RC2: Borders, Regions & Neighborhood

Coordinator: Prof Andrey Makarychev

The focus of this research cluster is on the diverse practices of bordering that take place in Europe today and, in the final analysis, play a decisive role in shaping up European identity. The question of the geographic limits for the EU enlargement led to a heated debate about the borders of Europe and brought about European Neighbourhood policy that essentially aims at mitigating the effects of the EU’s geographic finality. This, however, invited a challenge from Russia that insists on its own right to have a say about the future of the European neighbourhood. Another aspect of these developments is the slow emergence of Europe of the regions that sometimes is presented as a challenge to the established national identities. All these phenomena are directly reflected on the agenda of the EU-Russia relations and thus need a thorough investigation in order to understand their consequences, potential risks and opportunities involved. The focus on bordering as a political practice provides a valuable starting point here because it shifts the emphasis away from the “natural” boundaries of Europe and its regions towards the multiplicity of possible definitions and reveals their dependence not just on “hard” geographic and economic factors but also on people’s perceptions and discourses.

Associated researcher: Serghei Golunov, Maili Vilson, Ryhor Nizhnikau, Thomas Linsenmaier, Karmo Tüür

Cooperation and projects
For detailed information about ongoing and planned projects, please visit the site “Ongoing projects