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  • 1.
    Lundén, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University.
    Zalamans, Dennis
    Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Local co-operation, ethnic diversity and state territoriality - The case of Haparanda and Tornio on the Sweden - Finland border2001In: GeoJournal, ISSN 0343-2521, E-ISSN 1572-9893, Vol. 54, no 1, 33-42 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The neighbouring towns of Haparanda and Tornio, separated only by a narrow strip of grass and wetland, are divided by the only inhabited land boundary between Finland and Sweden in the southern part of the Torne River. The population represents four different groups in relation to linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In the daily lives of the inhabitants, the state boundary is probably of less significance than linguistic, social and 'ethnic' differences. On the local government level there is a strong will to unite forces to make the total area a viable region in spite of its peripheral location, but state legislation makes co-ordination difficult. This may be seen as a necessity, but in the daily lives of the populations, the state boundary defines an area of unequal access, sometimes working in favour of and sometimes barring contacts and co-operation. The media consumption reflects a clear 'national' interest with a strong local bias. In their attitudes, Finnish speakers and bilinguals show a greater appreciation of 'the other' than unilingual Swedes. This may reflect the actual possibility space (reach) in the local area.

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