European Institute of cross-border studies

Cross-Border Review 2017


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Introductory Note from the Editor

2017 was another eventful year for Europe and the world in general. Despite positive economic indicators and widespread growth, a sense of destabilisation, insecurity and fear continues to dominate political debates. Environmentally speaking, it was a record year for extremes, calamities and weather-inflicted damage. Reviewing 2017, it can only be confirmed that the networked nature of human security challenges requires greater cross-border cooperation and dialogue – as well as stronger commitments towards global governance mechanisms.

Recent events in Europe and elsewhere therefore reveal a need to rethink the research and policy-oriented goals of border studies. There is also a need to link current scholarly work with new perspectives on borders in order to promote a greater sense of interdisciplinarity and cross-cultural collaboration. To respond to this challenge, this Yearbook showcases the role of borders and cross-border interaction in the context of global challenges and transformation processes.

Crossing disciplinary borders demands new conceptualizations, theories, and methodologies that may help researchers to think about old problems (such as exclusion, inequality and power asymmetry) from novel perspectives. By engaging with borders as sites of encounter, reconciliation, and change, as well as sites of cultural dialogue and social development, we invite interdisciplinary thinking into realms of possibility. While the dividing nature of borders is a frequent fact of life in everyday situations, border research can also unveil connections, interactions, and overlapping social spaces across borders.

This edition of CESCI’s Yearbook therefore provides a number of cross-cutting perspectives on processes of border-making and on border politics from diverse angles. It is basically divided into three sections that deal with the following: 1) theorizing borders and border-making, 2) cross-cultural perspectives on cross-border interaction, and 3) conceptualizations of European Union policies as they relate to different forms of territorial relations. The collection is perhaps more theoretical and philosophical than past Yearbooks but we are confident that the different issues covered here will be of general interest to followers of border studies.

While the various essays and other contributions included in the 2017 Yearbook provide a variety of perspectives from different parts of Europe, as well as an excellent article on border politics and migration in Southern Africa, one common thread throughout is the relationship between border-making and globalization. Globalization has in fact had an immense impact on border studies. One of the most important of these impacts has been a shift from a dominant concern with formal state frontiers and ethno-cultural areas to the investigation of border-making in diverse socio-spatial contexts and geographical scales. This has also encouraged a shift to multifacted processes of border-making and their social consequences.

Globalization has also contributed to the breaking down of separations between discrete disciplinary approaches within border research. As a research field, border studies now encompass a wide range of disciplines besides social geography: political science, sociology, anthropology, history, international law as well as the humanities - notably art, media studies and philosophy. Going beyond exclusively state-centred and territorial paradigms, the present state of debate emphasizes that borders are not given, they emerge through socio-political and cultural border-making or bordering that takes place within society. Engagement with globalization has induced border studies research to take seriously the interrelatedness of all previous thinking about the investigation and interpreting of borders. In the contemporary practice of border studies, literature and art tell us as much about borders, borderlands and border crossings as do ethnographic or historical investigations. It is precisely the disruptive force of globalization – whether real or imagined – that drives home the main argument of border studies: that borders are in a constant process of confirmation, contestation, transformation and re-confirmation.



  • James W. Scott: Introductory Note from the Editor


  • James W. Scott: Globalisation and the Study of Borders
  • Jussi P. Laine: The Ethics of Bordering: A Critical Reading of the Refugee ‘Crisis’
  • Teodor Gyelnik: Double-Speed Europe: A New Round of Border Frames within European Integration
  • Polona Sitar: Cross-Border Shopping Tourism in Socialist Yugoslavia: Gender, Socialist Economy and Reconfiguration of Borders
  • Martin Barthel: Connectivity vs. Disconnectivity – the Influence of EU Border policies on Regions. A Case Study of Poland’s Western and Eastern Borders
  • Fulgêncio Lucas Seda: Migration Perspectives within Southern Africa: Challenges for State Policies on Migration Management in Post-war Mozambique and Post-apartheid South Africa
  • Virpi Kaisto: From European Union to everyday neighborhood in border studies? A conceptual analysis
  • Hiroshi Tanaka: EU Architectures of Cross-Border Regions: EU Macro Regional Strategy and European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation


  • James W. Scott: Interdependence – an Obsolete Concept?


  • Hynek Böhm and Emil Drápela – Cross-border cooperation as a reconciliation tool: Example from the East Czech-Polish borders. Regional & Federal Studies, Vol. 27. Issue 3, pp. 305-319. (Teodor Gyelnik)
  • Jarosław Jańczak (2017): Town Twinning in Europe. Understanding Manifestations and Strategies. Journal of Borderlands Studies, Vol. 32. Issue 4, pp. 477-495. (Teodor Gyelnik)


Editorial board


Dr. hab. James Scott
University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute

Members of the Editorial Board

Martin Barthel
University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute

Prof. Henk van Houtum
Department of Geography, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Dr. hab. Jarosław Jańczak
Lehrstuhl Europa-Studien, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Germany

Dr. Jussi Laine
University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute

Prof. Iwona Sagan
Department of Economic Geography, University of Gdańsk, Poland

Dr. Christophe Sohn
Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research, Luxembourg



Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives


Transfrontier Euro-Institut Network (TEIN)


Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT)


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 Friss hírek

// 2015.01.07.Crossing the borders: best practices of cross-border cooperation within the Danube Region
Closing Conference of the project, Budapest, February 26, 2015

// 2014.09.05.Professional internship for university students