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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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Located on the western periphery of Europe, Ireland and its 4.8 million inhabitants are well integrated into the EU. Ireland is a member of the euro area and one of the oldest member states of the EU. Its accession together with the United Kingdom (UK) in 1973 resulted in the establishment of the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) in 1975. In fact, Ireland was still fundamentally a rural country at that time, with low living standards compared to the countries of continental Europe. That led to one of the first two objectives of regional policy being laid down: to provide help to regions lagging behind. Thus, it was one of the main beneficiaries of regional policy funds between the ←552 | 553→1970s and the 1990s, before its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased dramatically. The country’s population density is only a quarter of that of the United Kingdom and the population is unevenly distributed across the country. The most densely populated regions, which are also the most demographically dynamic, lie in the east and south, closest to and with the best links to the UK and continental Europe. The western part of Ireland, other than the regions of Limerick and Galway, is very remote country.

The history of Ireland is closely intertwined with that of its only neighbouring country, the UK, and relations between them still bear the marks of a troubled past. Ireland was invaded several times during the Middle Ages. The English...

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