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The research focuses on the triple borders of Hungary, on its border regions, and on the relations that reach across the borders. On this wide range, Hungary has three types of borders and thus maintains relationships with its neighbours in three ways: Hungary’s connection to the former EU, the so-called Western Europe, Hungary’s connection to new EU member states, Hungary’s connection to non-EU member states. The historical antecedents and the political nature of the border that, moreover, changed several times during the past decades, significantly define the type, stratification and intensity of the relations. We will investigate how the neighbouring regions affect each other: what principles bring them closer or alienate them to/from each other, and what dynamisms operate the interferences in time and space.

The research analyses three dimensions of keeping relations in the borderland regions:

  1. within the cultural dimension the following issues will be highlighted: identity, creating and preserving traditions, educational institutions, cultural organisations,
  2. in exploring the social dimension we will discuss the transformed/revitalized/loosened relations as result of the transformation of the character of the borders (the iron curtain of 1989, the Schengen border, visa liberalisation), as well as the movements of population, the new strategies for establishing relations, and the new communities,
  3. in analysing the economic aspects, we focus on the following issues: borderland trade (formal and informal economy, black market traders), economic migration, other individual and communal strategies for exploring borderland existence in order to make profit.

Research time: 2011 – 2015.
Sponsored by OTKA