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Changing Role and Function of Borders and Border Regions

The sovereign and territorially defined state continues to form the basis for both national and international law and policy and thus also for political history, national culture and identity. The state has the right to reject other states' interference in its "internal affairs" including the right to determine how it controls its borders. But conditions around the control of European borders are in a constant state of change. On the one hand, globalisation, political changes - in particular after the fall of the Wall in 1989, EU enlargements, as well as deepening and widening of cooperation within the EU have contributed to an increased flow across borders of goods, people, information and ideas.  Within the EU, some state borders now only mark the separation of administrative units. On the other hand, intense solidification and protection of EU’s external borders, introduced in some places, now divides regions that were previously seen as coherent. From an interdisciplinary perspective which includes law & politics, political geography, sociology, social anthropology and history, the Centre for Border Region Studies (CBRS) analyses these changes of the roles and functions of borders in Europe.

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