The institutionalization of border controls

B. De Ridder, The institutionalization of Habsburg-Dutch border controls during the Eighty Years War, Philostrato. Revista de historia y arte, extraordinary nr. (2018), p. 55-76.

This article discusses the origins and institutionalization of border controls during the Eighty Years War in the Low Countries (ca. 1568-1648). The Habsburg-Dutch border that was created during this conflict was a brand new territorial separation, stemming from the secession of the Dutch Republic from the wider Habsburg Empire. The novelty of this border meant that already during the war the two governments needed to be creative in their handling of it and that they needed to develop several new strategies of border management. These strategies for controlling the border were however not developed as part of a centralized program of state formation. Rather, the two governments in Brussels/Madrid and The Hague engaged in a process of learning that involved many other actors as well. By looking into three specific types of such interaction, this article illustrates the learning process that accompanied the installation of systems for passage control in the Habsburg-Dutch borderlands.

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