- The humanitarian politics of European border policing: Frontex and border police in Evros
- International Political Sociology
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper explores humanitarianism in the practice of Frontex-assisted Greek border police in Evros and of Frontex at their headquarters in Warsaw. Building on the increase in humanitarian justifications for border policing practices as well as the charges of a lack of humanity, the paper analyzes the relations between humanitarian responses and border policing where humanitarianism is used for framing and giving meaning to institutional and operational practices. In offering an interpretive view of border policing undertaken by people in their working lives across sites and scales, it builds on the critical literature addressing the multifaceted nature of border control in Europe today. At the same time, it speaks to wider debates about the double-sided nature of humanitarian governance concerned with care and control. It argues that while humanitarian motivations have implications for operations in the field and help to frame "good practice" at the policy level, humanitarianism should not be seen as additional or paradoxical to wider border policing operations within forms of governance developed to address the problems of population. Conflict arises in the paradox of protection between the subject of humanitarianism and policing, the population, and the object of border control, the territorially bounded state or regional unit.
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