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Nijmegen Centre for Border Research

Most recent event

International seminar on: Borders Studies, looking back and forward.

Border swing

Source: Hammok, 2010; Courtesy PILOT Gallery Istanbul)

The Nijmegen Centre for Border Research celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020, we held an international seminar on Borders Studies, looking back and forward.

Introductions and lectures by Anssi Paasi (Oulu), James Scott (UEF), Chiara Brambilla (Bergamo), and Amalia Campos Delgado (Montréal). We looked back and forward on the development of border studies, which includes themes like the social constructs of borders, b/ordering, ordering and othering, national and regional identity, cross-border cooperation, borderscapes, postcolonial borders, border conflicts, border aesthetics, migration, border externalization and the cartography of borders. The seminar provided the participant with interesting insights of the achievements as well as emerging new paths of a timely and rapidly blossoming academic field.


On the history of NCBR

To deepen the theme of borders and bordering theoretically and empirically in a broader and institutional context, the Nijmegen Centre for Border Research was established in 1998. By now, NCBR has established itself as an internationally recognised expertise centre on borders, migration, cross-border cooperation and post-colonalism.

Right from the start our aim has always been - very much in line with the focus of our research: the crossing of borders -  to be an expertise group, an informal and voluntary assemblage of individual researchers rather than an hierarchical and formal institution. The goal was and is not the existence of NCBR itself but the border crossing work that we do for which NCBR can perhaps be a vehicle to use.

Over time, the members of NCBR have significantly contributed to the co-creation of an international field that did not exist before, the field of border studies. How and why we as human beings border and deborder has proven to be a great geographical lens through which we can study and understand societal developments and tensions around issues like migration, place-making, colonialism, identity, conflicts, cross-border cooperation and globalisation. Many publications have been written, editorships and funds have been acquired using NCBR as an affiliation. And many interesting and congenial international researchers have been attracted to join NCBR as a guest researcher, have become associated members of NCBR and/or member of the NCBR discussion list making NCBR, thereby turning NCBR gradually into a ‘glocal’ network, rather than a local coalition alone. By now, NCBR is affiliated to various international border research associations and journals (e.g. Association of Borderlands Scholars, Journal of Borderlands Studies (JBS), African Border Research Network (ABORNE), Border Regions in Transition).

Important themes in the present research include:

  • Cosmopolitanism, Globalisation and Europeanisation
  • Migration, Mobilities and Refugees
  • Citizenship and hos(ti)pitality
  • Nationalism and Transnationalism
  • Practices of Bordering, Ordering and Othering
  • Perceptions and Representations of Borders
  • Labour Market (im)mobility across Borders
  • Borderscapes, Euregional and Cross-border Networks
  • Post-Colonial borders


For further information on the Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, or for fellowships and/or research visits to NCBR, you can contact one of the founders and coordinators of the NCBR:

Prof. dr. Henk van Houtum, email: h.vanhoutum@ru.nl
Dr. Martin van der Velde, email: m.vandervelde@ru.nl

Postaddress: P.O.Box 9108 NL, 6500 HK Nijmegen

Visiting address: Elinor Ostrom building, Heyendaalseweg 141, 6525 AJ Nijmegen

tel: +31 24 3612725