© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The aim of this paper is to bring new elements into the theoretical discussion so as to better understand the realities of borderlands. Our goal involves projecting a new conceptualization of the cross-border territory and cross-border reterritorialization by refining the analytical framework envisioned by the current literature on border studies. More specifically, we apply the so-called ‘territorialist approach’, an innovative and culturally oriented approach for territorial studies that is rooted in the Italian geographical school. Cross-border territories are conceived as complex territorial units, whereby geographical, socioeconomic and cultural patterns are affected and thus altered by the fixation of international boundaries and territorialization. Nevertheless, the persistence of local cross-border networks, both formal and informal, contributes to the maintenance of a shared local milieu. The European integration processes, especially in view of the European Territorial Cooperation programmes, represent an important framework for supporting local cross-border cooperation and boosting new territorial strategies for borderlands. From this perspective, we hypothesize that new cycles of local cross-border reterritorialization can be observed along the EU borderlands by creating new forms of cross-border territorial capital. The case study of Cerdanya (French-Spanish border) illustrates the application of the theoretical framework by analysing the enduring experiences of cross-border cooperation.
- cross-border reterritorialization
- local milieu
- territorial capital