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Significant Insignificance – Boundaries in a Borderless European Union: Deconstructing the Dutch-German Transnational Labor Market

Anke Strüver


This contribution elaborates on European Union (E.U.) geopolitical discourses, which attempt to overcome the 'insignificance' of state-borders through the establishment of crossborder regions. Drawing on the nonexisting Dutch-German transnational labor market as an example, the observed 'non-practice' of border crossing is introduced. 'Significant boundaries' and their meanings, on the other hand, are constructed by narratives and images that are not only representations, but also actively shape people's everyday life. The effects of these boundary narratives are analyzed in terms of 'cognitive distance', defined both as the creation of a barrier effect and the ignorance of what lies beyond, expressed as a boundary in people's minds.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229