Scalar politics of border heritage: an examination of the EU’s northern and southern border areas

Thumbnail Image
Full text at PDC
Publication Date
Advisors (or tutors)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Taylor & Francis
Google Scholar
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This paper studies the production and representation of border heritage in tourist sites and events. Understanding heritage as a form of collective memory, subject to continual active renegotiation in which past events and artifacts are portrayed selectively, border heritage is a focal element in the shaping of spatial identities. The empirical focus is on the EU border regions that have become arenas for collaborative tourism development. Since the internal border regions are the key sites of the territorial cohesion policy of the EU, the selection of a particular heritage may be indicative of the development of the spatial identities in the area. Yet the type of the border has an impact on the modes of heritage-making. Drawing on various materials, documents and fieldwork at sites of heritage tourism, the study examines how the traditions and past events of the Finnish-Swedish and SpanishPortuguese borders are memorialized in EU-funded tourism development. The approaches of geographical scale and scalar politics are employed as an analytical lens through which the sites and events of border heritage-making are examined. The study shows that border heritage in the EU border areas is constructed through multiple scales, thus offering parallel versions of the past.