Few phenomena affect human existence so deeply and on so many levels as the ‘border’. Such an experience starts from a toddler’s growing awareness of one’s skin as a borderline between oneself and the rest of the world, to the feeling of death as one’s ultimate border-crossing; therefore, we may conceive of the experience of the border as of a human and cultural universal.
Within such a fundamental framework, this issue zooms in on territorial borders, and on the cultures which arise from experiencing them. In particular, national borders, as we experience them today, result from a historical construction; they are the outcome of long-term transformations whose phases, timing, and features can be pinpointed, as well as their consequences on the lives of the people affected.
This issue deals both with theoretical issues and case studies related to border cultures from different disciplinary perspectives within the humanities, the social sciences, and the political sciences.