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Abstract : This contribution focuses on one basic contradiction: public policies are, as national tools, dependent on the notion of the national border which determines the identity of a state. However, the cross-border actor considers the border as an archaism and regards it as the main objective of cross-border cooperation to overcome borders. How can public policies be made coherent in cross-border areas? Cross-border dynamics involve emerging territories that are not linked to an institution but are formed with relation to a project. The project creates the territory, it is not the territory which creates the project. Cross-border projects therefore set off a process of territorialisation by which new political fields of intervention are created which have to be covered by public policies. This process is at the heart of the public policies themselves which have to be more and more territorialised. In this context, cross-border projects have the main objective of bringing forward common social practices that help to integrate the new cross-border territory. Cross-border dynamics are nonetheless a challenge for the identity of the states which have to articulate their public action according to new areas of intervention. This leads to the question of institutionalising cross-border cooperation, where new competences must be defined for the local and regional authorities. How can administrative identities be integrated without establishing a hierarchy between the different national and cross-border actors? How, in an inter-institutional cross-border context, can the question of governance be tackled? Three types of instrument can be distinguished which are capable of bringing together existing public policies in a cross-border area. First of all, there are the cognitive instruments which help to produce common means of information and representation. Secondly, strategic instruments can mutualise the existing pattern of institutions and projects. Finally, legal instruments are used to develop contracts, conventions and shared decision-making processes, by means of a permanent institutional patchworking, which is necessary to make up for existing differences of competences between the administrations. In order for a public policy to attain its goal, a configuration of public action is needed where all three elements are combined. Even though legal tools and governance models for cross-border cooperation have been perfected, the administrative identities still have a tendency to be juxtaposed instead of being integrated. Therefore, it becomes more and more essential to develop a territorial management. The notion of the border has to be increasingly regarded from a philosophical perspective. The border is a place around which three contradictions are articulated: the tension between the empirical and the transcendental; between the thinkable and unthinkable; and the question of the coexistence of the state and the border itself, for the boundaries of the state also determine positively the limits of the state’s power.
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Contributor : Michel Casteigts <>
Submitted on : Friday, August 4, 2017 - 5:56:55 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 7:12:05 PM


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Michel Casteigts. LA MISE EN COHÉRENCE DES POLITIQUES PUBLIQUES EN TERRITOIRE TRANSFRONTALIER. Birte Wassenberg. VIVRE ET PENSER LA COOPÉRATION TRANSFRONTALIÈRE (VOL. 1: Les régions frontalières françaises), Franz Steiner Verlag, pp.P. 307-321, 2010. ⟨halshs-01572146⟩



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