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Ellinor Forster

Abstract

In the light of the relevant terms of this issue, »state«, »space« and »administration«, this contribution considers the intertwining between representations of order, their administration, and the governance of the subjects in the sovereignty areas of Salzburg and Tyrol in the Zillertal. The different ideas of space – investigated from the perspectives of various groups of the population, of local officials, and of the government centers – changed throughout the examined period. At its beginning, the authorities in the government centers endeavored to keep the borders open for mutual exchange, whereas the local officials used their administrative tools to stage a competition with the officials of the neighboring district, e.g. by blocking and redirecting the subjects’ pathways of movement. In this situation, a more open construction of space confronted a more mistrustful one aimed at enclosure and the guarding of borders. In the context of negotiations for a general border settlement between Tyrol and Salzburg, and on the basis of newly developed conceptions of a state as having a clearly defined sovereignty area, capable of being governed without any foreign influence up to its borders, the interventions of the government centers started to change. Borders were adjusted and a clear assignment of the subjects was demanded. However, the more an exact correspondence between space and sovereignty was pursued, the more obvious the impossibility of this undertaking became. Seemingly well-demarcated border lines appeared vague when regarded closely. Their official description was at odds with the subjects’ construction and usage of spaces. While their spatial behaviors were determined by the norms of the sovereign centers and controlled by the administrative work of the officials, the subjects developed their own strategies for dealing with these interventions in their constructions of space and adjusting to them.