Special Event: Book Launch | Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War


Monday, November 4, 2019, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S030

"Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War"


Annette Idler, Visiting Scholar, Weatherhead Scholars Program. Director of Studies, Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.


Robert Bates, Faculty Associate (emeritus). Eaton Research Professor of the Science of Government, Emeritus, Department of Government; Professor of African and African American Studies, Emeritus, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.


Jacqueline Bhabha, Faculty Associate. Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Department of Global Health and Population; Director of Research, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School.


Kathleen Molony

Reception to follow main event.


Annette Idler will discuss the findings of her timely new book, Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War, published by Oxford University Press in 2019. The post-cold war era has seen an unmistakable trend toward the proliferation of violent non-state groups-variously labeled terrorists, rebels, paramilitaries, gangs, and criminals-near borders in unstable regions especially. Applying a "borderland lens" to security dynamics, in Borderland Battles, Annette Idler examines the micro-dynamics among violent non-state groups and finds striking patterns: borderland spaces consistently intensify the security impacts of how these groups compete for territorial control, cooperate in illicit cross-border activities, and replace the state in exerting governance functions. Drawing on extensive fieldwork with more than 600 interviews in and on the shared borderlands of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, where conflict is ripe and crime thriving, Idler reveals how dynamic interactions among violent non-state groups produce a complex security landscape with ramifications for order and governance, both locally and beyond.


Dr. Annette Idler is Visiting Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. She is also the Director of Studies of the Changing Character of War Centre, as well as Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.