A Border Theory: An Unattainable Dream or a Realistic Aim for Border Scholars?

Authored by: Anssi Paasi

The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies

Print publication date:  July  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754674061
eBook ISBN: 9781315612782
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043997

10.4324/9781315612782.ch1

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Abstract

After a relative silence during the post-World War II decades, political borders have become highly salient objects in research during the last two decades. This has not been merely a coincidental change in academic winds but has been related to major transformations in the international geopolitical landscape. The collapse of the rigid Cold War divide between West and East at the turn of the 1990s and the accelerating globalization – related to economics, culture, and consciousness – were the principal macro-level backgrounds (Paasi 2003). The rise of the politico-economic importance of regions as part of the re-scaling of new state spaces in global capitalism (Brenner 2004) has provided another background. This has triggered off new keywords such as cross-border regions (Kramsch and Hooper 2004; Perkmann and Sum 2002), regional states (Ohmae 1995), or city regions (Scott 2001). The development of information technology – partly generating globalization and partly illustrating it – was also a significant context.

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