This article introduces an analytical framework to explain the coexistence of peaceful borders and illicit transnational flows as evidenced by drug trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, weapons trafficking, and terrorism in the Americas, a region characterized by international peace, domestic peace, and regional integration. Under the assumption that peaceful relations among neighboring countries enable the incursion of transnational nonstate actors across their borders, the article poses this main question: Under which conditions might peaceful borders enable illicit transnational flows? There is much more variance in the incidence of these illicit transnational flows across borders than in the existence of international peace. The article examines two major variables: the degree of governance and institutional strength of the bordering states; and the prevalent socioeconomic conditions of the bordering states.
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