On the Domination of the Integration Perspective in Academic Reflections on Polish-German Divided Towns—Selected Aspects
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University of Wroclaw
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Polish Sociological Review 2019;205(1):51–64
From the moment academics began to reflect on the divided towns of the Polish-German border their investigations were directed to such phenomena as cooperation, closer relations, unification, connection, integration, becoming similar, and overcoming barriers, as is clearly observable in the publications that emerged in the 1970s, the period of the first post-war opening of the Polish-German border for passport-free traffic. This article addresses the validity and usefulness of such a perspective on divided towns. Do the researchers not tacitly yield to the conviction that integration is the only reasonable destiny for divided towns and does this conviction not tend to be based on a theory of horizontal Europeanization? Should opposing, or at least slightly different scenarios, not be considered? While searching to answer these questions and attempting to dispel doubts the author makes use of empirical studies conducted in the Polish-German borderland.