Work Packages

WP 1 (Conceptual Change and the State of the Debate): This conceptual WP constitutes a major methodological and theoretical element in the project in that it serves to structure dialogue within the consortium – and throughout the life of the project – with regard to the shifting epistemologies and concepts of state borders, methodological approaches as well as the different processes of political, social and cultural change that are influencing how borders are studied. The input of this WP will summarise the overall results of the project in terms of conceptual evolution and relate EUBORDERSCAPES to other European and international research perspectives as well as more general debate on state borders.

WP 2 (Empirical Frameworks): The main objective of the WP is to to operationalise the overall multi-level approach of the project by discussing, developing and adapting the various empirical and fieldwork tasks. In doing this, the WP will also familiarise the consortium with the empirical perspectives on borders that have been developed by individual teams (conceptual history, ethnography, political and social/ economic geography, cultural and literary studies, etc.

WP 3 (Post Soviet Borders and Conceptual Change): The main objective here is to explore the re-bordering of post-Soviet space by examining conceptual change in the rhetoric connected to definition, negotiation and conflict over the (re) formation of post-Soviet and post-Socialist states – and hence their borders. This WP will identify variation and change in the political language of negotiating and legitimizing Post-Soviet borders (based on ethnicity, religion, earlier treaties, international law etc). In addition, work will involve identifying conflicts and debates that have taken place over the just definition of the borders and what have been the main arguments in situations of disagreement. The WP will also include study of change and continuity in the use of the concept of “border” in Central and Eastern European states with the aim of recognizing historical layers in present day conceptualisations of  Eastern external borders of the EU.

WP 4 (Europeanisation: European Integration and Conceptual Change): This involves a critical investigation of bordering processes in terms of how official policies, political debates as well as media representations and more informal local “place-making” practices have contributed to European interpretations of national borders . Work will include uncovering divergences and convergences in various modes of European border representations (political language, media, academic, cultural). What do these convergences and divergences indicate about images of Europe in terms of openness and closedness (e.g. as reflections of transnational tendencies and tensions and anxieties about identity)?

WP 5 (Post-Colonial Bordering and Euro-African Borderscapes): This workpackage explores “post-colonial” strands of the conceptual evolution of borders, particularly as they apply to the Euro-African context. It relates the overall bordering perspective to the conceptual links between EU-internal, EU-external and non-European borders with special reference to the relational geographies between Europe and Africa. The “blurring” of metropolitan and former colonial borders takes concrete shape in growing transnational communities and hybrid urban spaces within Europe. However, dominant representations of Euro-African borders continue to exclude geographies of imagination, emotions, and belief outside traditional visible geopolitical realm. The objective here is to indicate how post-colonial bordering is impacting on local societies on the one hand and relations between the EU and North African states (e.g. within the context of EUROMED dialogue), on the other.

WP 6: (Borders and Critical Geopolitics of Neighbourhood): the work package will focus on shifts in the political language of borders in relations between the EU and its neighbours within the context of geopolitical shifts since 1990. This also involves a perspective of neighbouring states (Turkey, Ukraine, Russia) on relations with EU in terms of their changing geopolitical roles and border-related concerns. In addition, regional practices of defining frames for action in the implementation of EU policies of regional co-operation (e.g. in the guise of the European Neighbourhood Policy) will also be covered.

WP 7 (Cross-Border Co-operation as Conflict Amelioration): conceptual change will be investigated through the perspective of borders as resources in cross-border co-operation or as means of conflict-resolution: i.e. what opportunities can be identified for the positive transformation of contested border narratives in terms of cross-border co-operation, conflict resolution and intercultural dialogue? How can security-oriented policies (“securitisation”) be reconciled with a need for greater cross-border and transnational co-operation? This WP addresses issues of bordering and the framing of co-operation and conflict within inter-related contexts of power relations, governance, funding regimes, political will, culture and ethnicity. In addition, two contrasting examples from the Middle East, Israel/Palestine Authority and Israel/Jordan will expand debate on issues of cross-border governance and conflict resolution.

WP 8 (Rebordering State Spaces: Cities, Borders and Integration Processes): Work package 8 deals with economic and political integration processes associated with European integration and their impacts on the conceptual evolution of borders. This WP will explore bordering as a “rebordering” of the EU in terms of economic networks, cross-border urban regions and “twin cities” on the EU’s internal and external borders. On the basis of conceptual, discursive and practical distinctions between functional spaces and institutional territories, we contrast the functional dimension of cross-border integration from its institutional counterpart  i.e.  market-driven integration from policy-driven integration. This WP is linked conceptually to WP 4 (Europeanisation) and to WP 7 (Cross-Border Co-operation) in investigating if and how politics and policies of the EU have influenced functional interaction across national and  external borders.

WP 9 (Borders, Intersectionality and the Everyday): The central objective is to promote hitherto neglected areas of border research agendas that address lived, experienced and intersectional (e.g. gender, age, ethnicity) aspects of state borders. The bordering perspective will thus be developed in terms of discursive, practical and interpretational categories that reflect issues of citizenship, identity and transnational migration. This WP will also explore how borders affect groups with regard to gender, race, citizenship, socio-economic status and sexuality. The comparative perspective will encompass in-depth case studies that involve internal Schengen borders (UK/France) and the external EU border (Finland/Russia). In addition, an urban case study (London) of intersectionality and bordering will be carried out. This WP is linked conceptually to WP 5 (Post-colonial) and more directly to WP 10 (Cultural Production) where literary representations of borders by migrants will be studied.

WP 10 (Border-Crossing and Cultural Production): explores forms of cross-border “cultural production” within the overall perspective of bordering. This WP consolidates local perspectives in regard to how culturally produced representations have contributed to cross-border interpretations of state  borders as well as challenge official meanings, symbolisms  and functions attached to state borders. It analyses cultural and literary works in ways that frame national and European border issues (e.g. citizenship, cultural identities, inclusion, exclusion, cooperation across borders) and contextualise them in terms of historical and changing contemporary relationships. More specifically, this WP will demonstrate how artistic expression and the media address borders and border crossings (migrants, people living at borders, etc.) and their impact for everyday life in Europe (e.g, cultural tensions, cultural hybridisation). This WP is most clearly linked to WP 9 (Intersectionality).

WP 11 (Fieldwork Training and Methodological Development): This workpackage will enhance the research training elements of the project for doctoral students and young researchers involved in different research tasks. At the same time, the WP serves to facilitate empirical work within this large integrated project

WP 12 (Case Studies and Fieldwork): The purpose of this WP is to enhance the co-ordination and the successful execution of research activities given the size of the project and the consortium. The WP also creates a resource pool with which contingencies can be dealt with flexibly and potential imbalances in resource distribution avoided. Case studies which involve extensive fieldwork are the main object but the WP also involves an assessment of overall research requirements

WP 13 (Cross-sectional and Policy Considerations): The overall objective of this WP is to consolidate the cross-cutting aspects of the project and thus link in an effective manner the different WPs (see Figure 3). It will relate bordering processes to salient issues of scientific, social and political importance (e.g. migration, securitisation and border management, questions of European identity, intersectionality, etc.). WP 13 will also indicate global as well as specifically European challenges that derive from changing conceptualisations and functions of state borders (e.g. challenges that border management imply for national policies in terms of immigration, welfare, labour laws, etc). With this WP we will also inform and raise awareness on issues that often are neglected in border research. A further major objective in this context is to generate and formulate policy relevant insights, in  particular different policy options and their cost-benefit considerations. As Figure 3 indicates, there are many conceptual and empirical links between work packages which will be exploited to achieve synergy effects in fieldwork as well as in synthesising overall project results. WP 13 is one means of achieving this.

WP 14 (Dissemination): The objective of this work package is to ensure effective, well designed and appropriately targeted dissemination of project activities and results. Through dissemination, EUBORDERSCAPES will contribute to progress beyond the state of the art in terms of scientific research and policy development.  Dissemination will also promote the project’s active contribution to Pan-European debate on e social, political and cultural issues related to borders, European borders in particular EU.

WP 15 (Management): Management and co-ordination activities within EUBORDERSCAPES involves three main tasks: 1) the maintenance of internal coherence of the project, 2) interaction with the Commission, 3) ongoing monitoring of project progress. As such, the management of the project will be focused on maintaining avenues of communication between the Commission and project team members. It will also involve facilitating a smooth flow of information between the individual project teams.

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