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This chapter examines links between European peaceful borders and the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows. We refer to the European “internal” borders since the implementation of the Schengen Agreement in 1995, the Southeastern European borders (regarding the Western Balkans/former Yugoslavia) since the end of the Bosnian War in 1995, and the borders between the EU and its Western Balkan neighbors. We assess the softening and the complete opening of the internal borders among the twenty-six Schengen countries in contrast to external border control, as related to the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows. The two major European concerns in the last two decades are illegal migration and transnational crime, including drug trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, arms trafficking, and terrorism. Harmonization of internal border controls has abolished the logic of jurisdictional arbitrage. Moreover, peaceful borders that are “hard” between the EU and its Southern and Eastern neighbors remain more controlled, though that it is not necessarily an obstacle for the occurrence of illicit transnational flows.
Here we have four case studies from North America, Central America, and South America to assess the links between peaceful borders and the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows. All the borders involved are peaceful with important variation across the cases in terms of historical background and trajectories. First, we study the North American Borders (US-Canada and US-Mexico), especially in the period since the establishment of NAFTA in 1994. Second comes the Northern Triangle of Central America, which includes the borders of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras since the end of the civil wars in the early 1990s. Third, we turn to the Colombian borders with Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, with a particular focus on the last twenty years that witnessed the tensions between Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, and the long civil war that involved Colombia and the FARC until 2016. Finally, we analyze the Tri-Border Area of the Southern Cone of South America, which includes the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, especially since the establishment of MERCOSUR in 1991.
In this chapter, we examine what we call the triangle of peace in the Middle East, with reference to the peaceful international borders established upon the completion of peace treaties between Egypt and Israel on March 26, 1979, and between Israel and Jordan on October 26, 1994. In both cases, we show that international peace, especially in the case of Israel-Egypt, has been a permissive condition for the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows, including transnational crime and terrorism. Yet, we explain the variance between the two cases with reference to the three variables assessed throughout the book: the degree of physical and institutional openness of the peaceful borders; the degree of governance and institutional strength of the bordering states; and the prevalent socioeconomic conditions of the neighboring states. The Egyptian-Israeli case has registered significant instances of transnational crime and terrorism, whereas the Israeli-Jordanian dyad is almost a non-case, except for drugs trafficking. Their variance is explained in geopolitical terms, governance, the presence or absence of buffer zones, and the dominance of the security discourse.
In this introductory chapter, we provide an initial examination of the linkages between peaceful borders and the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows. We refer to several empirical examples, including the cases of the Northern Triangle in Central America, the Tri-Border Area of the Southern Cone of South America, the Colombian borders, and the Schengen open regime in Europe. In addition, we refer to the existing scholarship by clarifying several key concepts, stemming from five different bodies of literature: international peace, globalization, international borders, governance and “areas of limited statehood,” and the phenomena of transnational criminal organizations and terrorism.
In this chapter, we examine the links between peaceful borders among the Southeast Asian countries and the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows, especially with regard to drug trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, and arms trafficking. Southeast Asia is the most stable and peaceful among the Asian regions. Regional peace in the Southeast Asian region, especially after 1991, has contributed to its phenomenal economic growth and development, which, in turn, has led to higher levels of integration. At the same time, expanding economic and infrastructure links around region have also facilitated the occurrence of illicit transnational flows, including transnational organized crime and terrorism. The issue of transnational crime addresses the question of national sovereignty. On the one hand, illicit transnational flows pose a threat to the national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of independent states. On the other hand, effective cooperation in combating transnational crime and terrorism requires a political decision by national governments to surrender some parts and pieces of their sovereignty. In this sense, the Southeast Asian countries have traditionally been strong defenders of the sanctity of national sovereignty and nonintervention.
In this concluding chapter, we delineate theoretical insights drawn from relevant comparisons among the case studies and suggest policy recommendations. Specifically, we reassess the three hypotheses, identify and map relevant patterns from the different case studies across several regions of the world, offer several policy recommendations based on these patterns, and draw some general conclusions. In addition to the observable patterns as related to type of borders, political and institutional arrangements, and political economy, in the perusal of the eleven case studies we identified two additional elements that further explain the reality of peaceful borders and illicit transnational flows: the geopolitical location of regions and subregions, as hubs for transnational illicit flows; and the legacy of civil and intermestic wars. In the last part of the chapter, we suggest several policy recommendations: (1) be aware of the normative dilemmas of human security; (2) increase cooperation and develop effective mechanisms of governance at all the possible levels; and (3) promote and prefer peace rather than war, but be aware of its potential unintended consequences.
In this chapter, we discuss the Western Hemisphere (the Americas), as a continent of peace. Whereas all the international borders in the Americas are peaceful, there is an important variation in terms of the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows across its borderlands. We assess the thirty-six land borders in the Americas, testing the three hypotheses developed in Chapter 2. We examine the general background of Latin America, including the Latin American movement toward regionalism, the persistence of traditional conflicts in the region, the role of the United States vis-a-vis Latin America, security initiatives of Latin American countries, the new security threats and the persistence of ungoverned spaces in the Americas. Moreover, we assess the reality of transnational crime in the Americas, by referring to drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking and human smuggling. The second half of the chapter explains the reality of peaceful bordes and illicit transnational flows in the Americas, by presenting and testing the relevant data. In general terms, we corroborate the three hypotheses.
In this chapter, we introduce our theoretical framework, which delineates alternative answers to the research question concerning the conditions under which peaceful borders might enable the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows. To answer this question, we assume that international peace and globalization act as permissive conditions that provide the general context for the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows across peaceful borders as parameters. At the same time, we explain the variation in the nature, occurrence, quality, and quantity of these illicit transnational flows according to three variables: (1) the degree of physical and institutional openness of the peaceful borders; (2) the degree of governance, institutional strength, and political willingness of the neighboring states; and (3) the prevalent socioeconomic conditions of the neighboring states, with reference to the regional economic characteristics of the borderlands. In addition, we discuss the methodology and introduce the case studies that illustrate and test the theoretical argument.
In this chapter, we assess the links between the peaceful borders of the Southern African countries and the occurrence and proliferation of illicit transnational flows. Peace broke out in Southern Africa following the end of the regional and civil wars involving South Africa and its neighbors, and especially the domestic peaceful change that took place in South Africa in 1994, ending the apartheid regime and leading to the normalization of relations between South Africa and its neighbors. The threat of interstate warfare and violence in the SADC region has receded in the last twenty years, as the region has experienced a significant transition from war to stable peace. At the same time, in the aftermath of peace and integration, open and porous peaceful borders among the Southern African countries have enabled the occurrence and proliferation of both licit and illicit flows.
Scholars of international relations generally consider that under conditions of violent conflict and war, smuggling and trans-border crime are likely to thrive. In contrast, this book argues that in fact it is globalisation and peaceful borders that have enabled transnational illicit flows conducted by violent non-state actors, including transnational criminal organizations, drug trafficking organizations, and terrorist cells, who exploit the looseness and demilitarization of borderlands. Empirically, the book draws on case studies from the Americas, compared with other regions of the world experiencing similar phenomena, including the European Union and Southeast Europe (the Western Balkans), Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. To explain the phenomenon in itself, the authors examine the type of peaceful borders and regimes involved in each case; how strong each country is in the governance of their borderlands; their political willingness to control their peaceful borders; and the prevailing socio-economic conditions across the borderlands.
To identify factors associated with distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions.
An online survey was administered to physicians licensed in New York State.
Of the 164 physicians studied, 20.7% experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. The mean distress score was not significantly different between physicians who received just-in-time training and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.7 vs 6.2 ± 2.8, P=0.550) and between physicians who received clinical guidelines and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.9 vs 6.2 ± 2.7, P=0.820). Substantially increased odds of severe distress were found in physicians who reported that their first COVID-19 triage decisions were inconsistent with their core values (adjusted odds ratio 6.33, 95% confidence interval 2.03-19.76) and who reported having insufficient skills and expertise (adjusted odds ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91-9.87).
About 1 in 5 physicians in New York experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. Physicians with insufficient skills and expertise, and core values misaligned to triage decisions are at heightened risk of severe distress. Just-in-time training and clinical guidelines do not appear to alleviate distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions.
In this retrospective cohort study of patients presenting to a national direct-to-consumer medical practice, we found that provider geographic location is a stronger driver of antibiotic prescribing than patient location. Physicians in the Northeast and South are significantly more likely than physicians in the West to prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory infection and bronchitis.
To assess the potential for contamination of personnel, patients, and the environment during use of contaminated N95 respirators and to compare the effectiveness of interventions to reduce contamination.
Simulation study of patient care interactions using N95 respirators contaminated with a higher and lower inocula of the benign virus bacteriophage MS2.
In total, 12 healthcare personnel performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins including (1) control with suboptimal respirator handling technique, (2) improved technique with glove change after each N95 contact, and (3) control with 1-minute ultraviolet-C light (UV-C) treatment prior to donning. The order of the examinations was randomized within each subject. The frequencies of contamination were compared among groups. Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion were used to assess routes of transfer leading to contamination.
With suboptimal respirator handling technique, bacteriophage MS2 was frequently transferred to the participants, mannequin, and environmental surfaces and fomites. Improved technique resulted in significantly reduced transfer of MS2 in the higher inoculum simulations (P < .01), whereas UV-C treatment reduced transfer in both the higher- and lower-inoculum simulations (P < .01). Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion demonstrated multiple potential routes of transfer to participants, mannequin, and surfaces, including both direct contact with the contaminated respirator and indirect contact via contaminated gloves.
Reuse of contaminated N95 respirators can result in contamination of personnel and the environment even when correct technique is used. Decontamination technologies, such as UV-C, could reduce the risk for transmission.