Thinking In semicircular terms?: cooperation practices in the Polish-German and Danish-German borderland
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 15:51 authored by Ulrike Kaden
State borders are powerful markers of difference. Despite changes in socio-spatial organisation associated with contemporary globalisation processes, there are no indications that borders have lost their significance. Quite on the contrary, border s continue to have an organising and controlling function across and between societies. This is most evident in the case of the European integration project, where border reorganisation has come to inform imaginaries of Europe and European space. Beyond the rhetoric of a 'borderless Europe', the process of Europeanisation illustrates particularly well how practices of de-and re-bordering must be seen in context. Yet the evolution of the Schengen area and the abolition of stationary border controls tell little about the persistency of socio-cultural boundaries across inner-European borderlands. This dissertation project aims to develop a better understanding of the character of inner - European borders in the face of the Schengen Agreement and, more specifically, the role of cross-border practices in reproducing or challenging exclusive ideas of citizenship and space. By studying cooperation practices amongst 'borderlanders', the dissertation focusses on a particular variant of cross - border practices intended to dismantle restrictive socio-cultural boundaries and geographical imaginaries. The question of how cooperation practices are related to the reproduction of inner-European borders provides a significant means to analyse how and to what extent these borderlines represent latent and potential resources for political narratives of exclusion. This perspective is becoming increasingly important in the face of the EU's handling of migration and refugee flows, including temporary reintroductions of stationary border controls. This dissertation is grounded in a qualitative, reconstructive investigation of cooperation practices across the Polish-German and Danish-German borderland, focussing on the fields of urban & regional development, education, and the cultural sector.