Claiming and Crossing Borders: A View on the Slovene-Croatian Border Dispute

Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Domagoj Račić


Authors undertake the analysis of border disputes between Slovenia and Croatia as an example of socioeconomic processes typical of the European semi-periphery. The disputes over territorial claims and the acquisitions of Slovenian companies by their Croatian competitors are viewed as complementary processes of claiming and crossing borders, which are based on different notions of (national) sovereignty. The idea of sovereignty as control over territory is transformed and complemented into the notion of sovereignty as national ownership and control over economic assets. Cross-border takeover is thus interpreted as losing sovereignty over the national economy. The dispute over territorial claims has been since 2009 gradually replaced by media-covered business and financial transactions between major national companies (e.g. the case of Agrokor and Mercator). At the same time, borders are circumvented by wider processes of market consolidation and capital accumulation to which EU integration served as a facilitator. This places the issue of physical borders and territorial sovereignty as well as economic sovereignty largely into the symbolic arena.


Croatian-Slovenian border disputes, border studies, transitional economy, European semi-periphery

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096