Policing Migration: Described and Observed Cooperation Experiences of Police and Border Guards in the Baltic Sea Area
Summary, in English
“Collaboration” is generally portrayed as being beneficial to intelligence and operational police work, even if previous collaborative research shows that conflicts are common between authorities who are supposed to cooperate. The present study focuses on how officers collaborate in their day-to-day management of border guarding, taking into consideration the different social and cultural backgrounds of the project participants. To these ends, this qualitative, ethnographically study is based on empirical material gathered from interviews, field observation sessions with officers working at the Baltic Sea border agencies and documents. The findings suggest that, although collaboration is burdened with bureaucratic difficulties, there is a common understanding of purpose among the project participants. These border officers' common declared their objective is to fight criminality and create a safer Europe. However, the participants possessing different organizational and cultural backgrounds have to adapt to adopt a common language (in officers' terms EU-English), common schemes of categorizing (inside-outside distinctions), and develop a sense of trust and identity. Collaboration is claimed by the informants, and is best achieved through getting involved in everyday practices. They worked side by side, and spent free time together rather than following bureaucratic rules and regulations.