"Lines and Flows: The Beginning and End of Borders"
By Alan Bersin - Belfer Lecture, Brooklyn Law School (as published in Brooklyn Journal of International Law)
The purpose and function of borders in world history has been and remains to delineate and demarcate—that is, to differentiate—one sovereignty from another. They are the juridical lines on a map, indicating the geographical place where imperial and/or national dominion begins and ends. These shift over time as a result of political and military developments, usually followed by legal recognition or acknowledgment expressed in one form or another. History tells the tale of these developments and shifts. Like laws, borders embody and reflect history’s results with the narrative left out. . . .