I began by describing how transnational road linkages, together with market diversifi cation and surging consumer desires, hasten social and economic change among widely diverse groups throughout the GMS. Many of these dynamics constellate in border regions where historical opportunism and loosening political

strictures foster market opportunities and expanding entrepreneurialism. This is precisely what development programmes in the region aim to achieve. But there are also dimensions of change that do not fi t within the normative ‘technical assistance’ blueprint. In settings undergoing rapid change, regional policies readily become personalized and the interpersonal readily becomes intimate for men and women carried forward helter-skelter in the slipstream of rapid modernization.