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Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration


Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel

This Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration is the first encyclopaedia which combines two so far not well interconnected interdisciplinary research fields, i.e. Border Studies and European Studies. Organised in an alphabetical order, it contains 207 articles written by 115 authors from different countries and scientific disciplines which are accompanied by 58 maps. The articles deal with theory, terminology, concepts, actors, themes and spaces of neighbourhood relations at European borders and in borderlands of and around the European Union (EU). Taking into account a multi-scale perspective from the local to the global, the Critical Dictionary follows a combined historical-geographical approach and is co-directed by Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel, with a large contribution of Jean Peyrony and Jean Rubio from the Mission opérationnelle transfrontalère (MOT), especially for the cartography. The Dictionary is also part of four Jean Monnet activities supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union for the period 2016-2022: two Jean Monnet projects on EU border regions (University Strasbourg), one Jean Monnet network (Frontem) and the Franco-German Jean Monnet excellence Center in Strasbourg, as well as the Jean Monnet Chair of Bernard Reitel on borders and European integration. Rather than being designed as an objective compilation of facts and figures, it should serve as a critical tool for discussion between researchers, students and practitioners working in the field of borders, cross-border cooperation and European Integration.

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The twin city Frankfurt-Słubice is a town-twinning project and urban area at the German-Polish border comprising the cites Frankfurt and Słubice that are separated by the Odra river. Within the agglomeration live about 80 000 inhabitants – most of them on the German side (about 60 000 inhabitants). The twin city is situated in the federal German state Brandenburg and the Lubusz Voivodeship in Poland and is part of the Euroregion Pro Europa Viadrina.

The city has been unified until 1945. The Frankfurter Dammvorstadt was part of the city situated on the Eastern side of the Odra River. After 1945 the city has been divided and the Eastern part became a separate Polish town named Słubice. The border remained closed for long time and especially the Polish side has been a scarcely populated frontier zone. After the recognition of the German-Polish border along the Odra-Neiße river by the German–Polish Border Treaty of 1990, the population of the Polish side is increasing while Frankfurt (Oder) has shrunk by nearly a third of its population after 1990.

The border region has revealed different asymmetries regarding territorial and population size, socioeconomic standards, demographic development, and commuting with huge gaps between both cities, especially in the 1990s. Additionally, a high unemployment rate and xenophobia partially fostered tensions between the population on both sides of the border. At the same time, the cross-border town hosted several thematic initiatives symbolizing the twin city as a European...

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