Call for Paper « Border Regions in Transition » (BRIT)


Border Regions in Transition (BRIT) XI Conference

Geneva and Grenoble, 6-9 September 2011

Paper session: “Debordering/rebordering in cross-border metropolitan regions”


Christophe Sohn and Olivier Walther, Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies, Luxembourg and Jen Nelles, University of Toronto, Canada

Concept and objectives

New perspectives have arisen regarding the emergence of cross-border city-regions and their processes of integration following the relativization of the role of the state in economic and social regulation and the exercise of political power. The development of functional urban systems is no longer limited by national borders but rather increasingly concerns multiple jurisdictions and some border regions have changed from being areas disadvantaged by their peripheral location to being areas of potential prosperity. For border cities, the opening of state borders constitutes an opportunity for economic and cultural development and political rescaling.

The dismantling of certain controls and filtering measures goes also along with the permanence – or reproduction – of barriers in other domains. This process of debordering/rebordering results in a decoupling of the functions assigned to the border and their reorganization on other places, other scales and in other ways.

As new sites of globalisation, cross-border metropolitan regions appear as privileged case studies for the analysis of the current transformations of borders. In the session we wish to explore the following topics:

–         The relations between economic integration and governance

–         The interplay of global, regional and local scales for the cross-border integration processes

–         Debordering/rebordering in cross-border cooperation projects

–         Managing cross-border metropolitan issues: i.e. environmental management, migration, security, cultural events and institutions, labor markets or public transportation

–         Governance networks in cross-border metropolitan regions

–         Managing cross-border mobility

–         Cross-border integration and securitization

–         The development of metropolitan regions that cross state/provincial borders

Joining the session

Both conceptual and empirical papers are welcome. We look forward to receiving proposals that focus on different regions and contexts and make use of different approaches. Interested participants should send a one-page abstract of their proposed paper together with a brief bio or CV to Christophe Sohn (, Olivier Walther ( and Jen Nelles ( no later than March 10 2011.

For more information on the next BRIT Conference organized both by the University of Geneva and the University Joseph Fourier of Grenoble, please visit this website:

r Olivier Walther

Department of Geography

Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies

PO. Box 48 L-4501 Differdange