Professori, dosentti Laine Jussi ja työryhmä

341200 €

Not just a fence: Disentangling the boundaries of order, logic, and control

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

More than thirty-five years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolised the beginning of a new era of freedom, collaboration and unity. The Cold War era idea that political borders had achieved a state of permanence become effective challenged and the deeply etched notions of sovereignty and territoriality increasingly blurred. The Iron Curtain is gone, but the “barbed wire curtain”, has become the reality for much of Europe. The post-Cold War optimism and euphoria have become suppressed on under anxieties and fear. The EU, often portrayed as a force of good in the world, has once again become known for its border walls and fences. Following a long period of relative open border dynamics, the role of border between EU and the Russian Federation has changed drastically. While the neighbours had been slowly more distanced already for quite some time, the Russian invasion of Ukraine can be seen final tipping point which changed the long standing neighbourly, collaborative context fundamentally. This project focuses on two case studies of those new border fences that sit at the easternmost frontiers of the EU: Finland and Poland. By merging the border studies and environmental humanities perspectives, our main goal is to examine the applicability of the border fences for their alleged goals. We shall uncover the pros and cons or border fences and shed light on their function that are often hidden from the public eye. Through these questions we seek to advance the state of the art in the understanding of why and how certain narratives become dominant and, as a consequence, shape public debate, even electoral preferences and political calculations regarding the design of border policies and regimes; enhance the awareness of policymakers, civil society and citizens by exposing them to the precise production and dissemination process of narratives on border fences, and produce evidence-based, practical recommendations that address the concerns of the relevant stakeholders.