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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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Multi-Level Governance

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Multi-level Governance (MLG) is a concept that has been developed in Political and Administrative Sciences at the beginning of the 1990s. Its roots can be seen in the observation that policy-making within the European Union (EU) is increasingly characterized by an active participation of sub-national actors at the European level. Both at an institutional level (increasing activity of subnational actors in Brussels through the opening of subnational “embassies” in Brussels and the creation of the Committee of the Regions in 1994) and with regard to policy-design and implementation (strongly promoted by the reform of the structural funds from 1988 onwards), sub-national actors have not only established direct contacts with the European governance system but have been strengthened as functional actors within the EU. Moreover, older debates on regional mobilization and constitutional transformation of the nation state are increasingly discussed in the MLG context. MLG thus can be interpreted as an outcome of the simultaneous processes of European integration and regionalization, both of which leads to a diffusion of powers away from the nation state and giving new arguments for the re-initiation of the idea of a Europe of the regions.

The core definition of MLG refers to network-like interactions between actors of different territorial and/or functional levels sharing competencies and responsibilities within the context of European policy-making. As the underlying concept of governance suggests, MLG is not referring to new approaches of European institutionalisation but tries to capture and describe the procedural patterns of policy-making which...

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