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Borders and trans-border communications in history

One of the manifestations of the transformational shifts occurring in the modern world is the review of various borders and, at the same time, the intensification of the integrational processes, including the trans-border communications, which dictates the need for understanding the role and the changing function of borders in the past. A border has always been a reality, which divides, and at the same time unites the peoples living both sides of it. The borders, which served as a dividing line between the “one’s own” and the “alien” may tell us a lot about the past societies’ perception of the limits of their control and influence in the surrounding world. The near-border territory is simultaneously the political, the geographic, the social, and the cultural phenomenon, hence the problems of the near-border territories, as such, or in combination with other problems draw the attention of the present day researchers from different disciplines.

The articles in this thematic section will be focusing on the following aspects:

  1. the borders and the near-border territories in the history of civilizations and empires; the civilizational types of near-border phenomenon; the borders as the public resource (the role of thein the social and cultural development; the near-border as a contact zone, the socio-cultural innovations generator);
  2. the demarcation and the functioning of the borders in historical perspective, the interstate relations with regard to the near-border territories, the processes of the near-border areas integration into the state and legal environment;
  3. life in the near-border territories: the participants and the forms of interactions, the fates of the near-border communities; the everyday practices and the perception of the near-border life; the edge and the border in the culture and memory.