Emotions and populism at internal EU borders. Crime, fear and securitization from below.

Authors: Kristine Beurskens*,
Topics: Political Geography
Keywords: political geography, securitization, populism, militia, citizen bordering, border, state, territoriality, European Union
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Virginia B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With the Schengen system, the inner borders of the European Union were liberated and its infrastructures left abandoned. But in striking opposition to an image of peaceful integration, recent observations of political and medial discussions and everyday life at the border between Germany and Poland reveal border-related discourses and practices of a new kind.
Along this inner border of the EU, an observed increase in occurrences of theft and crime has led to the perception among citizens, that state institutions have turned their back on them. Media and politicians have picked up on these observations: The lack of border control is declared as a failure of the state in providing security for their citizens, and populist voices are speaking up for more controls and border closures. In consequence, community and private actors have begun to launch neighbourhood initiatives, apply technical devices of surveillance and generally establish their own solutions in processes of controlling and bordering. Understanding the populist politics in this setting, their usage of territorial aspects and their entanglement with personal fears and insecurities asks for an emotionally sensitive approach of research. By presenting current research from the German-Polish border, the aim of this contribution is therefore to engage in a wider discussion on the issues of populism and emotional geographies of (re)bordering.

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