European Borderlands : Living with Barriers and Bridges book cover
1st Edition

European Borderlands
Living with Barriers and Bridges

ISBN 9781138624184
Published July 30, 2018 by Routledge
211 Pages

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Book Description

The expectations of European planners for the gradual disappearance of national borders, and the corresponding prognoses of social scientists, have turned out to be over-optimistic. Borders have not disappeared – not even in a unified and predominantly peaceful Europe – but rather they have changed, become more varied and, in a certain sense, mobile, taking on an important role in the everyday lives of more people than ever before. Furthermore, it is now widely accepted that borders do not just hinder communication and the formation of relationships, but also channel and prefigure them in a positive way. Presenting a number of studies of everyday life in European borderlands, this book addresses the multifarious and complex ways in which borders function as both barriers and bridges. Focusing on ‘established’ Western European borderlands – with the exception of three contrasting cases – the book attempts a turn from conflict to harmony in the study of borderlands and thus examines the more mundane manifestations of border life and the complex, often unconscious motives of everyday cross-border practices.

The collection of chapters demonstrates that even in the case of ‘open’ political borders, the border remains an enduring factor that is not adequately described as either a problematic barrier or a desirable bridge. The studies look at bordering processes, not only approaching them from different disciplinary angles – sociology, anthropology, geography, history, political science and literary studies – but also choosing different scales and making comparisons that range from different borders of one country to the reactions and attitudes of different individuals in a single borderland village.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Living in European Borderlands

Elisabeth Boesen

Part I. Border Crossings and Border Politics

1. A Routine-Based Model of Everyday Mobility in Border Regions

Nils Müller

2. Dybbøl 2014 – Constructing Familiarity by Remembrance?

Martin Klatt

3. Cross-Border Urbanism on the German-Polish Border – Between Spatial De-Boundarization and Social (Re-)Frontierization

Jaroslaw Jańczak

Part II. Communities, Relationships and Identities in Borderlands

4. What Makes a Place – Traces of the Border in Rural Villages Affected by Cross-Border Residential Migration

Gregor Schnuer

5. Crossing Territorial Borders and Social Boundaries? Observations on the German and French Workforce in the Spa Town of Baden-Baden, c. 1840–1870

Eva Zimmermann

6. Crossing Borders – Politico-Geographical and Mental Borders in Contemporary German-Language Literature in Belgium

Lesley Penné

7. The Impact of Commuting on Close Relations – Case Study of Estonian Men in Finland

Keiu Telve

Part III. Living Across the Border

8. Residential Cross-Border Mobility of People Working in Luxembourg – Developments and Impacts

Birte Nienaber & Isabelle Pigeron-Piroth

9. Dwelling in (Un)Familiarity – Examples from the Luxembourg-German Borderland

Elisabeth Boesen and Gregor Schnuer

10. The Residential and Symbolic Dimensions of Cross-Border Mobility – Looking at Members of the French Middle Class in the Agglomeration of Lille

Garance Clément

11. Asymmetries in the Formation of the Transnational Borderland in the Slovak-Hungarian Border Region

Tamás Hardi

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Elisabeth Boesen is Senior Researcher at the University of Luxembourg's Institute of History, Luxembourg.

Gregor Schnuer is Research Associate at the University of Luxembourg's Institute of History, Luxembourg.