Since the beginning of the Great War, and arguably earlier, activists of national movements had begun to think about the possibilities of achieving at least an autonomous status for their nations within the still existing empires. Such considerations were reinforced when, during the final months of the war, the empires began to disintegrate. Numerous experts played an important role in this process and their studies became the basis for territorial reorganisation. After the borders had been redrawn, expert opinions were once again used to legitimise or question these demarcations. Early research literature, which often found its counterpart in the authors’ public statements, thus came to play an important role in influencing public opinion on the creation of borders after the end of the war and on the rejection or acceptance of the territorial reorganisation of Eastern Europe.
The thematic dossier "Border Demarcations in Eastern Europe" is supervised by the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe - Institute of the Leibniz Association in Marburg, the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. Researchers from all areas of Eastern and Southern European studies are invited to contact the editorial staff with suggestions, corrections and questions.