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Frontières et populations : territoires, mobilités, voisinages européens

Abstract : This thesis questions the contemporary European borders and tries to think of them by escaping the fragmentation in events that is specific to media standards and multiple political polemical discourses. First of all, it is a question of contextualizing the current lines and relocating them over the course of history. To that end, the research returns to the formalization of the states in Europe in the modern period, to understand how their territorial limits were defined and modern international relations were invented, before studying diachronically the multiple border reconfigurations on the continent between the 17th and the 21st century. Thus, in a constructivist perspective, this research restores the originality of the process of European construction and approaches synchronically the contemporary European Union through the prism of its borders and neighborhoods. This thesis aims at understanding the challenges of the post-Westphalian evolution of international relations through the European integration and its supranational dimension. At the same time, sovereignist and neo-Westphalian dynamics are approached at the historical moment when the EU is facing a crisis of internal legitimacy, and faces multiple geopolitical crises in its neighborhoods. In a second time, the thesis proposes to dwell on three regional spaces in order to question contemporary European neighborhoods as much from the point of view of neighboring states as from perspective of the border populations living and acting in these border areas. For that purpose, the thesis mobilizes observations and comprehensive interviews from fieldwork conducted in situ on each border area, using the methods and tools of sociology. More precisely, it concerns the Geneva basin, on the border between France and Switzerland, the South-East Balkan Peninsula region, where Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey meet, and finally the interface between Slovakia, Hungary and Ukraine in Central Europe. Beyond the historical singularities and the empirical diversities, the thesis underlines the decisive importance of Europeanization to normalize relations of neighborhoods and integrate territories. Border properties and border-effects between territories are reconfigured, border populations adapt and act by implementing differentiated and diversified mobility strategies. However, local border actors are dependent on the states and the EU who keep control of: properties; border rules and standards; the political and institutional life and the evolution of international relations, all of them key elements that are shaping the present and the future of these spaces for their inhabitants. The thesis is based on an analytical articulation of these different scales, periods and actors. These different axes of approach makes it possible to understand the border principle in a historical and relational way. More generally, this work leads us to understand why the European project is at a political crossroads today.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 11:32:06 AM
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Etienne Ciapin. Frontières et populations : territoires, mobilités, voisinages européens. Sociologie. Université Grenoble Alpes; Univerzita Mateja Bela (Banskà Bystrica, Slovaquie), 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAH007⟩. ⟨tel-01908542⟩



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