“Beyond Borders” supports research about borders and boundaries in past and present times. It promotes interdisciplinary exchange in the social sciences and humanities. The Call for Applications 2020 was open till January 15, 2021 and focused on “Borders, Democracy and Security”. In this first selection round 20 scholarships were awarded to international Ph.D. students.
Borders are an integral part of our everyday life. Political, social, virtual, intellectual and cultural borders are hotly contested, both in international contexts around issues of migration, security, trade, or global education and within nations trying to deal with increased diversity and changing notions of national culture and history. Geographical borders separate states, regions and cities. They mark the breadth and depth of territorial organization while informal symbolic and social boundaries define values and norms for social, cultural, and religious life. All types of borders can be conceived as social constructs: They may refer to cultural and historical backgrounds, result from international treaties or political negotiations or reflect public debates on controversial topics. In our increasingly globalized world in which human mobility and the constant circulation of goods, objects, ideas and practices are also an integral part of everyday life, the importance of border making and crossing is growing. Borders and cross-border regions function therefore as manifestations of social, political, economic and cultural change.