Political, Linguistic, and Religious Boundaries as Distinctive Creative Space: Why New Ideas are Generated in Border Lands

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Nominated for the 2012 Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies
The term “Pogranichie” is the Russian language equivalent to the English term “borderland” and this work studies how borderlands serve as distinctively creative spaces for cultural exchange. The book studies how social interactions occur in post-soviet bloc countries that try to democratize, and presents a model for Eastern European development. If there is a lack of actorship in social processes and communication is broken off, then development cannot occur. The authors look at what circumstances promote agency and actorship which in turn changes the dynamic of the entire Pogranichie community. All of the changes occurring in Eastern Europe are happening at an incredibly rapid rate and the acceleration of change allows forward and backward thinking forces to take hold.


“The space created by the interaction of border and boundary is the Pogranichie. These authors put forward the theme that corresponds with the subject of transition, the value of its normative systems. All this shows that political, economic and cultural processes in the Pogranichie do not possess a linear character (progress or regress) and should be studied with the help of non-linear trans-disciplinary paradigms.”
-Prof. Pavel Tereshkovich,
European Humanities University

“This research work is grounded in the wide range of literature, mainly of contemporary analytical character; what is more, the authors do not only use the borrowed ideas but develop them in a creative way.”

-Prof. Ryhor Miniankou,
European Humanities University

“The manuscript is dedicated to the analysis of socio-political and cultural phenomena going along with the formation of some post-soviet republics as independent and sovereign actors… this leads authors to an interesting and controversial concept – actorship.”

-Prof. Farid Islamovich Minushev
Moscow State University

Table of Contents

Part One: Context for the “Pogranichie” Theory Starting Point
Pandora’s Box
Border Studies
Boundary Theory and Frontier Research
Frontier Studies
“Continuum of Boundary Dynamics”
The Metaphor of “settlement” and “border post”
The “Crossroads” and the project “Social Transformations in the Pogranichie”

Chapter Two: 2B-Model of the Pogranichie
Negative Discourses of the Pogranichie Theory
Metaphor of the Map
The Border and the Boundary
Models of the Border and Boundary Interaction
Actorship and Legal Personality
Depolitization of Research

Chapter Three: the Pogranichie Morphology
Status as a Border
Border-Space Enlargement
Interaction of Different Orders
Primary Pogranichie
Secondary Pogranichie
Meta-legal Normative Stystems

Chapter Four: discovering the Pogranichie in Eastern Europe
Social Space and Border Space
Limits of the Idea of Transit
What are the Purposes of Getting into the Other Place?
Geography of Eastern Europe
Multi Actors and Actorship


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