Recent years have witnessed the most substantial changes in the world system of states and their boundaries since World War II. The key division between the states in the world system?the former deep ideological divide between East and West?has disappeared. The border between Finland and Russia was a frontier between East and West and had a long history as a fundamental dividing line between contrasting cultural and political systems. Territories, Boundaries and Consciousness is the first geographical analysis of how this critical border evolved. This original and well–illustrated book is much more than a local study. It presents both a theoretically informed analysis of the construction of territories and their boundaries and a richly detailed geohistory of the changing geography of Finland. It traces the nature of the nation–building process, the rise of the nation state and the changing position of this emerging new state in the world geopolitical landscape. The history of the construction of the Finnish?Russian border is analyzed on the basis of modern geopolitical and social theory, leading to an interpretation of the changing role of the boundary in the socio–spatial consciousness of the Finnish people. This important theoretical analysis is a key reformulation of boundary studies as well as a fascinating experienced examination of a critical geographical fault–line in world history. It is essential reading for postgraduates of political and cultural geography, history, international relations, Russian studies, as well as for those with an interest in international politics.
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