Theorizing Borders Through Analyses of Power Relationships

by Peter Gilles (Volume editor) Harlan Koff (Volume editor) Carmen Maganda (Volume editor) Christian Schulz (Volume editor)
©2013 Edited Collection 344 Pages


The cumulative body of research on borderlands is impressive for its diversity, its interdisciplinarity and its broad scope. One of the richest characteristics of this field is the tendency for scholars to treat borderlands as puzzles which need to be (re)composed. This tendency, however, may impede more ambitious efforts at «theorizing borders», as scholars put forward theories based on empirical cases located in a variety of institutional, economic, cultural and environmental contexts.
This volume, which includes both theoretical and empirical contributions from leading scholars in diverse fields related to borderlands studies, takes a different approach to theorization and borders. It contends that the theorizing of borders must include the notion of complexity. Instead of proposing a monolithic theory, it adopts strategy that pluralizes theory-building around a core theme which affects different spheres of borderlands studies. Specifically, it examines how power relationships affect border integration in the fields of political cooperation (with a particular focus on local government), spatial planning, environmental management and language policies and practices. While integration processes differ in each of these fields, they are always affected by local power dynamics.
Instead of studying the differences that exist between different integration arenas, the contributors to this volume explore the idea of power as a federating theme. The book’s innovative aim is to identify a common thread around which «border theory» can be constructed, while respecting geographic and thematic differences in border integration processes.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2013 (November)
interdisciplinarity complexity diversity
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 344 pp., 6 ill., 7 fig., 33 tables

Biographical notes

Peter Gilles (Volume editor) Harlan Koff (Volume editor) Carmen Maganda (Volume editor) Christian Schulz (Volume editor)

Peter Gilles is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Luxembourgish Linguistics and Literatures at the University of Luxembourg. Harlan Koff is Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Luxembourg. He is the founder and President of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC). Carmen Maganda is a Research Associate in the Political Science Institute at the University of Luxembourg. She is Executive Director of the RISC Consortium and with Harlan Koff she edits the journal Regions & Cohesion. Christian Schulz is Professor of European Sustainable Spatial Planning and Analysis at the University of Luxembourg.


Title: Theorizing Borders Through Analyses of Power Relationships