This article analyzes and compares EU and Russian approaches to the study of cross-border cooperation (CBC) after the Cold War, after examining the historical background and main theoretical approaches that have framed this literature. While EU literature has mirrored EU practice by drawing attention to more diverse and complex modes of cooperation, Russian analyses echo the official emphasis on mutual economic interactions with EU countries at the border areas. Western analyses of CBC are implicitly influenced by the works on ‘new regionalism’ and transnationalism. As a whole, the European scholars underline that cross-border projects have had limited impact; they point to various obstacles to cross-border economic development, resulting in only a limited effect on existing structural factors. In turn, Russian scholars acknowledge the minor interest of the Russian government in the cross-border cooperation with the EU, stressing Russia’s priority to implement an independent foreign policy in Europe aimed at restoration its own economic power. Operating from a constructivist theoretical framework, the authors conclude that the ideational apparatus used to analyze border cooperation is strongly conditioned by the political context in which scholars operate as well as by the larger geopolitical situation.

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Journal of Contemporary European Studies
Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Nechiporuk, D. (Dmitry), & DeBardeleben, J. (2018). Diverging views of EU-Russian borders: points of congruence and difference in EU and Russian analyses. Journal of Contemporary European Studies. doi:10.1080/14782804.2018.1534727