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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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Czech-German-Austrian Border

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The border between the Czech Republic, Bavaria and Upper Austria is an excellent example of the successful development of cross-border cooperation after the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. For many centuries, the border now separating the Czech Republic and Bavaria – the Bohemian region – has been a political line of division between entities that had however repeatedly concluded alliances. In the past, it was not a clear linguistic border, but rather a dialectal one. But the result of the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire after the First World War in 1919 brought along the emergence of new states, including Czechoslovakia. The border line acquired a new quality, especially the ←283 | 284→border with Germany. In the newly founded Czechoslovakia, the official state language became Czech replacing the German language which had been prevalent during the Habsburg monarchy. However, numerous German minorities stayed on the Czech part of the border. The Munich Agreement of 1938 resulted in an annexation of the Sudetenland bt the Third Reich, a border area populated by a German speaking population. After the Second World War, almost all German speaking inhabitants (approximately 3 million people) were expelled from Czechoslovakia. This meant a drastic reduction of the population of the border areas in the former Sudetenland, including the Czech part of the current Euroregion Šumava, despite the efforts of the state to resettle the area. Moreover, the geopolitical situation of the Iron Curtain led to the closure of the state borders between 1945 and 1989....

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