Border Management

Border Management

Border management is a vital government function that helps guarantee the safety of a country. Border management involves different actions to regulate, guard, and control the border. Different agencies can be involved, and various measures can be taken. The increase in globalization has resulted in the increased movement of goods and people. Borders serve as “choke points,” and through these areas, the departure and arrival of different people can be monitored. For effective management, different practices have been developed over the years to ensure the safety of citizens. One major way is through the development of joint task forces where nations choose to collaborate and work in unison to combat terrorist activities within and outside these borders.

One way border management helps reduce terrorism is through strengthening external border controls. Countries that face insecurity threats may choose to work on initiatives that involve sharing intelligence and conducting cross-border operations under a united front to ensure border security. Countries choosing to work together make managing the border more manageable since trust is garnered and resources are utilized efficiently. In West Africa, the states of Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, and Burkina Faso decided to form the Accra initiative in September of 2017(Aubyn & Kofi, 2021). The initiative sought to prevent the terrorism spillover from the region of the Sahel since insecurity had tremendously increased in the region. The initiative also addressed challenges relating to transnational forms of organized crime and extremism among the countries’ border regions. The initiative helped reduce the suspicions these states had of each other and allowed for forming a joint military response.

Following the attack on the twin towers on the 11th of September, 2001, the heads of state of the European Union decided to implement reinforcement controls within their external borders. Following this, the Frontex was developed, an agency focused on various forms of cross-border crimes like terrorism (Schmid, 2020). Other tasks for the agency included conducting risk analyses, establishing standards of training, surveilling external borders, and offering operational assistance in borders when required. The agency has been successful, and its activities have been complemented by developing the novel European Border Surveillance System. The system aims to promote unity among member states and strengthen external border controls.

Border management also helps reduce terrorism through systems that allow for easier terrorist identification at the borders. In the West Africa region, the increased presence of armed groups has necessitated the development of processes to identify, detect and intercept terrorists, including foreign terrorists and other criminals. As part of border management, the procedures for collecting and processing Passenger Name Records (PNR) and Advance Passenger Information (PAI) allow for the prevention of travel by terrorists and thus allow for limiting the spread of terrorist activities. By analyzing these records, high-risk individuals can be identified and controlled.

In Europe, improving the security of identity documents is an essential feature of border management. Responding to the 9/11 attacks, the EU, as part of border management, developed standards for biometrics and security features for travel documents and passports for citizens of member states. This standard was pushed by the need to establish harmonized security standards for improved protection against the falsification of documents and to ensure that biometric features were integrated into travel documents. Through the development of a uniform system, member states can increase their cooperation and improve security on matters concerning visa and travel documents. Other actions include developing systems to identify forged documents due to increased travel document abuse. This helps to address fraud and limit the unsolicited exchange of information.

Another way that border management deals with a crime is by carefully examining goods entering or leaving the country; screening technologies are utilized to control the flow of illegal products. Experts are used to assessing such activities and provide intelligence and information technology to ensure effective screening processes. According to Bartless & Beamish, globalization has increased international trade. Such agencies are a necessity since they allow for monitoring the glow of services and goods across border points. Through monitoring, the risk of entry of illegal goods is reduced. Various conventions support the monitoring and examining of goods, one being the United States Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Under the convention, conducting illegal trade in seas and oceans is prohibited.

Border management also plays an essential role in strengthening information exchange across borders. Border management also entails the management of data concerning criminal elements. Following 9/11, European nations established new databases for different information categories. In the same way, they increased the functionalities of the databases that were pre-existing. Databases such as the Visa Information System (VIS) allow for coordinating visa policies. The system helps fight terrorism by ensuring that individuals suspected of conducting terrorism do not get access to a visa. In the same way, such a system allows agencies to have a central point where data on terrorists and criminals could be obtained. Other activities include the development of terrorist profiles through which criminals could be identified. These profiles are developed through an inclusion criterion that defines different variables such as their sex, age, psycho-sociological features, and other physically distinguishing features.

Border management is a tricky affair and involves conducting numerous operations to ensure safety. In West Africa, terrorism has been a reoccurring threat; as such, countries in this region implemented the Accra initiative, which aims to conduct cross-border operations to ensure security. In the European region, new systems and mechanisms for border management were developed following 911. Border management helps reduce terrorism mainly through the conducting of joint operations, the sharing of intelligence, the development of databases, and the creation of more potent security documents. Border management is a critical security component as it allows for human development, security, and mobility and overall helps counter-terrorism.


Aubyn, F. K. (2021). The Risk of Violent Extremism and Terrorism in The Coastal States of West Africa: Assessing Ghana’s Vulnerabilities, Resilience and Responses. Conflict Trends2021(3), 14-21.

Bartlett, C. A., & Beamish, P. W. (2018). Transnational Management: Text and Cases in Cross-border Management. Cambridge University Press.

Schmid, A. P. (Ed.). (2020). Handbook of Terrorism Prevention and Preparedness. International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT).

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