Policing the Eastern Bloc other in Northwestern European port zones

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This contribution delivers a critical conceptual comprehension of the policing practices and narratives of frontline Dutch and German port policing actors in relation to people from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Russia. The ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg are two of the most important and biggest ports of Europe, where front-line policing staff deal with many workers and worker migrants from CEE countries. Their everyday work lives consist of practices and narratives that are embedded in their (re)configuration of their identity through (colonialist) othering of CEE nationals. By exploring their (stories about) interactions with people from CEE and Russian citizens, it will be made clear how the Eastern Bloc Other and participants’ Northwestern European Self are (re)configured – (re)configurations that communicate grand narratives about austere policing that are at play in the background and have their invisible but powerful impact at the forefront. In sum, frontline policing staff in the port and how they consider CEE (migrant) workers reveal their ontological fears regarding their job insecurity in times of austerity governance of policing. Those fears are laying bare a deep-rooted colonialist policing that may simmer in times of peace and socio-economic stability yet becomes (bluntly) apparent and amplified in times of (financial and pandemic) crises.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Critical Approach to Police Science
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives in Post-Transitional Policing Studies
EditorsVeronika Nagy, Klára Kerezsi
PublisherEleven International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789462749573
ISBN (Print)9789462368873
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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