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
Victoria Petri (UniGR)
Villa Europa, Kohlweg 7, D-66123 Saarbrücken
Dr. Beate Caesar (TU Kaiserslautern)
Pfaffenbergstr. 95, D-67663 Kaiserslautern
Role of the institution regarding cross-border issues
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.
References regarding cross-border issues
- 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
- Teaching units:
- 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.
Consulting / Studies
- Scientific advice to the spatial development concept of the Greater Region
- Series of UniGR-CBS Policy Papers
- UniGR-CBS Digital Knowledge and Documentation Center
- Round-table series “Forum Greater Region” on diverse topics
- Planning cultures in the Greater Region
- 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).
- Conference “Borders as Border Complexities” (2019) http://cbs.uni-gr.eu/en/border-studies/thematic-focuses/theories-concepts-terms/events/bordercomplexities
- 2nd World Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies Border Studies (2018) – As a partner, the UniGR-CBS organised seven panels in cultural and social Border Studies research focusing on migration, cross-border mobility, the labour market, regional development in cross-border regions, and on different case studies in Southwestern Europe http://cbs.uni-gr.eu/en/border-studies/thematic-focuses/employment-education-economy/projects/ABS2018
- International Conference “Cross-border workers in Switzerland and Luxembourg: Employment – Everyday Life – Perceptions” (2017) http://cbs.uni-gr.eu/en/border-studies/thematic-focuses/employment-education-economy/events/Cross-border%20workers%20in%20Switzerland%20and%20Luxembourg
- Europe Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies (2016) http://cbs.uni-gr.eu/en/border-studies/thematic-focuses/employment-education-economy/events/ABS16
Publications / Conference papers
- UniGR-CBS Publication Series (UniGR-CBS Thematic Issues “Borders in Perspectives”, UniGR-CBS-Policy Papers, UniGR-CBS-Working Papers)
- Hamez, Grégory / Defays, Jean-Marc (Hg.) (2020): Réalités, perceptions et représentations des frontières. L’espace transfrontalier de la Grande Région Sarre-Lor-Lux. Louvain-la-Neuve, EME Éditions. https://www.editions-harmattan.fr/index.asp?navig=catalogue&obj=livre&no=66817
- Weber, Florian / Wille, Christian / Caesar, Beate / Hollstegge, Julian (Hg.) (2020): Geographien der Grenzen. Räume – Ordnungen – Verflechtungen (Reihe: Räume – Grenzen – Hybriditäten). Wiesbaden, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. DOI 10.1007/978-3-658-30950-3.https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783658309497
- Wille, Christian / Nienaber, Birte (Hg.) (2020): Border Experiences in Europe. Everyday Life – Working Life – Communication – Languages. (Border Studies. Cultures, Spaces, Orders, Bd. 1), Baden-Baden, Nomos. https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/9783845295671/border-experiences-in-europe (Open Access)
- Karina Pallagst / Andrea Hartz / Beate Caesar (Eds.) (2018): Border Futures – Zukunft Grenze – Avenir Frontière. Zukunftsfähigkeit grenzüberschreitender Zusammenarbeit. Arbeitsberichte der ARL 20. https://shop.arl-net.de/border-futures-zukunft-grenze-avenir-frontiere.html (Open Access)
- Interreg V A Greater Region project “UniGR-Center for Border Studies – European Center for Competence and Knowledge in Border Studies” (2018-2022, http://cbs.uni-gr.eu)
- Public lecture series „Border Realities: Challenges and Perspectives in Uncertain Times“ (2019-2020), University of Trier, Saarland University, University of Luxembourg (borderrealities.org)
- Public lecture series “Atelier Bordertextures – theories and methods of cultural border studies” (since 2017), University of Trier, Saarland University, University of Luxembourg, University of Lorraine (http://atelier.bordertextures.org)
- Literary Prize „Frontières – Léonora Miano“ (Université de Lorraine in cooperation with the UniGR-CBS). Further information: http://factuel.univ-lorraine.fr/node/15270
- UniGR-CBS Guest Professorship Border Studies 2019 & 2021
- Border Gallery with pictures of borders
Don’t miss out on TEIN events.