REAL OR PHANTOM BORDER? – CASE STUDY ON BORDER EVOLUTION FROM THE SLOVAK - HUNGARIAN BORDERLAND
BOTTLIK, Zsolt (1) – JASCHITZ, Mátyás (2) – OCSKAY, Gyula (3) – PETE, Márton (4)
In our study we examine the representation of nation-state borders in the spaces of everyday life (administrative, social, governmental, personal, mental, etc.). Nation-state borders, since their origin of political sovereignty, are subjects of dynamic changes both in time and space as well as in their separating functions. These changes are of high relevance in the case of the Central European borders in the course of the past century.
The case study area chosen for our research is criss-crossed by „natural” borders (rivers) although these borders were always overcome by continuous urban hinterlands and the spatial organization of society. Here, the disconnectedness of public sectors as well as the emergence of local cross-border agglomerations are experienced at the same time. The region, centred by the twin cities of Esztergom and Štúrovo at the Slovak - Hungarian border, having initially not been hindered by any administrative obstacles experienced numerous changes concerning the physical location of the border and the strengthening or even weakening of its dividing role in the course of the past century. Traditional coherence and the familiar feeling of separation are both implemented in the collective spatial knowledge of the population of this area. During the research, besides illustrating these historical aspects, the highest attention is paid to the examination of the most recent changes coming with the integration to Schengen.
The backbone of our approach is constituted by a mental map study based on a great number of local interviews. In this survey we try to answer the question what the border means to the local residents, and where the border of the region stretches in their mental map if it is possible to be identified. Are there remaining spheres where separation is still dominant after the dissolution of administrative obstacles, and if yes, which are these spheres? Finally, the research ends up by being implemented in a context of multilevel governance. The results of the mental mapping are to be evaluated in the light of the opportunities meant by the dynamic governmental interaction between the spatial organization of the nation-state and the local cross-border cooperation.
(1) Center of Geography at Eötvös Loránd University
(2) CESCI European Institute
(3) CESCI European Institute
(4) CESCI European Institute
// 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