The UniGR-Center for Border Studies (UniGR-CBS) is a thematic, scientific cross-border network of approximately 80 researchers from 16 disciplines within the University of the Greater Region studying border dynamics and developments on and at borders, with a special focus on the Greater Region.
The University of the Greater Region (UniGR) as the host institution of the UniGR-CBS is a confederation of seven universities* which are located on the cross-border area of the Greater Region (Germany – Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland; Belgium – Wallonia, French and German speaking communities of Belgium; France – Grand-Est Region (Lorraine), Grand Duchy of Luxembourg). The aim of the UniGR is to develop a joint area for higher education and research within the Greater Region.
* Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, University of Liège, Université de Lorraine, University of Luxembourg, Saarland University, Trier University, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes – htw saar
Non-profit association incorporated under Luxembourg law
Being one of the UniGR’s competence centres, the UniGR-Center for Border Studies has expertise in various areas of border studies such as cultural border studies, linguistic border studies, territorial border studies (spatial planning, labour markets, retail, cooperation etc.). The UniGR-CBS started its work in 2014 and is active in the following areas:
Research: The UniGR-CBS border researchers examine socio-economic and socio-cultural issues from a transborder and comparative perspective. They are organized in interregional working groups along thematic focuses and develop solutions for challenges in border regions as well as contributions to the basic principles of border research.
Teaching: The UniGR-CBS border researchers cooperate in the training of students and doctoral candidates. In addition to a joint doctoral supervision in the field of border research, they have been offering the trinational “UniGR Master in Border Studies” since 2017. The cross-border study programme at four UniGR universities comprises a specialization in either spatial studies or in cultural studies and linguistics, and gives the students a European profile.
Networking: The UniGR-CBS border researchers cooperate with each other as well as with international partners. The joint implementation of research and networking projects strengthens the cooperative relationships and increases the interregional visibility of the UniGR-CBS. In addition to internal research mobilities and scientific seminars, international networks of stakeholders and border researchers are involved as well.
Regional actors: Together with regional actors, the UniGR-CBS border researchers identify socio-economic and socio-cultural challenges of the Greater Region and develop practice-oriented solutions. They actively contribute to the spatial development of the Greater Region and organize events for the exchange and transfer of knowledge between politics, administration and research.
The University of the Greater Region (UniGR) as the host institution of the UniGR-CBS is committed to developing “border-free” training and research by improving and facilitating mobility for students, PhD students, lecturers and researchers from its partner universities; by supporting cross-border cooperation through the development of networks and expertise; and by promoting the visibility of cross-border initiatives in universities.
Trilingual Master in Border Studies (MABS) at four universities (Lorraine, Saarland, Luxembourg, Kaiserslautern) in three countries with two specializations: 1) culture & language, 2) geography & spatial planning
Workshops on planning cultures and cross-border spatial planning with the aim to initiate cross-border learning
MOOC “Spatial Analysis beyond borders” (in French, German subtitles) with practical exercises
MOOC Overview Border Studies
Film modules on Industrial History in the Greater Region
Research / Applied Research
The UniGR-CBS conducts research along five thematic focuses:
Cultural, economic and demographic diversity not only pose challenges, but also offer enormous potential for developing cross-border regions. This focus examines the conditions and implementations of cross-border training and their effects on cross-border employment and economic activity.
This focus deals with issues geared towards governance processes and inequality ratios: governance processes in institutional cross-border cooperation, processes of self-governance in everyday life and a power-critical perspective as general research perspective in the analysis of bordering processes.
This focus deals with decisive challenges such as climate change, ecological issues, economic development or social cohesion in border regions. A special interest lies in the question how the spatial planners deal with such challenges, in particular within the scope of a sustainable approach.
This focus deals with issues which grapple with the social negotiation of borders and differences in everyday life. The subjects of research are cultural phenomena, which focus on interstices and spawn new identities as well as cultural and linguistic forms of practice as hybridizations.
Border studies have been an aspirational field of research in social sciences and cultural studies. This focus identifies conceptual blind spots, develops own theorizations and new analytical tools on the basis of the UniGR-CBS research results achieved.
“Forum Greater Region” in the House of the Greater Region, L-Esch-sur-Alzette
Co-organization of the Cross-Border School of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) on cross-border regions in COVID times, cross-border spatial planning, cross-border labor market and cross-border culture (2020).