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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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Media are technologies enabling the transfer of ideas, information and meaning though space and time. The digital revolution of the past decades led to the transformation of the mass media such as the press and television and made possible of so-called social media permitting a more individualized circulation of contents. This new technological environment has liberated communication flows at the global scale. However, as proved by the analysis of online mass media content, the new digital environment has not led to a radical transformation of ideas, or information and meaning associated to space.

In fact, media and borders are still strongly interrelated. Producers and users of media contents are developing routines in a material context made of bounded networks, limited flows, given scales and contained territories involving social, economic, political and cultural parameters. They are influenced by a series of pre-existing border effects that they help to reproduce or overcome through the definition and practice of circulated information.

This media-border connection can be analyzed from different perspectives. First of all, one should never forget that the media implies the existence of business models and consequently the presence of clients to be enticed. The link between media and spatial borders can consequently be studied from an economic geography angle. As argued by Robert Picard, spatialized information circulated by news producers is intimately related to the limited space of consumption where the audience is located. This containment does not mean that mass media producers have no...

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