Die Brennergrenze im Spiegel geographischer Arbeiten [article]

Oliver Zauzig, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
2017
Political Borders are not simply a matter for geographers, even jurists, economists, historians and social scientists do research on borders. Due to the consolidation of nation-states, the images of frontiers which existed since the ancient world have been transformed in visible shapes. Maps have been supposed to constitute the image of the own territory. Visible landmarks such as mountain ranges as well as landscape transitions such as rivers or coastlines, have provided constitutional
more » ... stitutional boundaries. A discourse has been developed as a result of this matter which was run by scientists. Thousands of kilometres of new borderlines were drawn after the First World War. One of these new borders is the so-called "Brennergrenze" between Austria and Italy. How did this border emerge? Which role did the scientific geography play? Which arguments were brought forward in favour of and against this new borderline? What part did the imagination of "natural borders" and "Pass-Staaten" (This term was introduced by German and Austrian geographers who insisted that a pass not so much divided but rather united a territory) play? How has natural scientific expertise been exploited for political, or rather even revanchist demands? The discussion on the legitimacy of the new border in the Alps took a long time. For their arguments, both sides insisted on natural as well as cultural givens (e.g. the main watershed on the ridge of the Alps or shared language) as scientifically grounded realities. The aim in this scientific paper is, with the aid of discourse analysis, to question those aspects and to research the argumentation of geographers on both sides of the Austro-Italian border.
doi:10.18452/14100 fatcat:ccuvwg76lfbldkciekrgxthyju