International Conference: Borderlands Facing a Polycrisis in the 21st Century – Resilience and Future Perspectives of Cross-Border Relations

Wrocław & Opole, Poland | September 10-13, 2023

For more details please visit the Institute of Political Science and Public Administration — University of Opole website or contact: [email protected] & [email protected]



The 21st century faces a ‘global polycrisis’ as crises that occurred in multiple systems became causally entangled (Lawrence, Janzwood, Homer-Dixon 2022). In particular borderlands that are situated at the intersection of at least two national territories, political systems, cultural orders, and social spaces have been impacted by numerous disruptions that violated their stability and the sense of security. The so-called migration crisis, Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Polish-Belarusian humanitarian border crisis, and the recent war in Ukraine have affected the function of borders and also changed the lenses through which borders are perceived. The revival of borders as separating lines between sovereign states and societies, the rise of nationalist movements, new social divisions, ethnic or religious exclusions can be perceived asproblems that seemed to fade in the optimistic vision of European development but that have returned with redoubled force. These new processes pose a challenge not only for political authorities but also for researchers who are trying to grasp the dynamically changing social reality and new public discourses. What short- and long- term consequences result from these changes? How to handle the multiplied crises? What are the adaptation strategies of individuals, communities, and political authorities? To what extent are they resilient to these disruptive events?

These and other questions will be addressed at the international conference “Borderlands facing polycrisis in the 21st century. Resilience and future perspectives of cross-border relations” which focuses on the following research areas:

– Polycrisis in the 21st century and its impact on cross-border relations

– New theoretical and methodological approaches to border studies

– De/Re-Construction of ethnic, national, and social boundaries in societies facing multiple crises

– (New) Border policies and border regimes in multilevel governance structures

– Covid-19 and its impact on border regions

– The humanitarian crisis on the Polish eastern border

– The Russian invasion in Ukraine and its consequences

– International migration and rebordering trends in Europe

– Discourses and narratives on (new) borders and boundaries

– Trans-border identities and practices: living in, belonging to, and working in border regions

– Future perspectives of cross-border relations in Europe and the world


We invite you to Wrocław and Opole to discuss the new changes that occur in borderlands and the challenges faced by multiple actors as raised above. Please submit complete panel proposals (3 papers + chair (and discussant)) or abstracts for individual papers with reference to the thematic scope of the conference.


Important dates

1 February 2023 – opening call for panel sessions and abstract proposals. You can find the registration form here.

31 March 2023 – deadline for submitting the complete panel session proposals and individual paper abstracts

30 April 2023 – information on accepting the proposals

1 June 2023 – deadline for conference registration and fee payment

15 August 2023 – deadline for submitting papers (for publications)



10-11 September, University of Wrocław

12-13 September, University of Opole


Language of the conference: English



Centre for Regional and Borderlands Studies at the Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław

Institute of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Opole Department of Social-Scientific European Studies, Saarland University

Jean Monnet Network: “Borders, Human-to-Military Security Database”, University of Victoria



Borders in Globalization (Canada)

CEEPUS – Border and Regional Studies Network (Central Europe) Center for European Projects (Warsaw)

Experiencing Europe Lab (Forthem Alliance)

Joint Secretariat INTERREG Co-operation Programme Poland – Saxony 2021-2027 [2014- 2020]

International Conference: Borderlands Facing a Polycrisis in the 21st Century - Resilience and Future Perspectives of Cross-Border Relations