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10 | 2013
Border markets

Editor's notes

Editor: Olivier Walther, Ph.D., Rutgers University and University of Southern Denmark

Concept and objectives

Located at the margin of states but often at the center of the regional economy, border markets are different from other markets. While regional and national markets draw their wealth from their hinterland, border markets owe their existence to the presence of border differentials. While other markets are organized according to the territorial principle of central places, border markets thrive at the point of convergence of transnational networks. While most markets owe their importance to the size and qualification of their labor pool, border markets are dependent on the business opportunities offered by their peripheral location. Whereas most markets evolve slowly, border markets may experience sudden booms or declines due to variations in price differentials, exchange rates between currencies, taxes between countries, and bans of imports and exports.

Because of these unique characteristics, border markets are stimulating cases for reassessing some of the assumptions of the social sciences, such as centrality, and rethinking the action of nation-states in border regions. If the importance of border markets in the regional economy cannot effectively be explained by their relative demographic size, how should their centrality be measured? If border markets are “geographically peripheral (but) economically pivotal”, to use Nugent’s words, what kind of economic policies can stimulate their sustainable development?

The objective of this issue of Articulo – Journal of Urban Research is to explore some of these issues by examining the characteristics of border markets in a comparative perspective. The editor welcomes contributions on the following topics:

- The geographical specificity of border markets;

- Border markets and trade liberalisation;

- Booms and busts in border markets;

- Border markets’ economic actors and local institutions;

- Development policies implemented in border markets.


The call for papers is now closed. Further proceedings: proposed deadline for the full papers: April 15, 2014. Double blind reviews and paper revisions: May to July 2014. Final online publication: September 2014. Please contact Olivier Walther ( for more information.

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