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Beyond “Fortress EUrope”? Bordering and crossbordering processes along the European Union external frontiers


Filippo Celata, University of Rome La Sapienza (Italy)
Raffaella Coletti, University of Rome La Sapienza (Italy)
James W. Scott, University of Eastern Finland (Finland)


The geometries of European integration are becoming increasingly complex. The rescaling and riterritorialization of States, selective enlargement and the transformation of border management has induced scholars to propose new spatial imaginaries in which European frontiers are reconceptualised as mobile, networked, selective, fuzzy, etc. The European Union, in this frame, is often equated to a “Fortress EUrope” where the softening of internal borders is paralleled by the strengthening and militarization of its external frontiers. Bordering and crossbordering processes go indeed hand in hand both inside the EU - where new divisions emerge within and between members states – and across the EU external frontiers. European policies toward non-EU neighbouring countries are particularly controversial in this regard, as they are based upon a mixed strategy of openness/closure, inclusion/exclusion, cooperation/control.

The session wish to engage participants into a wide reaching discussion about the contribution that critical border studies can offer to understand the spatialities of European integration, the construction of the EU external frontiers, the transformation of borderscapes and border regions, bordering and crossbordering processes between EU members and non-EU countries.

We invite proposals which deal with (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Spatial imaginaries of European integration: “fortress Europe” vs. “wider Europe”, “concentric circles” of integration, neo-medieval and post-Westphalian Europe, etc.
  • Critical analysis of narratives focusing on Europeaness, cultural bordering or crossbordering, “othering” and “ordering” processes across the EU/non-EU divide.
  • Rebordering processes within the EU: distinctions between centre and periphery, the “old” and the “new” Europe, the East and the West, etc., and how those distinctions impact upon the variable geometries of European integration and enlargement.
  • EU external policies and their differentiated impact in non-EU countries, with a focus on Europeanization, policy transfers, mobile policies and transnational governance.
  • Cross-border cooperation along the EU external frontiers: territorial cooperation initiatives with pre-accession and neighbouring countries, Euroregions, European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation, etc.
  • Regionalization processes across the EU external borders: macro-regional and meso-regional strategies, bordering and crossbordering processes in the Euro-Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Danubian basin, the Black Sea, etc.

Read the abstracts

Invited speakers:

Luiza Bialasiewicz, University of Amsterdam
Elena dell’Agnese, University of Milano Bicocca
Vladimir Kolossov, Russian Academy of Science

Slot 1
Sub-title: Reconceptualising post-Westpahlian borders
Chair: Filippo Celata

Presentation n. 1
Title: Border Ethics and the Liberal Dilemma. A Critical View from EU-Europe
Author(s): James W. Scott

Presentation n. 2
Title: Trends in Bordering: The United States and Europe Compared
Author(s): Matthew Longo

Presentation n. 3
Title: Polarising imaginaries, separated arenas of discourse: EU external borders as a field of diverging political interests
Author(s): Hans-Joachim Bürkner

Presentation n. 4
Title: Reconceptualizing Europe: Crossbordering and state ordering at the EU's external frontiers
Author(s): Jussi Laine

Slot 2
Sub-title: Negotiating mobile EUropean borders
Chair: Vladimir Kolosov

Presentation n. 5
Title: Internal, external and conflicting: the case of the Cypriot border within the EU.
Author(s): Anna Casaglia

Presentation n. 6
Title: The Western Balkans as a landscape of exclusion
Author(s): Tihomir Topuzovski

Presentation n. 7
Title: Cross-border cooperation of Lviv and Kharkiv border regions in the context of Ukrainian transnational integration towards EU and Russia
Author(s): Andriy Bryn

Presentation n. 8
Title: Beyond the External Frontier: Identity and Cross Border Commuting in Croatian-Slovenian borderland in Hrvatsko zagorje, Croatia
Author(s): Marta Zorko, Ivan Šulc, Marko Kovacic

Presentation n. 9
Title: Polish Eastern Border from the End of the Second World War until Today
Author(s): Katarzyna Stoklosa, Besier Gerhard

Slot 3
Sub-title: Mobile bodies across EUropean gates
Chair: Luiza Bialasiewicz

Presentation n. 10
Title: Tangier, mobile city
Author(s): Luiza Bialasiewicz

Presentation n. 11
Title: Beyond Evros Wall
Author(s): Cristina Del Biaggio

Presentation n. 12
Title: New Migrants' Agencies and Subjectivities beyond the metaphor of "Fortress Europe". Artistic experiences from the LampedusaInFestival and the Lampedusa Museum of Migrations
Author(s): Chiara Brambilla

Presentation n. 13
Title: Islands and the undesirables. Irregular maritime migration in Southern-European Islands
Author(s): Camille Schmoll, Nathalie Bernardie-Tahir

Presentation n. 14
Title: Call for no b/orders... Squat the neoliberal 'city'
Author(s): Sutapa Chattopadhyay

Slot 4
Sub-title: The EU external borders as spaces of meaning
Chair: Elena dell'Agnese

Presentation n. 15
Title: The Mediterranean as a "frontier"?
Author(s): Elena dell'Agnese

Presentation n. 16
Title: The Mediterranean: a border or a region? A local perspective from the Italy-Tunisia border
Author(s): Raffaella Coletti

Presentation n. 17
Title: The Narrative Construction of the Transnistria Border
Author(s): Olga Filippova

Presentation n. 18
Title: Traveling on the borders of European Union. The new Croatian border
Author(s): Damiano Gallinaro

Presentation n. 19
Title: EUro-Mediterranean "borderscapes": a possible conceptual re-framing via socio-spatial analysis
Author(s): Alice Buoli

Slot 5
Sub-title: EUrope, Europeaness, Europeanisation
Chair: James W. Scott

Presentation n. 20
Title: Assessing Cultural-Spatial Change in European Border Areas. Theory based Considerations for understanding the transformation of borderscapes and border regions.
Author(s): Heidi Fichter-Wolf

Presentation n. 21
Title: Beyond the spatial metaphors. The idea of the EU across old and new borders
Author(s): Emanuele Frixa

Presentation n. 22
Title: The perception of Europe by the Tunisian students
Author(s): Ali Bennasr Claude Grasland

Presentation n. 23
Title: Ukraine as Europe´s outsider?
Author(s): Oleksandr Svyetlov

Presentation n. 24
Title: European Union and Southern Common Market (MERCOSUL): Contemporary Challenges to Inter-Regional Relations
Author(s): Antonio Marcos Roseira

Slot 6
Sub-title: Territorial cooperation along the EU external frontiers
Chair: Raffaella Coletti

Presentation n. 25
Title: Sovereignty and "post-Westphalian" spatial imaginary: Shifting sovereignty concepts of EU programmes of CBC
Author(s): Ilkka Liikanen

Presentation n. 26
Title: Breaking the Wall: City-Twinning Between Russian and North European Municipalities
Author(s): Alexander Sergunin

Presentation n. 27
Title: Shifting the border: the case of Tunisia
Author(s): Angela Alaimo, Alessandra Scroccaro

Presentation n. 28
Title: Vojvodina as a frontier zone
Author(s): Péter Reményi, Áron Léphaft

The session is linked to the VII Framework Programme projects Euborderregions and Euborderscapes, and sponsored by the IGU Commission Mediterranean Basin.

Session code: S02


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Scientific Committee:

Sergio Conti
De Vecchis

and Advisory

Filippo Celata
Sandra Leonardi
Marco Maggioli
Fiippo Randelli
Alessandro Ricci
Andrea Riggio
Claudia Robiglio
Massimiliano Tabusi


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