The “Thickening” of the US–Mexico Border: Prospects for Cross-Border Networking and Cooperation

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9 Scopus citations


This article examines the effects of national border policy on cooperation and networking among local organizations in the US–Mexico borderlands. Structural and organizational factors are considered in order to build a conceptual model that explains the development of collaborative relations between public and nonpublic entities in a border context. The model explores three research questions. What factors define border organizations' level of engagement in collaborative networks? What determines the resilience of an organization participating in these networks? How does change in national policy toward the border affect cross-border cooperation and networking? Survey data collected from a sample of local organizations in a section of the US–Mexico border region is used to validate the model. Then, it is argue that policies enacted after 9/11 are “thickening” the border by creating new barriers to cooperation and, ultimately, diluting a form of social capital that is important for the region's long-term development. The model provides analytical avenues for future research in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-264
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Borderlands Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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