Neske Baerwaldt (1987) is a PhD candidate at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society. In her project "The evolution of the German-Austrian borderland: local perspectives", she examines how German political debates on border control have unfolded since the Schengen area was established (1985-present), how the legal frameworks governing cross-border mobility in that same period have evolved, how such legal frameworks have been implemented at the local level in the German-Austrian border region, and how people living and working in the region have experienced such shifting border regimes. In addition, she examines if – and if so, which – local views and experiences reach political debates and decision-making processes. As such, she intends to shed light on the interplay between official representations of the border in the political and legal realms and diverse and often ambiguous local border realities.
Neske completed a Research Master Social Sciences (with distinction) in 2015 at the University of Amsterdam. After obtaining her degree, Neske worked as an intern with Apache – platform for investigative journalism – and as a Humanitarian Affairs Officer with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Ethiopia.