From the Iron Curtain to EU-Neighbourhood. Territorialization and Changing Border Regimes at the German-Polish and Polish-Ukrainian Eastern Borders of the EU

Marung, Steffi

The end of the Cold War and the erosion of the bipolar world order have led to an enduring change of the relation between (political) space and society, which for the most part has been described based on national categories, particularly when referring to the 19th and 20th  century. This is paradigmatically represented in the strategies of demarcation and border security, and in the formation of transnational areas of action. Regional and transnational actors play a decisive role in these processes. Precise knowledge regarding the changes of patterns of territorialization can be gained by analyzing the EU’s shifting eastern border. The eastward enlargement has had a considerable impact on the political and spatial localization of the Eastern neighbours and the EU Member States themselves. Construction, staging and perception of the shifted external border lend themselves to the investigation of transnational processes like the interactions and tensions between the strategies of regional, national, supranational and international actors dealing with the border. This study evaluates the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, of interweaving and blocking, of de- and reterritorialization at a border that demarcates national and supranational structures at the same time. The diachronic comparison of the Polish-Ukrainian border situation with the German-Polish border as (former) external border of the EU will serve to analyze continuity and change of political approaches to transnationality in the process of meaning attribution by networks of actors during times of drastic changes in the years 1990 and 2004. The PhD project by Steffi Marung was supervised by Matthias Middell and finished in 2011. It iwas part of the project “East Central Europe in a transnational perspective: Strategies of positioning in global processes” funded by the BMBF.