9-10 June 2014, Joensuu/Finland and St. Petersburg/Russia: ABS (Association of Borderland Studies) I World Conference:


From 9th to 14th June, the ABS (Association of Borderland Studies) organized its first World Conference.

The I World Conference of the ABS was a unique opportunity to meet scholars from all over the world dealing with border issues. Some AEBR members took part in these events and made fruitful contacts with many experts from all continents. In particular, AEBR Secretary General was the discussant on the panel “Regional Integration and Policy from ‘Above’ and ‘Below’”, organized by ABORNE (the African Borderlands Research Network), chaired by Prof. William S. Miles (Northeastern University, Boston) and composed by Prof. Antony I. Asiwaju (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Prof. Daniel Bach (University of Bordeaux), Prof. Leena Hoffmann (CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg), Prof. Ebele Udeoji (National Open University, Nigeria) and Prof. Mareike Schomerus (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK). In this panel, African artificial boundaries, African Union initiatives, a comparison with the processes in the EU, the dialectics between nation states’ logic and decentralized cross-border cooperation, regionalism and regionalisation, the connection with economic and politic actors, the need to promote trust across borders, the rights of peoples to free move across national boundaries, and questions related to security, sustainable development and democratic participation, connected to the promotion of CBC were deeply discussed by the panellist and the public.

The following presentations were given:

-      Knowledge-driven Promotion of Regional Integration “From Below”: An African Experience in Transfrontier Cooperation Policy Advocacy Since 1984, Anthony Ijaola Asiwaju, University of Lagos, ABORNE & African Regional Institute, Imeko, Nigeria

-      The Reality of Regionalism in Africa: Top-Down Constraints versus Bottom-Up Processes, Daniel Bach, CNRS-Emile Durkheim Center and University of Bordeaux, France

-      The Impact of Local Politics on Cross-Border Trade in West Africa, Leena Hoffmann, CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg

-      The ECOWAS Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Residence and the Right of Establishment: Theory and Practice, Ebele Udeoji, National Open University, Nigeria

-      Authority and unity below and above the state: Notions of the local and the regional for South Sudan’s ‘new’ Azande Kingdom, Mareike Schomerus, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK


The AEBR considers that a stronger partnership with the ABS can lead to a very fruitful collaboration between researchers and practitioners in order to achieve a further strengthening of CBC in most continents, particularly in Africa, while getting further knowledge for European cooperation.

More detailed information about the ABS I World Conference the can be found via the following link: http://absborderlands.org/studies/absworld/ .

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