Change in the Baltic Sea Region

Change in the Baltic Sea Region. An example for other Regions?

26th -29th September 2011
Carsten Fortress,
Marstrand, Sweden

"Change in the Baltic Sea Region” will be a forum for the members of the IRTG “Baltic Borderlands” to introduce and discuss the implications of change in the context of border shifts for individual interaction patters, the mind and culture, as well as economic development and political (re)organization. Thus, intermeshed processes of change relating to cognition, attitudes, interaction and institutions as a consequence of changes in political borders form the central focus of this workshop. In the wake of changes to political systems, the existing structures of contextual systems are destabilised, setting restructuring processes in motion that lead to the emergence of new structures that incorporate both old and new elements, and are adapted to the changed context.

The contributions will elucidate the restructuring of established mentalities, cultures, institutions and exchange processes in social spaces exemplarily in the borderlands of the Baltic Sea Region. This theoretical approach provides the basis for sustained analysis of language, communication, cultural assimilation, personal and social intercourse, economic exchange, and the adaptation of institutions and legal procedures in borderland areas. Our understanding of borderland follows the ideas of Gloria Anzaldúa who posits a “borderland theory” that goes beyond the territorial dimension to emphasise a “mental, spiritual, and emotional account” of the communicative and exchange aspect inherent to the space (Orozco-Mendoza, 2008: 38). The omnipresence of intergroup- or intercultural borderlands is the result: “In fact, the borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where the lower, middle and upper classes touch (Anzaldúa, 1987: preface).” With this versatile and far-reaching theoretical approach, borderland situations occur whenever aspects of different cultural, economic and political systems meet or overlap, whether this occurs in a physical/geographical or cognitive/conceptual space.

Workshop Programme "Change in the Baltic Sea Region"