When Worlds Collide: Negotiating Work Ethics on the German–Polish Border

Schwell, Alexandra (2017) When Worlds Collide: Negotiating Work Ethics on the German–Polish Border. East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures, 31 (2), pp. 269-289. 15338371

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The cooperation between German and Polish border police from the middle of the 1990s to 2007 is characterized by a striking paradox: border guards on both sides claim their working styles are incompatible with one another while in most cases they cooperate very well. Yet, as this article argues, the border guards employ strategies of boundary-drawing and self-staging that help them cope with the asymmetry they encounter when cooperating with the “other.” German and Polish border guards develop informal strategies of action and communication that rest upon a joint professional culture, leading to mutual trust and solidarity and a congruence of subjective professional honor and official mandate. Yet, this win–win situation runs the risk of emphasizing police-cultural aspects that focus on security while leaving the underlying East–West asymmetry untouched.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 08:26
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 10:53
DOI: 15338371
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/4438

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