State border as a multidimensional category


The existence of state borders is mainly due to the assignment of territories to states as well as the territorial instinct typical for all human communities. The state border determines geographical territory and in this regard not only does it define the area of the state, but it also fulfils some specific functions that in their basic dimension are internal and external in character. The idea of a border cannot be related to the concept of a state border only. Border is a notion whose main scope concerns functioning of space. An important research problem is the issue of functions of borders. They can be analyzed from different points of view, for example: political and legal, military, economic, historical and cultural, linguistic, economic, ecological or sanitary and veterinary. As a result we can distinguish ten functions of borders: political and legal, of economy and customs, sanitary, historical, cultural, strategic, ideological, of limiting (measuring) peripherality, of legislative and other bodies arrangements and of contact area. All of these functions have one common denominator. It is the aspect of a barrier. We are witnessing an evolution of the functions of borders. With the development of integration processes we are moving away from the classical function of a barrier. Evolution of functions of borders also raises the question of the future of a nation-state.


border; national identity; border functions; typologies of borders; borderland culture; integration process

Published : 2013-07-18

Balawajder, G. (2013). State border as a multidimensional category. Pogranicze. Polish Borderlands Studies, 1(1), 44-56.

Grzegorz Balawajder
University of Opole  Poland

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