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Transdisciplinary Discourses on Cross-Border Cooperation in Europe


Edited By Joachim Beck

In the context of European integration, cross-border cooperation has become increasingly important. Following both the quantitative and qualitative expansion of this policy-field, it has repeatedly been the subject of scientific analysis in the past. However, as a result of the classical differentiation of the scientific system, it was mostly viewed from a monodisciplinary perspective. This publication aims at the foundation of a trans-disciplinary research approach in the field of European cross-border cooperation. It takes the multi-dimensional reality of practical territorial cooperation in Europe as a starting point and develops a transdisciplinary scientific approach. Based on a common analytic frame of reference, practical patterns of cross-border policy-making in different European border regions are analyzed from the integrated theoretical perspectives of various scientific disciplines: Political Science, Geography, Sociology, History, Law, Cultural Sciences and Socio-Linguistics, Economics and Administrative Science. The scientific conceptualizations are expanded by reports from practitioners coming from different institutional and functional levels of European cross-border policy-making.

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Borders, objects of historical studies. Case-studies from the Upper Rhine and Catalan Region in the West and from Central and Eastern Europe (Birte Wassenberg / Martine Camiade / Katarzyna Stokłosa)


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Borders, objects of historical studies

Case-studies from the Upper Rhine and Catalan Region in the West and from Central and Eastern Europe



The interdisciplinary nature of research into cross-border regions has become a reality in recent times. However, it should be noted that historians were undoubtedly later in discovering borders than other disciplines (Stokłosa, 2010). That is largely due to the fact that research concentrated more on the appearance of Nation States rather than regions in Europe. Later on, researchers explored borders as part of the History of States. Outside Europe, for example, the border between the USA and Mexico has attracted researchers’ interest (Nail, 2016). Western European borders initially drew attention only among European researchers. Particular interest was focussed on the border created between France and Prussia in 1815. The majority of the population accepted this border at first as it did not obstruct movement across the border. It was only with the redrawing of the national border in 1871, and in the 1880s in particular, that the border gradually became a barrier (Riederer, 2007; Schlesier, 2007a, 2007b). It took a little longer for interest in the Central and Eastern European borders and border regions to emerge. It was far more difficult for historians to gain access to sources for these borders, which fell largely within the Soviet Bloc, as numerous sources of archival material were off limits,...

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