Recent crises have deepened socio-economic disparities within and between European societies. They also prompted EU member states to reinforce internal and external borders of the European Union (EU). Regions located at these borders have been particularly affected, given that they rely on EU-enhanced cross-border activities to compensate for disadvantages that their marginal position vis-à-vis the national administrative, cultural and economic centres usually implies. The peculiar situation of EU border regions became particularly apparent when member states closed national borders as a means to tackle movements of refugees and the Covid-19 pandemic. The research seminar ‚European peripheries‘, directed by Dr Amelie Kutter at European University Viadrina during summer 2023, sought to explore trends of (de-)peripherlisation that selected EU border regions currently face.
To this end, participants of the class studied specificities of cross-border relations in EU border regions of their choice. They familiarised themselves with different schools of thought that study peripheralisation, including political geography, regional (planning) studies, political economy, and postcolonial critique. They applied these lines of interpretation to findings from their border regions. They also reflected on how EU cohesion policy, enlargement policy and externalised migration management are implicated in (de-)peripheralising these regions.
In the end of the term, they presented results of their collaborative work in group presentations during a students‘ conference on 18 July, 2023. A conference report that links in participants‘ individual reports will be published here soon. The students‘ conference formed part of activities conducted by Amelie Kutter in the frames of her ‚Peripheralities‘ research network.