Post-Cold War Borders: Reframing Political Space in Eastern Europe, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Post-Cold War Borders

Reframing Political Space in Eastern Europe, 1st Edition

Edited by Jussi Laine, Ilkka Liikanen, James W. Scott


282 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-07-26
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In the aftermath of the Ukraine crises, borders within the wider post-Cold War and post-Soviet context have become a key issue for international relations and public political debate. These borders are frequently viewed in terms of military preparedness and confrontation, but behind armed territorial conflicts there has been a broader shift in the regional balance of power and sovereignty. This book explores border conflicts in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood via a detailed focus on state power and sovereignty, set in the context of post-Cold war politics and international relations.

By identifying changing definitions of sovereignty and political space the authors highlight competing strategies of legitimising and challenging borders that have emerged as a result of geopolitical transformations of the last three decades. This book uses comparative studies to examine country specific variation in border negotiation and conflict, and pays close attention to shifts in political debates that have taken place between the end of State Socialism, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of the Ukraine crises. From this angle, Post-Cold War Borders sheds new light on change and variation in the political rhetoric of the EU, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and neighbouring EU member countries. Ultimately, the book aims to provide a new interpretation of changes in international order and how they relate to shifting concepts of sovereignty and territoriality in post-Cold war Europe.

Shedding new light on negotiation and conflict over post-Soviet borders, this book will be of interest to students, researchers and policy makers in the fields of Russian and East European studies, international relations, geography, border studies and politics.


"We are all constrained by borders, but in this important new work conventional limits are deconstructed. Bringing together some leading scholars in the field, post-Cold War frontiers are pushed back and removed, allowing the authors to range widely across Eastern Europe and disciplinary boundaries. This important work does what it promises: reframe political space."Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, UK

"This rich and remarkable book explores the bordering in Europe since the end of the Cold War: the dissolution and transcendence of borders and their recent resetting, their conceptualisation and their role in political language and rhetoric strategies. The book demonstrates that borders are power."Professor em. Bo Stråth, University of Helsinki, Finland

Table of Contents

Introduction – Post-Cold War borders and borderscapes Jussi P. Laine, Ilkka Liikanen and James W. Scott PART ONE: REFRAMING POLITICAL SPACE IN THE EU’S EASTERN NEIGHBOURHOOD 1. Post-Cold War borders and the constitution of the international role of the European Union and the Russian Federation Ilkka Liikanen and Jeremy Smith 2. Decivilised ants and disquiet at European borders: scaling, geopolitics and everyday bordering Hans-Joachim Bürkner 3. The end of the east-west division – postponed? The rise and fall of the neighbourhood as an alternative to the Cold War spatial imaginary Ilkka Liikanen 4. Looking east and west: the shifting concepts of Russia’s borders with CIS countries and the EU Vladimir Kolosov, Olga Vendina, Anton Gritsenko, Maria Zotova, Fedor Popov and Alexander Sebentsov PART TWO: REDEFINING POST-COLD WAR BORDERS 5. Media, memory, and diaspora politics in transnational public spheres Olga Davydova-Minguet 6. ‘Familiar others’: Russian-Finnish and Russian-Estonian borderscapes in the Russian media Olga Brednikova and Elena Nikiforova 7. Changing perceptions of the Finnish-Russian border in the post-Cold War context Miika Raudaskoski and Jussi P. Laine 8. Bulgaria’s geopolitical identity and the post-Cold War international order Diana Mishkova and Tonka Kostadinova PART THREE: CHANGING SPATIAL IMAGINARIES OF BORDERING EUROPE 9. From contact zone to battlefield area: (un)real borders of (un)declared war in Eastern Ukraine, 2014–2016 Gelinada Grinchenko and Oksana Mikheieva 10. From ‘between’ to Europe: remapping Finland in the post-Cold War Europe Miika Raudaskoski 11. The rebirth of the concept of the Carpathian Basin in Hungarian political language after 1988 Zóltan Hájdu 12. Reconceptualising space, borders, and identity in Bulgaria: the Kosovo crisis and EU accession Diana Mishkova and Tonka Kostadinova Conclusions – On borderscapes of post-Cold War borders Jussi P. Laine and James W. Scott

About the Editors

Jussi Laine is an Assistant Professor of Multidisciplinary Border Studies at the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland

Ilkka Liikanen is Professor and director of the VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland

James W. Scott is Professor of Regional and Border Studies for the Karelian Institute at the University of Eastern Finland

About the Series

Routledge Borderlands Studies

Routledge Borderlands Studies

Borderlands are spaces of transition between cultures, societies and states. Often, like in the case of the US and Mexico, they are understood as static territorial lines and buffer zones, subservient to the development of states and state territories. However, borderlands can also be fluid and ambiguous spaces, moulded by processes of economic and political integration or shifting geopolitical dividing lines. Moreover, borderlands cultures can be found far from borders, in cities, multicultural neighbourhoods and diasporic communities. They also exist as both future-oriented geographical imaginations and imaginaries with profound historical roots. Today, globalisation, integration and new transnational forms of communication change the complex interrelationships between state, society, space and borders. Consequently, borderlands become more and more places in their own right, reflecting broader supranational patterns of political, economic and social change.

With this series we encourage inter- and multidisciplinary investigation on borders and borderlands throughout the world. We engage with the political, social and historical richness of borderlands, reflecting their unique (geo)political and cultural significance in contexts of colonial rule, nation-building and integration. The Series will explore, among other things, shifting social and political relations and place-related identities that emerge in borderlands, as well as cross-border interaction and the historical memories of every-day life at borders. With this series, we will both contribute to the rich tradition of North American and European borderlands studies and provide a forum for new growing interest in research on borderlands in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

To submit proposals, please contact the series editors, or Routledge’s Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Series Editors:

James W. Scott, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland

Ilkka Liikanen, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography