A comparative analysis of life in Polish Border towns at the EU’s external border

Room E
Tuesday, 1 September 2015
10.45 – 12.30

Border towns are understood in the current literature of border studies as peripheral places. Even so, they are highly influenced by the borders and form a crucial part of border regions dynamics. In the border region values and ideas of the central state are questioned. Depending on the composition of the border region conflicts can emerge, loyalties questioned and the border itself takes on a different meaning than in other parts of the nation state.

The Polish border with Russia and Ukraine represents a triple peripherally. The border regions are remote and are located far from their county and national Capitol. Likewise, their location on the EU border puts them on the end of the EU. In this way the everyday life at those borders and the way border towns here deal with their location becomes crucial for establishing interaction with the Russia and Ukraine vis-a-vi the EU.

In the paper we will present the case studies of the town of Braniewo, located at the Russian-Polish border and Przemysl, located on the Ukrainian-Polish border region. The paper will examine the patterns of everyday life. The focus will be put on the differences and similarities on the ways locals deal with the borders. Which strategies to cope with location on the border are visible and how is the border perceived?

Finally the paper will try to characterize the border towns within Oscar Martinez model of border regions. This analysis will try to offer a better understanding for patterns of conflict or cooperation at the EU external border.

Stanislaw K. Domaniewski
University of Eastern Finland
stanislaw.domaniewski [at]
Martin Barthel
University of Eastern Finland
martin.barthel [at]

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