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Roots of the Modern Interstate Border Dispute

Robert Mandel
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Sep., 1980), pp. 427-454
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/173640
Page Count: 28
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Roots of the Modern Interstate Border Dispute
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Abstract

Recently there has been a flare-up of several significant international border disputes. This study examines when these disputes are most likely to arise, when they will escalate into war, and when they will spread beyond the original national participants. Specifically, this article hypothesizes that the frequency of border disputes is highest between nations that have (1) roughly equal levels of power and (2) relatively low levels of technology; that the severity of these disputes is highest when there is (3) a low level of technology, (4) contention on ethnic rather than resource issues, and (5) a two-state rather than three-state "mutually-contiguous" set; and that the scope of these disputes is highest between nations that are (6) members of opposing blocs rather than the same bloc. Data on 66 border dispute cases during 1945-1974 confirm these hypotheses.

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