Among the tremendous changes affecting Europe in recent decades, those concerning political frontiers have been some of the most significant. International borders are being opened in some regions while being redefined or reinforced in others. The social relationships of those living in these borderland regions are also changing fundamentally. This volume investigates, from a local, ground-up perspective, what is happening at some of these border encounters: face-to-face interactions and relations of compliance and confrontation, where people are bargaining, exchanging goods and information, and maneuvering beyond state boundaries. Anthropological case studies from a number of European borderlands shed light on the questions of how, and to what extent, the border context influences the changing interactions and social relationships between people at a political frontier.
Jutta Lauth Bacas holds a doctorate in Social Anthropology from the University of Zurich with a special focus on migration studies. She has held teaching positions at universities in both Switzerland and Germany and also worked as a researcher at the Academy of Athens, Greece. Co-founder of the Mediterraneanist Network of EASA, she is a member of the Advisory Board of InASEA and co-editor of issues of Ethnologia Balkanica and the Journal of Mediterranean Studies. William Kavanagh holds a doctorate in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford and is Lecturer in Anthropology and Sociology at CEU San Pablo University and the Madrid campuses of New York University and Suffolk University. Co-founder of the Mediterraneanist Network of EASA, he is on the executive committees of two Spanish anthropological associations and is a delegate on the World Council of Anthropological Associations.
Introduction: Border Encounters - Asymmetry and Proximity at Europe's Frontiers Jutta Lauth Bacas and William Kavanagh Part I: Opening Borders Chapter 1. Consumer Rites: the Politics of Consumption in a Re-Unified Germany Daphne Berdahl Chapter 2. Cross-Border Relations and Regional Identity on the Polish-German Border Robert Parkin Chapter 3. Anti-Nuclear Activism at the Czech-Austrian Border Birgit Muller Chapter 4. Powerful Documents: Passports, Passages and Dilemmas of Identification on the Georgian - Turkish Border Mathijs Pelkmans Chapter 5. Proximity and Asymmetry on the Portuguese - Spanish Border William Kavanagh Part II: Strengthening Borders Chapter 6. Asymmetries of Gender and Generation on a Post-Soviet Borderland Laura Assmuth Chapter 7. 'We are all tourists': Enduring Social Relations and Changing Proximities and Asymmetries at the Romanian-Serbian Border in Different Mobility Regimes Cosmin Radu Chapter 8. 'We used to be one country': Rural Transformations, Economic Asymmetries and National Identities in the Ukrainian-Russian Borderlands Tatiana Zhurzhenko Part III: Crossing Forbidden Borders Chapter 9. Under One Roof: Six Years of Border Crossings in Cyprus Lisa Dikomitis Chapter 10. The Birth of a Border: Policing by Charity on the Italian Maritime Edge Maurizio Albahari Chapter 11. Managing Proximity and Asymmetry in Border Encounters: The Reception of Undocumented Migrants on a Greek Border Island Jutta Lauth Bacas Notes on Contributors Bibliography Index