Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 1

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Border changes in Central and Eastern Europe: An introduction

Vladimir Kolosov, Marek Więckowski

Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 1, pp. 5-16
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0106

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to consider the main border issues and cross-border relationships in Central and East Europe (CEE) in the context of changing theoretical approaches to border studies. The authors start by analysing the impact of the impressive progress in the theory of borders on studies of CEE. Fundamental political changes in this part of Europe after 1989 were associated with the opening of borders and the intensification of cross-border cooperation, which have radically transformed the functions of boundaries. Emerging cross-border regions became spaces of communication, interaction, innovations and development. The EU enlargement to the east and the inclusion of most CEE countries in the Schengen zone accelerated the processes of re- and de-bordering and the diversification of the functions and regime of borders. The powerful waves of migration to the European Union over recent years have again greatly modified the situation in border areas and provoked the construction of new walls. In conclusion the authors propose eight research questions forfuture studies of borders and bordering in CEE.

Keywords: border studies, border, Central and Eastern Europe, European Union, integration, external border of the European Union, post-Soviet countries, geopolitics

Vladimir Kolosov [vladimirkolossov@gmail.com], Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Sciences Staromonetny pereulok 29, 119017 Moscow: Russia
Marek Więckowski [marekw@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland