ABS EUROPE CONFERENCE 2016 Differences and discontinuities in a ‘Europe without borders’

Differences and discontinuities in a ‘Europe without borders’

With the abolition of regular border controls in Schengen Europe, and the fall of the iron curtain, the field of Border Studies has opened up new objects of research and has experienced a noticeable development boost. Although the initial focus was on freight, services, capital and passenger traffic, and the resulting questions in relation to spatial, political, cultural and social aspects, this was followed by social constructivist approaches and relational thinking. The idea of a ‘borderless world’ has become popular, with a certain sensibility for the processes of ‘new border demarcation’.
The conference aims at further expansion of this sensibility and reinforced attention to the processes of demarcation, for there are not only radical cultural and political changes in Europe, but also concerns to open up differences and discontinuities:
– as resources e.g. as driving forces for exchange, movement and learning
– as instruments e.g. in critical power perspectives on governance and marginalisation
– as materialisation e.g. in social, aesthetic or spatial manifestations.

The conference aims to intensify this multidisciplinary dialogue with an orientation that understands differences and discontinuities as resulting from economic, institutional and social processes, and through a border studies approach that seeks deeper reflection on categories of difference and discontinuity. The focus then is on mobility, diversity, responsibility and change, with differences as well as discontinuities considered through a spatial, social and temporal perspective.

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