chapter  6
Transnational integration and cross-border regions in the European Union
ByLiam O’Dowd
Pages 18

Transnational (or more accurately trans-state) integration necessarily involves changes in the functions, meanings, and sometimes the location of state borders. Accordingly, no account of transnational integration is adequate without an analysis of what is happening to, and at, national borders. Yet, with the exception of sub-disciplines such as political geography, mainstream analysts have been slow to problematise borders. They have tended to emphasise the ‘universal’ forces that transcend borders, such as capitalism, industrialism and globalisation, consigning borders to the realm of the contingent, the particular or the peripheral. It may also be significant that the major institutional growth of social science in Europe and North America coincided with a period of remarkable border stability between 1950 and the late 1980s. This led to a tendency to equate state and society and to take borders for granted rather than as objects of analysis.