“Doing the Right Thing”: identity construction and motivation of border police officers in the Baltic Sea area

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning


Although border politics have been given much theoretical attention in recent years, empirical studies of identity construction among border police officers are less common. In 2014, a two-year collaborative project partly funded by the EU was initiated in order to increase international collaboration between border police officers in the Baltic Sea area. The participating organizations were border police authorities in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden. This study is based on observations and interviews with participating border police and coast guard officers. In addition to collaboration obstacles and community building, other areas of interest were identity construction and negotiations of the “border police role”. Europe faced a large influx of migrants and refugees implicating a so-called migrant crisis in 2015. This event affected the work of the officers. Border controls were re-implemented in the EU, which sparked conversations among the officers regarding their work practices. Several officers expressed great frustration that human smugglers preyed on the misfortune of people in peril. On the other hand, most officers described their work role as “crime fighting”; as following the law no matter the moral dilemmas that might follow. An important part of the collaboration process was thus focused on defining the border police role, and of coming to terms with their conflicting views regarding policing and moral convictions of “doing the right thing”.


Konferens18th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology : Crimes Against Humans and Crimes Against Humanity: Implications for Modern Criminology, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 29 - September 1, 2018
Period80-01-01 → …

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