Whereas currently, German-Polish relations are marked by irritations, the previous phase of politics and discourse from 1990 leading up to the EU-accession of Poland was marked by an increasing stress on Europe in both countries. This was connected with changing practices of cross-border cooperation as well as a change in academic border studies. The book argues that resulting from this, cross-border cooperation has become a rule. The actors negotiate new, contradictory spaces for their actions: supported by the state but partly uncomfortable with it, drawing on the powerful discourse of cooperation and trying to escape from it. Their practices can also inform the practices of border studies.
Ulrich Best teaches European Studies at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany.