The Association for Borderlands Studies 2014 World Conference is organized by UArctic members, the University of Eastern Finland [VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies] and the European University at St. Petersburg [Centre for Independent Social Research]. The organizing theme for the 2014 World Conference is: 

Post-Cold War Borders: Global Trends and Regional Responses

Since the end of the Cold War era, state borders have increasingly been understood as multifaceted social institutions rather than solely as formal political markers of sovereignty. The changing significance of borders has been partly interpreted as a reflection of global “de-bordering”, and of optimistic scenarios of globalization and international cooperation. However, such notions of “de-bordering” have been challenged by or even succumbed to the reality of ethnic and cultural tensions and increasing complexity and instability in the world system. It is time to ask how often contradictory global tendencies are reflected on the ground. We can recognize global megatrends that are changing the nature of borders but also regional and local processes of border-making and border negotiating.

The unprecedented expansion and transformation of the global economy and the concurrent fluidity of people and goods within a context of increased securitization, signifies fundamental societal challenges that directly relate to borders. On this view, borders help condition how societies and individuals shape their strategies and identities. At the same time, borders themselves can be seen as products of a social and political negotiation of space; they frame social and political action and are constructed through institutional and discursive practices at different levels and by different actors.

Despite new border studies perspectives that favor a broad cultural, economic and complex governance view of borders and borderlands, a strict top-down international relations view of borders continue to dominate policymaking. This current era of heightened globalization requires that we pay attention not only to the tendency of increased governance of borders and border regions, but also at the regional responses to such development.

Through regional responses to globalization, borders are reproduced, for example, in situations of conflict where historical memories are mobilized to support territorial claims, to address past injustices or to strengthen group identity – often by perpetuating negative stereotypes of the “other”. However through new institutional and discursive practices contested borders can also be transformed into symbols of co-operation and of common historical heritage

The general theme encompasses a wide range of topics and approaches. Please consult the conference website for inspiration. We invite proposals that focus on empirical research and case studies, conceptual and theoretical issues, and/ or policy relevant aspect of border studies alike.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
• Prof. Oscar J. Martinez, University of Arizona
• Prof. Paul Nugent, University of Edinburgh
• Prof. Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary, Université Joseph Fourier/CNRS-PACTE
• Prof. Anssi Paasi, University of Oulu
• Prof. Alexander F. Filippov, Higher School of Economics/Russian Academy of Sciences

For further information, updates regarding the conference, and to download forms for submitting proposals, please see the conference website at: 

Please send your proposal to: