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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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Research, Development & Innovation


Cross-border cooperation in science is an old phenomenon that can be illustrated by the humanist intellectual movement of the 15th and 16th centuries. The peregrinatio academica is the core concept, where professors and scholars travelled across Europe to develop a way of thinking and to discuss and exchange their research. Exchange and research are a fundamental combination. First, because it adds to the quality of the findings, and second, because there is no research without communicating it. Indeed, during the Renaissance the Respublica Literaria, which was an intellectual forum, produced thousands of letters between scholars. In addition, Gutenberg’s printing press enhanced the dissemination of knowledge. For example, the City of Basel, in Switzerland, hosted at the beginning of the 16th century the famous press of Johann Froben.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, with the communication revolution and the development of trade, research exchanges have intensified and become globalized. Thus, research institutions became aware of how important it is to cooperate with colleagues from all over the world and from different organisations such as universities, research institutes or firms. At the same time, globalization has seen the rise of regions that want to compete at a global level. Proximity has thus acquired particular relevance. European integration has helped this process. In the 1990s, the European Economic Community (EEC) launched the first cooperation program across borders (Interreg), split up into three sections: (A) cross-border cooperation, (B) transnational cooperation (European areas) and (C) interregional cooperation (all over Europe)...

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