The purpose of this ethnographic study is to analyse the collaborative work among intelligence and operative personnel from different border authorities in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The aim ofthis article is to illustrate and discuss how transnational/interorganisational police identities and trust come into being through officers sharing a construction of specific significant ‘other’ – in this case that of ‘Russian spies/crooks’. Cross border collaboration among police organisations is made difficult as police officers tend to be suspicious of outsiders and colleagues that they have not yet worked with. In this study, we explore how trust among a specific group of officers was however built by contrasting themselves against not (just) criminals but an enemy that could be found among them or have an influence over their colleagues, namely Russia or Russian spies. We refer to this category as ‘normdissolving Russian’. This category included concepts such as being a spy, a criminal and a potential military threat, and became a sort of ‘Other’ that reinforced their own in-group bonds. Intelligence and operative personnel present in the analysed collaborative sequences create their professional identities by contrasting themselves with these categories. Drawing on ritual theory as well as symbolic interactionism this article discusses how an in-group feeling and idea of a higher moral order was created and recreated during their collaborative work. Morality is thus created and recreated in the encounter with people that are associated with being the‘enemy’, present in the situation both in physical and invisible form.
|Tidskrift||Policing and Society|
|Status||Publicerad - 2022-jan.-18|
- Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap (50999)