border, nation state, everyday life, territorial and ethnic identities


Borders of nation states, claim the authors, are embodiment of junction between system and lifeworld. They manifest the translation of social into physical spaces and vice versa. The authors reflect the meaning of distinctions and oppositions (us and them, here and there, safety and danger, included and excluded etc.) in construction, maintenance and disappearance of boundaries in space. In case of borders of nation states the distinctions are identified within and grounded solely upon the political sphere, the same sphere that needs borders and distinctions in order to constitute itself. A qualitative study about the experience and meaning of Yugoslav-Slovenian-Italian border is at the core of the article. Three historical periods are highlighted: the constitution of the border in the years 1953/54, followed by decades up to the entrance of Slovenia in European Union in 2004 and the period of “vanishing and reappearing border” after 2004. The authors believe that the field of “absolute politics” dominated over everyday experiences of people living in the border area and – when some turning points occurred – demanded radical decisions and identity transformations.