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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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Austria is a Central European state which joined the EU in 1995 and formed part of the first wave of enlargement following the fall of the Berlin Wall (together with Sweden and Finland). It has important natural borders: The Alps account for two-thirds of its surface area of 83 855 km and it is crossed by numerous water streams at its borders with Germany, Italy and Slovenia, an important one of which is the River Danube. It also shares numerous borders with European neighbours: Germany (784 km) and the Czech Republic (362 km) to the north; Switzerland (164 km) and Liechtenstein (35 km) to the west; Slovenia (330 km) and Italy (430 km) to the south; and Slovakia (91 km) and Hungary (366 km) to the east.

Austria was one of the major European powers which, under the House of Habsburg, dominated the Holy Roman Empire from the 10th century until its dissolution in 1806. In 1686, the Habsburgs liberated Hungary from Ottoman domination and brought it under Austrian dominion. After a Hungarian rebellion against the Habsburg, the two kingdoms were united under the dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1867, a compromise which granted the Hungarians a large autonomy within this Empire established by the Austrian Franz-Josef I. It then however collapsed after the defeat against the triple Alliance at the end of World War, was dissolved in 1918 and replaced by seven Nation States (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia), the borders...

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