:08 (UTC)