ABI - Borderscapes and minority communtities

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  • Project duration: December 2014 - December 2023
  • Project status:
    Approval by the Scientific Committee

The research project MinBorderscapes examines local and regional cross-border cooperation with a focus on border areas with minority identities. Furthermore, it analyses European policies to promote cross-border cooperation and conceptualises these EU policies and the cooperation on the ground as two phases of a policy cycle, namely policy formulation and policy implementation.

The project illustrates that minority-related aspects are a compelling perspective to be considered within the multidisciplinary field of border studies. Minority studies can well complement research on borders and border spaces by focusing on localness rather than state-centeredness and by providing a better understanding of contextual conditions in border regions. This can enrich the conceptual and theoretical foundations as well as the empirical work in border and minority studies.

In addition, the project adds the perspective of minority research to studies on EU cohesion policy and cross-border cooperation instruments, thereby enriching the debate on the future territorial vision of Europe and the concept of territorial and social cohesion. Research on minority-related multiethnic and multicultural realities of border regions can provide important insights for the debate on how to strengthen social and territorial cohesion in Europe.

Theoretically and conceptually, the project builds on several strands. The analysis of policy formulation and policy change at the European level is based on theories and concepts of integration and policy-making. The research on cooperation in border regions draws on theories and concepts developed in the field of border studies, especially institutionalist and governance-related approaches.

Methodologically, the project applies qualitative approaches with different research designs. It combines comparative approaches of different cross-border regions as well as single case studies. The project uses primary empirical data (gathered through expert interviews, document analysis, etc.) and secondary empirical data (eg. EGTC minoring reports by the Committee of the Regions, Eurobarometer data etc.).

Finally, the project also includes some applied research activities carried out on behalf of the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino. This applied research aims at identifying success factors of cross-border cooperation projects along the Italian-Austrian border as well as the role of local authorities in cross-border governance in the Italian-Austrian border area.

Ausgebremste Grenzregionen durch Covid-19: der Aktionismus in der Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino im europäischen Vergleich
Engl A (2021)
Contribution in book
Politika 2021, Politik und Gesellschaft im Umbruch: Folgen der Covid-19-Pandemie, Gemeinderatswahlen in Südtirol und im Trentino / Politica e società al bivio: conseguenze della pandemia Covid-19, Elezioni comunali in Alto Adige e in Trentino
Key-note: Erfolgsfaktoren für grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit
Engl A (2020)

Conference: Follow-up Euregio-Akademie 2020 | Alpbach | 20.8.2020 - 23.8.2020


Agenda-setting dynamics in the post-2020 cohesion policy reform: the pathway towards the European cross-border mechanism as possible policy change
Engl A, Evrard E (2020)
Journal article
Journal of European Integration / Revue d'Intégration Européenne



Stress Test for the Policy-making Capability of Cross-border Spaces? Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Euroregion Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino
Engl A, Wisthaler V (2020)
Journal article
Journal of Borderlands Studies



"Border Crossers" und Border Studies: Eine Multiperspektivische Bestandsaufnahme zum Grenzraum Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino
Alber E, Engl A (2020)
Contribution in book
Crossing Borders - Passaggi di confine - Grenzgänge: Festschrift für Günther Pallaver

More information: https://www.uibk.ac.at/iup/buecher/9783991060246.html


Achtung, Grenze!
Engl A (2020)
FF: das Südtiroler Wochenmagazin
Europe’s culturally diverse borderscapes: the EGTC from the perspective of minority studies
Engl A (2020)
Contribution in book
15 years of the EGTCs: lessons learnt and future perspectives

More information: http://legalaccess.cesci-net.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/1 ...


Grenzüberschreitende alpine Governance und Bürgernähe: die Rolle der Gemeinden in der Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino
Alber E, Klotz G, Engl A, Kofler I (2019)

Conference: Euregio Eurac Research| Alpine Governance und Grenzgemeinden | Bozen : 27.2.2019 - 27.2.2019


Grenzüberschreitende Governance und Bürgernähe: Die Rolle von „Grenz“-Gemeinden in der Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino
Alber E, Engl A, Klotz G, Kofler I (2019)
Bolzano/Bozen: Eurac Research
Authored book


Horizontale und vertikale Kooperation in der Europaregion – Grundlagen und Grundfragen
Engl A (2019)
Contribution in book
Verwaltungskooperation in der Europaregion: Potenziale ohne Grenzen?


Towards an EU policy for cross-border areas? Analysing the emergence of the European cross-border mechanism as policy change
Engl A (2018)

Conference: Tag der Politikwissenschaft | Innsbruck | 29.11.2018 - 30.11.2018

Taking Stock of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC): From Policy Formulation to Policy Implementation
Estelle E, Engl A (2018)
Contribution in book
European Territorial Cooperation. Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to the Process and Impacts of Cross-Border and Transnational Cooperation in Europe


Europaregion und Autonomiereform: Ein Euregio-spezifisches Teilbild als Abbild für die Debatten im Konvent der 33 und in der Consulta
Engl A (2018)
Contribution in book
Politika 2018. Autonomiekonvent und Consulta Die Reform des Autonomiestatuts der Region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol: partizipative Prozesse im Vergleich. Convenzione sull’Autonomia e Consulta La riforma dello Statuto d’autonomia della Regione Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol: processi partecipativi a confronto


Towards a Euro‐regional migration governance? Comparing the political debates on refugees and asylum seekers in the European region Tyrol‐South Tyrol‐Trentino
Engl A (2017)

Conference: Migprosp Conference “The Dynamics of Regional Migration Governance” | European University Institute, Florence | 25.5.2017 - 26.5.2017

Local pragmatism or grand narratives? Comparing the political debates on refugees and asylum seekers in the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino
Wisthaler V, Engl A (2017)
Divergenz trotz Kooperation. Der politische Diskurs zu Flüchtlingen und Asylwerbenden in der Europaregion Tirol - Südtirol –Trentino
Engl A, Wisthaler V (2017)
Contribution in book
Politika 2017, Südtiroler Jahrbuch für Politik
Europaregionen und EVTZ: Konkurrenz oder Komplementarität?
Engl A (2017)
Contribution in book
Der Europäische Verbund für territoriale Zusammenarbeit


Bridging borders through institution-building: the EGTC as a facilitator of institutional integration in cross-border regions
Engl A (2016)
Journal article
Regional & Federal Studies



Die Gemeinden der Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino: gesellschaftspolitische Herausforderungen und institutionelle Innovation
Engl A, Pallaver G, Alber E (2016)
Journal article
Politika. Südtiroler Jahrbuch für Politik = Annuario di politica dell'Alto Adige = Anuer de pulitica di Südtirol


Malloy TH, Popova Z, Wolf S, Boulter C, Woelk J, Zwilling C, Klotz G, Engl A, Bagdasarova N (2016)
Flensburg: ECMI

More information: http://www.eurac.edu/en/research/autonomies/sfereg/network/D ...


Cross-Border Cooperation and its Potential for Minorities in Selected Border Regions of OSCE Member States
Zwilling C, Woelk J, Klotz G, Engl A (2016)

More information: http://www.eurac.edu/en/research/autonomies/sfereg/network/D ...


Bridging National and Ethnic Borders: The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation as a Space for Minorities
Engl A, Mitterhofer J (2015)
Contribution in book
European Yearbook of Minority Issues, Volume 12 (2013)


Zusammenhalt und Vielfalt in Europas Grenzregionen: der Europäische Verbund für territoriale Zusammenarbeit in normativer und praktischer Dimension
Engl A (2014)
(Schriftenreihe der Europäischen Akademie Bozen, Bereich "Minderheiten und Autonomien")
Authored book


Future perspectives on territorial cooperation in Europe: the EC regulation on a European grouping of territorial cooperation and the planned Council of Europe third protocol to the Madrid outline convention concerning euroregional co-operation groupings
Engl A (2007)
Bozen:EURAC research
Journal article
European Diversity and Autonomy Papers - EDAP

More information: http://www.eurac.edu/documents/edap/2007_edap03.pdf


European Region Tyrol-Trentino-South Tyrol
European Centre for Minority Issues
Project Team
1 - 5


1 - 3

CUTE Autonomy

ABI - Cultural and Territorial Autonomy

Duration: December 2014 - October 2021Funding:
Internal funding EURAC (Project)

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

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