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XCEPT’s Peripheral Vision Podcast: Trade Disruptions and Instability in Fragile Border Areas

Program Year: 2024

In Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, conflict and instability endure in contested border regions where local tensions connect with regional and global dynamics. The Asia Foundation, the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, the Rift Valley Institute, and their local research partners established the X-Border Local Research Network in 2018 to develop a better global understanding of political, economic, and social dynamics in conflict-affected borderlands. The FCDO-funded program produces research to inform more effective policymaking and programming interventions in these areas.

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Landi Kotal Bazar, Pakistan, on the western edge of the Khyber Pass. (Photo: Verso Consulting)

Peripheral Vision: Views from the Borderlands is the XCEPT program’s biannual news bulletin, exploring new and emerging issues across our focus regions. Podcast episodes and postings in the bulletin often explore conflicts arising around fragile or contested borders and the knock-on effects that impact local, national, and regional economies, as well as relationships between state and nonstate actors.


Jamrud Bazar in Pakistan, situated near the Khyber Pass entrance. (Photo: Verso Consulting)

XCEPT’s most recent podcast, Trade Disruptions and Instability in Fragile Border Areas, discusses disruptions in several regions with the program’s research partners. In Syria, our research partner, Kheder Khaddour, looks at the northern region, where the border with Türkiye represents a lifeline for the millions of people displaced by the Syrian civil war. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, Azeema Cheema studies the shifting relationship between authorities since the Taliban’s takeover and the effect on trade and migration policies at their shared border. Our researcher, Ahmed Musa, also explains the conflict in Las Anod, a major trading hub in the Horn of Africa, destabilized by competing actors vying for influence.

Listen to XCEPT’s Peripheral Vision podcast: 

Disclaimer: The opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the partner organizations or the UK government.

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