Nothing serves to remind us of the instability of the "globalised" order as much as the continuing power of territorial boundaries to spawn political and humanitarian crises. Although it might seem that in this important respect the modern world has made little progress, the work of Gerald Blake continues to prove that peaceful resolution of problems associated with international boundaries can be attained.
Long recognized as the leading authority in the field of political geography with several definitive works to his credit, Gerald Blake has been active since the 1980s as an advisor to governments, business firms, and legal tribunals on boundary delimitation issues. The organisation he founded, the International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU) at the University of Durham, has played a major role in resolving numerous boundary issues in the Middle East, East Asia, and Africa, especially through its hands-on technical training workshops for government officials charged with negotiating or managing international boundaries.
This festschrift by thirty of his colleagues and former students reflects the topics and regional preoccupations Professor Blake has kept returning to throughout his long career, especially the Middle East, maritime boundaries, and the relation between borders and demographics. Several of the authors extend his work in such areas as Arctic jurisdiction, environmental issues of transboundary water management, and geographic information systems (GIS).
For the growing number of professionals in conflict management, international humanitarian law, the law of the sea, environmental law, and energy law, and for workers in such diverse fields as natural resource management and forced migrations, as well as for specialists in the Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia these revealing essays offer a wealth of valuable information and insight.