Geografie, Online First article

The historical Sudetenland border and the current socio-spatial differentiation of Czechia: a quantitative look at the long-term impact of institutional changes

Matěj KorčákID, Pavlína NetrdováID

Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia

Received February 2022
Accepted July 2022

The expulsion of Germans after 1945 and the subsequent resettlement of the borderlands are among the most important processes that affected spatial distribution of population in Czechia during the 20th century. Although the former Sudetenland border existed officially only shortly, its effect on the socio-geographical organization of society is still apparent, even more than 50 years later. The border could be conceptualized as a phantom border which, despite its non-existence, impacts regional differences. The aim of the presented article is to evaluate the relationship of the former Sudetenland border with the current socio-spatial distribution of indicators related to regional identity, social stability, and human capital, using spatial and quantitative methods. The data are from the 2011 census and were analysed at the level of municipalities, which enabled a close examination of the effects of border proximity at the local level. A strong effect was confirmed for all indicators, proving the importance of historical context when interpreting the current socio-spatial differentiation.


This work was supported by GA ČR, project No. 18−20904S (In the core or at the periphery? An institutional perspective on impact of border processes on socioeconomic development in Czech border regions) and was supported by Charles University Research Centre program UNCE/HUM/018.


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