In order to understand the development prospects of border areas and the preconditions of transnational regionalisation, municipal planning of border areas needs to be approached not only from the perspective of EU-driven cross-border co-operation and building of “transnational” scale, but more comprehensively. Accordingly, the present research on the Finnish-Swedish border area, which is an internal border area of the EU, takes a more historically and contextually sensitive institutional approach in this regard.

The thesis investigates the structural and discursive dynamics related to the institutionalisation of cross-border co-operation as a development strategy in the context of municipal planning. This enables not only identification of the conflicts and intersections between state-, EU- and local/regional-level development interests and institutional structures, but also provides room for recognising the diversity of the existing interests, strategies and motivations of local and regional actors and different interest groups involved in these institutionalisation processes.

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Published: 2019-10-02