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Changing patterns of city-hinterland relations in Central and East European borderlands: Szczecin on the verge of Poland and Germany
Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES). Stockholms universitet, Kulturgeografiska institutionen.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-23347OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-23347DiVA: diva2:712916
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 3016801
Note

Som manuskript i avhandling. As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-03-26 Created: 2014-04-17 Last updated: 2014-04-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perpetual borders: German-Polish cross-border contacts in the Szczecin area
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perpetual borders: German-Polish cross-border contacts in the Szczecin area
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Borderlands are often peripheral geographically, administratively, and economically. A particularly illustrative case is the Szczecin area at the border between Poland and Germany, where a large city on one side neighbours to a sparsely populated hinterland on the other. There is a number of similar cases throughout Europe, but studies on them point to a mixed level of linkages following the opening and removal of the physical border.

At the project’s start there were few if any studies on the Szczecin area per se, which was here studied through various methods. On the one hand, different pre-EU enlargement plans and visions for the area’s development were compared with practices and realities of recent years. This shows that earlier imaginations on the development potentials have not quite materialised, although some of them were probably too optimistic and ambitious from the beginning. Some of the area’s potentials following EU-enlargement have been more successfully exploited than others, and disproportionately by actors coming from outside. On the other hand, cross-border contacts were studied in the discourses on and attitudes towards the other side among local and regional elites, and among local residents more generally. This revealed a polarised attitudinal landscape, not least when compared to country-wide opinion surveys in both Germany and Poland. This is in line with other studies showing that identities are particularly accentuated in border situations, where the Other is more frequently encountered.

These results support recent investigations pointing to a continued relevance of the border even after the physical barriers are removed. At the same time, another contribution of this work to border studies is that the time and contingency of the importance of identities and of the border needs more attention. In the Szczecin area, awareness of national identities and of the boundary appeared to be particularly high just after changes in the border’s status occurred – i.e. in 1989–1991, and then around the years 2007–2010. But while its importance may be fluctuating over time, given the opportunities and resources the boundary provides it will always be maintained in some forms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 2014. 74 p.
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 145Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 92
Keyword
cross-border regional development, Polish-German border, Szczecin, (national) identities, border attitudes, the Other
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-23346 (URN)978-91-7447-874-7 (ISBN)978-91-86069-89-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-09, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 3016801
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-04-17 Created: 2014-04-17 Last updated: 2014-04-22Bibliographically approved

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