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

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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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Lake Constance Region (Bodensee)

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The Lake Constance Region is certainly one of the most interesting cases of intra-European borderlands. This region comprises three nation states meeting at the second largest lake in Europe and also involves the fourth state, Liechtenstein, which is situated only 50 km away from the lake. On the one hand, the political situation is striking as the exact location of the border is politically unclear; on the other, and probably because of this unclear situation, the region is one of the pioneers and role models of cross-border cooperation.

The Lake Constance Region is characterized by strong natural elements such as the Rhine River, the Alpine mountains in the south, and the middle mountain ranges in the north. At the same time, the region is characterised by very successful, innovation-led socio-economic development. The region is largely monolingual (German) and organized in a polycentric way with a relatively high degree of urbanisation based on secondary cities, with the exception of Zurich, approximately 70 km south-west of the Lake.

Unlike other European border regions there has never been a consensus on the geographical position of the border of Lake Constance, neither in the Peace of Westphalia or any time thereafter. Some view large parts of the lake as condominium, (i.e. an area without national affliction), which is the position predominantly held by the Swiss. Others, in particular Austria, locate the border in the middle of the lake between the states, while Germany does not have an explicit...

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