Call for papers - Space and Society in Divided Twin Towns

We would like to inform you about the monothematic issue of Sociální studia / Social Studies (2016) which is now under preparation, with the following preliminary title:

Space and Society in Divided Twin Towns

We appreciate articles that offer new understanding of the phenomenon of divided twin towns, not only in the field of sociology but in other relevant disciplines, such as anthropology, history, economics, geography, political science, architecture etc. We aim to mediate an international and interdisciplinary debate between recent research projects that focus on social specificity, identity, morphology or economic potentials of divided towns. Our focus concentrates on Central Europe from Baltic States to the Balkans, but we also welcome comparative articles from other regions of Europe as well.

The guest editor of the special issue is Máté Tamáska PhD (HU), the leader of a research project Space and Society in Divided Twin Towns in the Hungarian-Slovakian border area.

About the subject:

The divided border town as a spatial and social phenomenon is a common feature in Central Europe. The border changes of the 20th century create its background, most often as consequences of peace treaties after blood-letting wars.

Thus, the births of twin towns were full of conflicts opening a period of disintegration in urban life. The situation in twin towns in former Yugoslavia is a very lively example of this phenomenon and other twin towns situated in new member countries of the EU display a (re)integration period as well.

While supporting integration processes, EU funding will not lead to complete reunifications of local societies: the mental borders still exist, based on historical experience, recent movements, narratives and migrations.

Therefore, obviously, divided twin towns represent a special type of a European city shaped by periodic phases of integration and disintegration.

Here are some research topics to be addressed by the special issue:

  1. Identity of border towns: use of history, narratives, milieu of border, ethnic stereotypes, memory and cultural landscape
  2. Social trends: demographic background of twin towns, migration, commuting, minorities
  3. Geography of twin towns: national networks and trans-border connections, urban-rural dichotomy such as suburbanization, agglomeration, villages, labour market
  4. Urbanity of twin towns: structure of urban zones, centres and peripheries, townscape, local milieus, architectural design and its interpretation, history of “new towns”
  5. History of local societies, architecture or politics based on a model of integration and disintegration
  6. Theoretical paper about the phenomena of divided twin towns (not limited to Central Europe)

Deadline for abstract submission (max. 300 words): 28 February 2016

Deadline for submitting full papers: 30 September 2016 direct to the guest editor Máté Tamáska:
Language: English (native proofreading is provided by redaction) Extent: 40-50 000 characters
Figures: only grayscale (black-white), the author should verify the publication rights of maps and photos.

For citations see: