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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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Border and Migration

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Since the unexpected increase of incoming people into Europe in 2015, which some people call the “refugee crises”, “refugee influx”, “refugee wave”, or “long summer of migration”, migration and borders are a renewed Centre of interest for public and political debates, the media and multiple research projects.

However, the topic of “borders and migration” covers a variety of aspects within Europe, in which refugees are only one of them, such as unforced migration at the external or internal European Union (EU) borders (e.g. labour migration from third countries, internal EU mobility) as well as forced migration (e.g. refugees) especially at the external borders. Moreover, political borders are not the only borders that are related to migration (e.g. linguistic, social, economic). Borders and their political and legal meaning can classify people as stateless, irregular/illegal/undocumented migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, labour migrants, educational migrants, marriage migrants, amenity migrants and more. The terms irregular migrants, illegal migrants and undocumented migrants must be especially used critically as they presume that such an individual can be illegal or irregular, which puts forward an inhuman connotation. Very often, migrants are in a phase of transit overcoming one border to further cross more borders to reach their final destination. This final destination might never be physically reachable but be a part in their own idealized perception as being on their way to country XY (“holy land”). Depending on the country of origin, and on the reasons motivating a person to migrate, borders can be...

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