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Return to hard frontiers?: The shifting significance of borders in the 21st century, exemplified by the Irish border post-Brexit
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is one that has undergone many changes over the past decades, from comparatively hard during the armed conflict, including military checkpoints, to considerably softer and more open after the peace agreement. With the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (Brexit), the border might change in nature again. This thesis explores the perception of the border and its dynamics by Irish government members, asking if there is a discernible fear of a return to a hard border after Brexit, and how this perception is expressed. To answer these questions, a textual analysis of speeches and policy documents is performed. References to the border are analysed and put into a greater context of border theory (especially the transition from hard to soft borders) and current trends of neo-nationalism and what they mean for borders in our contemporary world. Findings suggest that there is a perception and fear by the Irish government of the border potentially hardening again, while simultaneously characterising the border as virtually non-existent today. The results shed light on the way politics acknowledge the dynamics of borders and their shifting significance which is subject to changing political and historical circumstances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 58
Keywords [en]
Northern Ireland, Brexit, border studies, political geography, supranationalism, sovereignty, hard and soft borders
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156833OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156833DiVA, id: diva2:1211274
Available from: 2018-06-25 Created: 2018-05-30 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Return to hard frontiers?_Jannik Petersen(993 kB)11 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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