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Identities, Borderscapes, Orders: (In)Security, (Im)Mobility and Crisis in the EU and Ukraine
 3031232488, 9783031232480

Table of contents :
Preface
Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe
1.1 Research Questions
1.1.1 Main Questions
1.1.2 Subsidiary Questions
1.2 Book Contributions and Chapter Outline
1.3 Chapter Outline
References
Chapter 2: Conceptualising the Borderscape
2.1 Over-generalisation and Over-specification
2.1.1 Conceptualising the Borderscape
2.2 Constituting the Borderscape: A Framework for Analysis (& Representation)
2.2.1 Features, Discourses and Practices
2.3 Distinguishing and Contextualising the Borderscape: An Interpretive Framework
2.3.1 Distinguishing a Borderscape: The Intersection of (In)Security and (Im)Mobility
2.3.2 Contextualising the Borderscape: Identities-Borderscapes-Orders
2.4 Socio-political Underpinnings of the Borderscape
2.4.1 Mobilising Security in Word and Deed
2.4.2 Power, Resistance and the Limits of the Social
2.5 Spatialities of the Borderscape
2.5.1 Space and Subjectivity
2.5.2 Performative Placemaking
2.5.3 Territory and Materiality
2.5.4 Space/Power/Knowledge
2.6 Temporalities and Particularities of the CEE Borderscape
2.6.1 A Particular Europe
2.6.2 Historicism at the End of History
2.6.3 Histories´ Ends
2.6.4 Memory Contra History?
2.7 The Conceptualised Borderscape: Analysable, Interpretable, Researchable
References
Chapter 3: Interpretively Researching the CEE Borderscape
3.1 Elements of an Interpretive Methodology
3.2 A Particular Research Journey
3.2.1 From Dissatisfied Practitioner to Critical Academic
3.2.2 From Critical Academic to Post-critical Researcher
3.3 Mapping the Borderscape
3.3.1 Mapping an Emerging Concept
3.3.2 Mapping Sites, Actors and Settings
3.3.3 Conducting Interpretive Research
3.3.4 Research Skills, Phases and Sensibilities
3.3.5 Deskwork Methods
3.3.6 Fieldwork Methods
3.4 Reflexive, Post-critical Interpretive Research
3.4.1 Negotiating Access, Negotiating Proximity
3.4.2 Sense(s) of Doubt
References
Chapter 4: A Diverse Archipelago: Borderscape Features
4.1 Firewalls: Internal Control in a Schengen State
4.1.1 Mobile Police Controls
4.1.2 Inconvenient, But Not Oppressive Bureaucracy
4.2 Shadows: Bordering Between Schengen States
4.2.1 Shadow Policing at Intra-Schengen Frontiers
4.2.2 Twilight Zones
4.3 A Filter (Not a Fortress)
4.3.1 Border Constructions
4.3.2 Local Border Traffic
4.4 The Visa `Curtain-Wall´
4.4.1 Consular Remote-Control
4.4.2 Behind the Curtain-Wall: 2nd Class Europe
4.5 Twisted Mirrors: EU Bordering in Ukraine
4.5.1 Externalised Border Mirrors
4.5.2 Twisted Mirrors in an Uncanny Borderland
4.6 A Diverse Archipelago of Border Features
References
Chapter 5: Euro-renovations: Borderscape Discourses
5.1 An Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
5.1.1 Freedom: Mobility in Security
5.1.2 Justice: Ruling and Bounding
5.2 From Hierarchy to Belonging
5.2.1 Hierarchy: EU Members but Non-core Europeans?
5.2.2 Belonging: Enacting Political Subjectivity in the EU
5.3 Shared Values and Shared Interests in the EU´s Eastern Neighbourhood
5.3.1 Shared Values Among a `Ring of Friends´
5.3.2 Shared Interests: Friends with Benefits?
5.4 Justifying Division Through Divergent Values and Interests
5.4.1 Different Standards, Different Values
5.4.2 Divergent Interests: Justifying Bordering, Delineating Belonging
5.5 Threats and Fears: Discursively Securitising Ukraine
5.5.1 Threats of Difference: Organised Crime and Disorganised Migration
5.5.2 Fears of the East: The Devils in Western Minds
5.6 Discursive `Euro-Renovations´ in EU-Ukraine Relations
References
Chapter 6: Limiting Europe: Borderscape Practices
6.1 Europeanising: Capacity Without Community
6.1.1 Europeanising National Frontiers
6.1.2 Limits to Europeanisation
6.2 Knowing: Risk Analysis and the Distortion of EU Bordering
6.2.1 Risk Analysis as Dominant Mode of Border Knowledge
6.2.2 Opportunity Cost: Limitations of Risk Analysis
6.3 Protecting: Borders and Migrants
6.3.1 Protecting the Border
6.3.2 Protecting Migrants, Limiting Mobilities
6.4 Facilitating: Formal and Informal Ways In
6.4.1 Formal Facilitations: Privileges
6.4.2 Informal Facilitations: Negotiations
6.5 Moving: CEE Mobilities Within and Without the EU
6.5.1 Movement Within the EU and the Schengen Zone
6.5.2 Movement Between the EU and Ukraine
6.6 Border Practices as Limits to European Potential
References
Chapter 7: Conclusion: A Moveable East and the EU´s Unfulfilled Potential
7.1 EU Borderings, Identities and (Dis)Orders in CEE
7.1.1 EU-European Order and Identity
7.1.2 Eastern-European Order and Identity
7.1.3 (In)Security, (Im)mobilty and (Dis)Order: The EU´s Multiple Crises
7.2 From Crises to Opportunities: Future (Research) Directions
References
Chapter 8: Epilogue: Europe Through the Prism of Russia´s War on Ukraine
8.1 Epilogue
8.2 Mobility: A Tale of Two Crises (and a Visa Liberalisation)
8.2.1 Crisis: 2013-2016
8.2.2 Freer Movement, for Some: 2016-2021
8.2.3 A Different Crisis, a Different Response: 2022
8.3 EU Dis-Ordering: Forsaking Creative Geopolitics, Transformative Power and Progressive Security
8.3.1 Losing Their Religion: A Less Inspired, Less Clear-Eyed, Less Capable EU
8.3.2 The Rise of Protective Security and the Fall of Progressive EU Ordering
8.4 (Non-core) Europe: CEE as the EU´s (Re-)Moveable East?
8.4.1 The Return of Non-core Europe?
8.4.2 The EU´s Core Problem
8.5 Twilight at Dawn: Neo-Idealism, Embracing Ukraine and UnCancelling EUrope´s Future
8.5.1 The New, Hard-Edged Idealism and Its Opponents
8.5.2 EUrope´s Identities, Borderscapes and Orders
8.5.3 UnCancelling the Future: The EU Can Rise Again Its East
References
Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key
Fieldwork Activities: Czech Site
Fieldwork Activities: Polish Site
Fieldwork Activities: Ukrainian Site
Appendix B: List of Acronyms

Citation preview

Frontiers in International Relations

Benjamin Tallis

Identities, Borderscapes, Orders (In)Security, (Im)Mobility and Crisis in the EU and Ukraine

Frontiers in International Relations Series Editors Benjamin Tallis, Institute of International Relations, Prague, Czech Republic Maren Hofius, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany Elke Schwarz, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK Kristin Haugevik, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo, Norway

This book series pushes the boundaries of International Relations (IR) and breaks new ground by thinking and writing from the limits of the discipline and beyond. Frontiers in International Relations (FIR) welcomes original scholarship that expands and challenges our understanding of IR by exploring new subfields, offering innovative perspectives on pressing problems, or enquiring into IR’s analytical and normative premises. To that end, it explicitly seeks works that engage in crossdisciplinary dialogue with related disciplines and develop innovative ways to analyse and approach the subject matter.

*** The series welcomes standard monographs and edited volumes, as well as handbooks. It particularly encourages early-career scholars and innovative projects to submit manuscripts, and provides rapid and constructive feedback. All titles in the series are peer-reviewed.

Benjamin Tallis

Identities, Borderscapes, Orders (In)Security, (Im)Mobility and Crisis in the EU and Ukraine

Benjamin Tallis German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) Berlin, Germany

ISSN 2662-9429 ISSN 2662-9437 (electronic) Frontiers in International Relations ISBN 978-3-031-23248-0 ISBN 978-3-031-23249-7 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Dedication To my parents Ray and Terry, who were there for me from the beginning, and to my children Danilo, Max and Lotti who were here by the end. Thanks To everyone who has helped me on the long journey to completing this book. And to everyone who inspired it, then and now, in their striving to build better lives, to defend freedom and democracy, and to renew the hope of progress in Ukraine, across Europe and around the world.

Preface

This book has been written in bursts, mainly in apartments, offices and libraries in Prague, Manchester and Berlin, over the last 11 years. Yet, it reflects a continued process of reflection, thinking and learning over that time in many different settings, and in light of shifting political contexts. Initially conceived (in a rather different form) while working for the EU in Ukraine in 2007, it was then shaped at several academic institutions, most notably the University of Manchester where I undertook my doctorate between 2010 and 2015. In reality, though, I spent much of that time researching, living, teaching and working in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), mainly in Prague, but travelling extensively through the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine. The full first draft was completed during the tumultuous period of 2013– 2014, which saw the Euromaidan revolution of dignity, the annexation of Crimea and the first stages of Russia’s war on Ukraine. These years and those that would follow would continue to be turbulent ones for CEE and it was a time with much suffering, not only for Ukrainians but also for migrants caught in the EU’s inadequacies in dealing with mobility. The book was further developed during my time at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, during which I was privileged to contribute (via the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to the EU Global Strategy (2016) and on my own account to advise on visa liberalisation for Ukraine, which was enacted in 2017. These activities and other policy advice and public engagement work have been informed, inter alia, by the research conducted for this book. I substantially revised the manuscript during a research stay at the Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory in Berlin in 2018–2019 funded by the Czech government. The book was finally completed in Berlin during my time at the Hertie School and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). As I write in the Epilogue, this period of finalisation in 2022 was one during which I have also been extensively involved in public and political debate and in providing analysis and policy advice on issues relating to Ukraine in light of Russia’s renewed invasion and regarding the EU and European politics in light of our wider conflict with Russia. The proximity of these events made it harder to finish the book adequately but only increased my motivation to do so. vii

viii

Preface

This book has not only long been on my mind, but it is also very close to my heart. I have long been involved in issues concerning EU-Ukraine relations, EU Foreign, Security, Migration and Neighbourhood Policy, and the politics of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). I have also been a migrant for most of the last twenty years. My various privileges mean that I’m more often referred to as an expat and that, honestly, I have it terribly easy compared to so many people. Nonetheless, navigating the post-Brexit landscape in two different countries (Czechia and Germany) brought an added poignancy to writing about the benefits and drawbacks of the Schengen zone—and of the EU more generally. The last stage of writing (in the first half of 2022) coincided with the experience of sitting in integration language courses with people from around the world who had taken many routes to be there, generally far, far harder than mine. The struggles they told of, and the lightness with which they bore them; their dedication and resolve to master a complex foreign tongue, to get ahead and make their way forward; and the chances they saw to do this in Europe made this an experience as humbling as it was motivating. My intervention here is a constructive critique aimed at helping the EU and its member states realise the enormous potential that they have to be a force for good, despite losing their way in recent times. This includes showing why they should now make good on their much belated promise to truly embrace Ukraine. It is a scholarly endeavour but one that aspires to have impact beyond academe. The need to finally finish the book was brought into stark relief by the war with Russia and by the inspiring example that Ukrainians have set us all. I was encouraged in completing (and updating) it by the response of European leaders from Volodymyr Zelenskiy to Ursula von der Leyen, Jan Lipavsky and Kaja Kallas (to name a few)—and by the response of millions of ordinary people across the continent and around the world who have sprung into action in defence of freedom and democracy under threat. As well as this emerging ‘Neo-Idealism’ in European politics, the sheer demand for quality information, analysis and interpretation of issues relating to the EU, Ukraine and CEE during this time has been a revelation. I hope this book helps serve that demand. Berlin, Germany October 2022

Benjamin Tallis

Contents

1

2

Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1 Research Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.1 Main Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.2 Subsidiary Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2 Book Contributions and Chapter Outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 Chapter Outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conceptualising the Borderscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1 Over-generalisation and Over-specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1.1 Conceptualising the Borderscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Constituting the Borderscape: A Framework for Analysis (& Representation) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.1 Features, Discourses and Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 Distinguishing and Contextualising the Borderscape: An Interpretive Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3.1 Distinguishing a Borderscape: The Intersection of (In)Security and (Im)Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3.2 Contextualising the Borderscape: Identities-BorderscapesOrders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4 Socio-political Underpinnings of the Borderscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4.1 Mobilising Security in Word and Deed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4.2 Power, Resistance and the Limits of the Social . . . . . . . . . 2.5 Spatialities of the Borderscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5.1 Space and Subjectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5.2 Performative Placemaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5.3 Territory and Materiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5.4 Space/Power/Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6 Temporalities and Particularities of the CEE Borderscape . . . . . . . 2.6.1 A Particular Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 5 6 6 6 9 12 15 17 19 20 22 26 26 28 32 32 36 38 38 40 41 43 44 45 ix

x

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2.6.2 Historicism at the End of History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6.3 Histories’ Ends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.6.4 Memory Contra History? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.7 The Conceptualised Borderscape: Analysable, Interpretable, Researchable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . .

46 48 50

. .

51 52

3

Interpretively Researching the CEE Borderscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1 Elements of an Interpretive Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 A Particular Research Journey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.1 From Dissatisfied Practitioner to Critical Academic . . . . . . 3.2.2 From Critical Academic to Post-critical Researcher . . . . . . 3.3 Mapping the Borderscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.1 Mapping an Emerging Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.2 Mapping Sites, Actors and Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.3 Conducting Interpretive Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.4 Research Skills, Phases and Sensibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.5 Deskwork Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.6 Fieldwork Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4 Reflexive, Post-critical Interpretive Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.1 Negotiating Access, Negotiating Proximity . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.2 Sense(s) of Doubt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

61 62 64 65 67 70 70 72 73 74 75 75 78 79 82 85

4

A Diverse Archipelago: Borderscape Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1 Firewalls: Internal Control in a Schengen State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1.1 Mobile Police Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1.2 Inconvenient, But Not Oppressive Bureaucracy . . . . . . . . . 4.2 Shadows: Bordering Between Schengen States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.1 Shadow Policing at Intra-Schengen Frontiers . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.2 Twilight Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3 A Filter (Not a Fortress) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3.1 Border Constructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3.2 Local Border Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4 The Visa ‘Curtain-Wall’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.1 Consular Remote-Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4.2 Behind the Curtain-Wall: 2nd Class Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.5 Twisted Mirrors: EU Bordering in Ukraine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.5.1 Externalised Border Mirrors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.5.2 Twisted Mirrors in an Uncanny Borderland . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.6 A Diverse Archipelago of Border Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89 91 92 94 96 97 99 102 103 105 107 108 110 113 113 116 118 122

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Euro-renovations: Borderscape Discourses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1 An Area of Freedom, Security and Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1.1 Freedom: Mobility in Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1.2 Justice: Ruling and Bounding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2 From Hierarchy to Belonging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2.1 Hierarchy: EU Members but Non-core Europeans? . . . . . . 5.2.2 Belonging: Enacting Political Subjectivity in the EU . . . . . 5.3 Shared Values and Shared Interests in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3.1 Shared Values Among a ‘Ring of Friends’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3.2 Shared Interests: Friends with Benefits? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.4 Justifying Division Through Divergent Values and Interests . . . . . 5.4.1 Different Standards, Different Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.4.2 Divergent Interests: Justifying Bordering, Delineating Belonging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5 Threats and Fears: Discursively Securitising Ukraine . . . . . . . . . . 5.5.1 Threats of Difference: Organised Crime and Disorganised Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5.2 Fears of the East: The Devils in Western Minds . . . . . . . . . 5.6 Discursive ‘Euro-Renovations’ in EU-Ukraine Relations . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

140 141 143 145 146

6

Limiting Europe: Borderscape Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.1 Europeanising: Capacity Without Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.1.1 Europeanising National Frontiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.1.2 Limits to Europeanisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.2 Knowing: Risk Analysis and the Distortion of EU Bordering . . . . . 6.2.1 Risk Analysis as Dominant Mode of Border Knowledge . . 6.2.2 Opportunity Cost: Limitations of Risk Analysis . . . . . . . . . 6.3 Protecting: Borders and Migrants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.3.1 Protecting the Border . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.3.2 Protecting Migrants, Limiting Mobilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.4 Facilitating: Formal and Informal Ways In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.4.1 Formal Facilitations: Privileges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.4.2 Informal Facilitations: Negotiations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.5 Moving: CEE Mobilities Within and Without the EU . . . . . . . . . . 6.5.1 Movement Within the EU and the Schengen Zone . . . . . . . 6.5.2 Movement Between the EU and Ukraine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.6 Border Practices as Limits to European Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

165 167 168 170 173 173 175 178 179 181 184 184 187 189 190 192 195 198

7

Conclusion: A Moveable East and the EU’s Unfulfilled Potential . . 7.1 EU Borderings, Identities and (Dis)Orders in CEE . . . . . . . . . . . 7.1.1 EU-European Order and Identity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.1.2 Eastern-European Order and Identity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

201 202 203 205

5

. . . .

127 129 130 132 135 136 137

149 151 151 153 156 160

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7.1.3

(In)Security, (Im)mobilty and (Dis)Order: The EU’s Multiple Crises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 7.2 From Crises to Opportunities: Future (Research) Directions . . . . . . 210 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214 8

Epilogue: Europe Through the Prism of Russia’s War on Ukraine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.1 Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.2 Mobility: A Tale of Two Crises (and a Visa Liberalisation) . . . . . . 8.2.1 Crisis: 2013–2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.2.2 Freer Movement, for Some: 2016–2021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.2.3 A Different Crisis, a Different Response: 2022 . . . . . . . . . 8.3 EU Dis-Ordering: Forsaking Creative Geopolitics, Transformative Power and Progressive Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.3.1 Losing Their Religion: A Less Inspired, Less Clear-Eyed, Less Capable EU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.3.2 The Rise of Protective Security and the Fall of Progressive EU Ordering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.4 (Non-core) Europe: CEE as the EU’s (Re-)Moveable East? . . . . . . 8.4.1 The Return of Non-core Europe? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.4.2 The EU’s Core Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.5 Twilight at Dawn: Neo-Idealism, Embracing Ukraine and UnCancelling EUrope’s Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.5.1 The New, Hard-Edged Idealism and Its Opponents . . . . . . 8.5.2 EUrope’s Identities, Borderscapes and Orders . . . . . . . . . . 8.5.3 UnCancelling the Future: The EU Can Rise Again Its East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fieldwork Activities: Czech Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fieldwork Activities: Polish Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fieldwork Activities: Ukrainian Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

217 220 221 221 223 225 227 229 231 233 234 237 241 241 245 249 251

261 262 263 265

Appendix B: List of Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267

Chapter 1

Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

Ukraine hit the headlines across Europe in 2013 when the mass demonstrations, triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych’s last-minute rejection of an ‘Association Agreement’ with the European Union (EU), met with a violent response from riot police. This crackdown only strengthened the resolve of the (largely) peaceful protestors who, rallying under the banner of ‘Euromaidan’, braved the police bullets that proved fatal for many of them. They held firm, toppling the government and forcing Yanukovych to flee to Russia. Russia then invaded and illegally annexed Crimea and backed armed insurrections in two Eastern Ukrainian regions prompting the EU and the United States (US) to impose sanctions on the Putin regime. The governments of some North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members in Central and Eastern Europe—such as Czech Republic—worried about the consequences of being drawn into a standoff with Russia, while others—such as Poland— increased defence spending in order to be better prepared for any future conflict. The EU and its member states began a seemingly thoroughgoing rethink of their neighbourhood policy and their foreign policy approach more generally (European Union, 2016; Schumacher et al., 2018). It may seem strange now, in 2022, but in 2013 it seemed surprising for many people in Western EU states that events in Ukraine, outside EU borders, should rise to the top of news agendas and have such far reaching policy consequences. Indeed, as late as 2012 the country was described as ‘the great Unknown of Europe’ by the popular Lonely Planet tourist guide. Yet the underlying causes and consequences of this crisis were also somewhat unusual—and rather revealing about EU policy, identity and European ordering. The EU rarely arouses much positive popular excitement (at least within its borders), yet here were Ukrainians on the freezing yet fiery streets of Kyiv, waving the Union’s flag and risking their lives in support of their country’s ‘European direction’ and the chance to live in accordance with ‘European values’. These values have underpinned the Union’s deserved institutional reputation for transcending the inter-state conflict that plagued European history prior to its instantiation. That the EU should find itself embroiled in what many commentators saw as a ‘classical’ geopolitical conflict, which it was © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_1

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Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

ill-equipped to deal with, was a novel development that seemed to take the Union itself by surprise (e.g. Mearsheimer, 2014; Wilson, 2014). Yet for others, these developments were more a case of déjà vu. Euromaidan came less than 10 years after Ukraine’s ‘Orange Revolution’ that followed the rigged elections in which Viktor Yanukovych—backed then, as later, by the Putin regime in Russia—first won the Ukrainian Presidency. Yanukovych then lost it again, in a hastily organised re-run, to Viktor Yushchenko, who was supported domestically by the powerful bloc of Yuliya Tymoshenko and from abroad by the EU and US. The victory of the Orange coalition presaged a significant upgrading of Western engagement in Ukraine. Buoyed by its recent and successful enlargement into the postsocialist world and eager to capitalise on potentially favourable developments in Ukraine, the EU accelerated its already growing involvement with its Eastern neighbours that had been signalled by the 2004 launch of the ‘European Neighbourhood Policy’ (ENP). ENP aimed to share the benefits of enlargement with the EU’s new neighbours as well as to avoid drawing new dividing lines between them and the Union, albeit without offering them membership. The EU’s willingness to upgrade its financial and political commitment to the neighbourhood, including Ukraine, seemed to show confidence in its methods and in its power to act as a force for good in its near abroad (Prodi, 2002; Wilson, 2005). Significantly though, this deeper engagement was also motivated by worries over the EU’s newfound proximity to what it described as ‘troubled areas’ and their potential to threaten the EU’s hard won internal peace and prosperity (European Union, 2003). It is no coincidence therefore, that one of the flagship initiatives of its intensified engagement with Ukraine was a ‘Border Assistance Mission’ (EUBAM) with a focus on capacity building aimed, inter alia, at helping the country to better secure its borders. Despite the collapse of the ‘Orange coalition’ and the return of Yanukovych— this time as Prime Minister—it was in a still a hopeful climate and with great personal optimism that I arrived in Ukraine to work on this border assistance mission in 2006. Less than 2 years later I resigned from the mission personally, professionally and politically dissatisfied with its activities in particular, but also with EU involvement in Ukraine in general. It was this dissatisfaction that motivated the research project from which this book stems. Initially, my concerns focused on the discrepancy between the noble ideas expressed in official EU and ENP statements and speeches and the reality on the ground that seemed to me to be mainly about serving EU interests rather than supporting Ukraine and Ukrainians. Working on EUBAM brought this into particularly stark relief—and foregrounded the salience of borders and mobility to the disparity between the EU’s past practice, (and contemporaneous rhetoric) and the reality of its dealings with Ukraine. Despite Visa Liberalisation being a key aspect of the EU-Ukraine action plan and despite the mission’s widely trumpeted successes, little had been achieved in this regard by the time I resigned (nor by the time of the Euromaidan) (Kurowska & Tallis, 2009). The way that the EU was treating Ukrainians seemed to be in marked contrast to the way it had treated those Central and East Europeans, including Czechs and Poles, whose countries had joined the EU in 2004. This called

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Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

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into question the values that the Union claimed underpinned its brand of governance and identity as an ordering actor. The difficulties that many Ukrainians I knew had in travelling to EU member states (EUMS)—and how this made them feel—contrasted sharply with my own ability to move freely and the sense of belonging it expressed. This contrast and its psycho-social impact first suggested that investigating borders and related issues of (im)mobility, (in)security, order and identity would be a productive way to explore my dissatisfaction. Travelling from Odesa back to Prague, on my last journey with diplomatic privileges, further confirmed this impression. On a freezing night in December 2007, less than 3 weeks before Poland (and the other EU-8 countries) were due to join the Schengen zone, the queue of cars waiting to cross the border from Krakovets in Ukraine to Korczowa in Poland stretched to about 5 km. While crossing the border the other way was taking mere minutes, the Ukrainians seeking to enter EU territory huddled in their cars, balancing the need for sleep and warmth with the attentiveness necessary to seize the chance of slight forward motion, and faced a wait of many hours. Most seemed to have already resigned themselves to bedding-in for a stagnant night on the EU’s Eastern approaches. The experience at the next frontier I crossed on this journey could not have been more different. Passing from Southern Poland into Northern Czech Republic, crossing the border—then still subject to permanent control—involved little more than temporarily halting to flash a passport at the solitary guard in a roadside booth and voluntarily answering a few questions from a student conducting a survey for the Czech tourist board. Mere weeks later, this crossing, like those at other intra-Schengen frontiers, became even easier while, for the next decade, getting into the EU would remain needlessly and painfully difficult for many Ukrainians. This book explores these differences in bordering and mobility and illuminates the reasons they came to exist as well as the impacts they had. It does so by looking at how different groups of people in Central and Eastern Europe could—or could not—move between countries and how this related to the ways they could live, how they were governed and who they were (and how others saw them). As well as being at the heart of the EU’s enlargement processes and its engagement with its neighbourhood, similar questions and issues regarding borders also arose in the European migration crisis that came to a head between 2014 and 2017 and which still stalks European politics today (Panebianco & Tallis, 2022). By examining the nexus of ‘identities, borders and orders’ (IBO) in Central and Eastern Europe, this book also shines a light on some of the issues underlying both the crises in the EU’s neighbourhood and of migration (Albert et al., 2001). It does so by exploring the puzzles that arose from my practical, professional experience working for the EU in Ukraine and which were subsequently developed in academia and through policy work. These puzzles, how they are explored in the book explores them and how this illuminates their significance are introduced in this opening chapter. The experiences briefly described above gave me a desire to understand why, in what ways, and with what consequences the EU was treating Ukrainians differently to the Czechs and Poles who had been able to join the Union and, subsequently, the Schengen zone. I wanted to understand why some of the (re-)bordering processes the

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EU was engaged seemed to support its values and affirm the order it had built, while others seemed to contradict and undermine them. As the book shows in detail in the following chapters, the process of researching contemporary EU bordering in Central and Eastern Europe, in the context of EU enlargement, Schengen expansion and the European Neighbourhood Policy was to prove even more puzzling, and more rewarding to explore, than I had initially thought. As the research proceeded, I sought to understand the tensions between EU policies that purported to create a ‘ring of friends’, but still made it overly difficult for those friends to physically enter the Union. Nonetheless and despite this difficulty, many Ukrainians (and others from the neighbourhood) were still able to visit, work and reside in the EU, which didn’t seem consistent with the ‘Fortress Europe’ critiques that critical scholars levelled at the Union and its Member States and I wanted to explore this contradiction (e.g. Follis, 2012). Similarly, critical charges that the EU was engaging in oppressive governance, and creating ‘trans-European networks of control’, including through its ‘internal’ bordering, jarred with the ongoing desirability of its order for migrants and EU citizens alike (Walters, 2006). Drawing on my professional experience as well as on academic literature it was clear that I also needed to look into the compatibility—or otherwise—of the EU’s traditional approach to overcoming conflict in a liberal way and moving beyond classical geopolitics, and its more recent emphasis on becoming a more traditional type of security actor. This was particularly the case in the EU’s neighbourhood where its ambitions as a security provider were greatest—and which it was accused of treating as a ‘buffer zone’—but where it was also engaged in other, deeply integrative processes (Schumacher et al., 2018). Exploring these issues led me to wider puzzles concerning who is considered variously ‘European’, ‘EU-European’ or ‘Eastern European’—and why this matters; what EU-European order and governance entail and who can enact, expand or challenge this. In short, examining how the EU made borders in Central and Eastern Europe also involved exploring a series of issues regarding identities and orders, as well as borders (Albert et al., 2001). Moreover, rather than just looking at borders at their traditional locations at state frontiers, I would need to look at a variety of borderings, of diverse forms and across various places, which constituted what scholars have called the ‘borderscape’ (Perera, 2007). Further enriching this field of inquiry, each of these elements (identities, borders [capes], orders) had undergone significant change in the context of the collapse of communism and subsequent processes of post-communist transition in the region. The 2004 accession of eight post-communist states (the EU-81) to the EU was widely hailed as the institutional culmination of their ‘post-communist transitions’, which began with the revolutions of 1989. In 2003, at the signing of the treaty authorising the enlargement, Jan-Peter Balkenende, then the Dutch Prime Minister, spoke for many when saying: ‘It is only today that the Berlin Wall has truly fallen’ (BBC News, 2003). Despite this new de jure equality, politicians such as French

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Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia.

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Research Questions

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President Jacque Chirac and public intellectuals such as Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida sought to maintain a de facto hierarchy, with the older, Western ‘core’ European member states of the ‘EU-15’ continuing to rule the roost at the expense of the EU-8 (CNN, 2003; Habermas & Derrida, 2003). I wanted to look at the extent to which these hierarchies had been overcome or, conversely, the degree to which they still mattered—and how this affected identities, borders and orders in CEE more widely. Despite declarations like those of then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that: ‘With this step, the Union is finally overcoming the division of the European continent into east and west’, the formal inclusion of inter alia, Czechia and Poland as EU members excluded others, like Ukraine, which had to settle for being ‘neighbours’ and ‘partners’. This book is an attempt to grapple with and make sense of these issues and with the complexity of borders that, to a greater extent than in the recent past, are recognised as also taking place at locations other than ‘traditional’ sites at state frontiers. It engages these diverse borders as well as their nuanced underpinnings in and impacts on, identity and order in Europe (developing the ‘IBO’ tradition) by examining EU bordering at three sites: inside Schengen, specifically in the Czech Republic; at the external frontier of the EU (and Schengen zone) between Poland and Ukraine; and in Ukraine itself (Albert et al., 2001). My multi-sited inquiry also drew inspiration from work in ‘Critical Border Studies’ (CBS) and its multi-disciplinary hinterlands in International Relations, Geography and Anthropology. CBS, particularly work on ‘borderscapes’, not only showed the way in engaging with proliferating types and sites of borders, but also showed the need to engage with their spatialities and materialities, as well as the ways they are constructed and contested in both discourse and practice (Brambilla et al., 2015a; Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007a). Conducting an enquiry that could encompass this diversity, yet still provide cogent as well as nuanced analysis led me to develop a new conceptualisation of the ‘Borderscape’ framework, which is outlined in Chap. 2. As Chaps. 2 and 3 explain, the development of this new framework for analysis was entwined with the posing and refinement of the research questions that guided my interpretive enquiry and which are listed below.

1.1

Research Questions

In order to explore these puzzles, I posed and pursued several interlinked research questions. The main questions address the complexities of understanding borders and processes of bordering in Central and Eastern Europe and broadly comprehending their underpinnings as well as their effects. The subsidiary questions address specific issues necessary to answer the main, higher-level, questions. These sub-questions stemmed from the analytical and interpretive framework that is outlined in Chap. 2 and which argues that the main object of inquiry in this research is a ‘Borderscape’ comprised of ‘related arrays’ of features, discourses and practices

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Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

(Ingold, 1993). This framework also shows the need to investigate the sociopolitical, spatial and temporal contingencies of the borderscape’s features, discourses and practices in order to better understand their consequences for identities and orders, as well as how border regimes may be challenged or contested. The next section of this introductory chapter outlines the book’s main contributions and previews each of its chapters.

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Main Questions

• In the Enlarged EU (specifically Czechia and Poland) and its Eastern Neighbourhood (specifically Ukraine), how and where does the EU make its borders? • Why does it do so in the way(s) and locations that it does and how is it able to do so? • How is EU bordering related to identities and orders in CEE?

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Subsidiary Questions

• • • • •

Which are the key Actors involved in constituting the CEE Borderscape? What are the key Features that constitute the CEE Borderscape? What are the key Discourses that constitute the CEE Borderscape? What are the key Practices that constitute the CEE Borderscape? What are the most important socio-political, spatial and temporal contingencies and consequences of these Features, Discourse and Practices? • How are these Features, Discourses and Practices related to identities and orders in CEE?

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Book Contributions and Chapter Outline

This book—Identities, Borderscapes, Orders (IBSO)—addresses the research questions posed above and thus explores the puzzles that prompted my research project. In keeping with my commitment to reflexivity in interpretive research (see Chap. 3) it also outlines how this was done as well as how encountering various obstacles and pitfalls along the way spurred me to develop a new way of looking at—and for— borderscapes (Chaps. 2 and 3). As the chapter synopses below show, IBSO presents typologies of the key ‘features’, ‘discourses’ and ‘practices’ that constitute the Central and East European borderscape. The book highlights the spatio-material border features that manifest the attractiveness and successful enlargement of the Schengen zone. It also illuminates those

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Book Contributions and Chapter Outline

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features that show the detrimental impact of externalised borders on EU neighbourhood governance in Ukraine as well as the spatio-material features of its more ambiguous frontier borderings. IBSO explores the often-contradictory discourses of inclusion and exclusion, hierarchy and equality, opportunity and threat that the EU layers through and on its borderings, pointing to both the negative aspects of these ‘Euro-renovations’ (as I term them in Chap. 5) as well as the potential to restore more positive narratives. The book also examines the ways in which bordering practices serve not only to delimit ‘EU-Europe’ from ‘Eastern Europe’ (and ‘EU-Europeans’ from ‘Eastern Europeans’), at considerable cost to both sides, but also impose limits on EU and European potential more generally. Across the related arrays of features, discourses and practices, IBSO points to borderings that are consistent or inconsistent with the pursuit of the EU’s declared interests of peace and prosperity, its values including democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms and its supposed transcendence of traditional geopolitics. This focus on the borderscape puts IBSO in the same field as extant borderscapes research but the new conceptualisation gives it a competitive distinction from the rest of that field as, thus far, there had been little attempt to conceptualise what a borderscape is—or might be—in a systematic way (Brambilla et al., 2015a; Krichker, 2019; Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007a; Szary & Giraut, 2015). Scholars contributing to the key volumes in this field have either tended to engage only the specific borderscapes they describe or, conversely, to highlight very general qualities of borderscapes such as their ‘complexity and vitality’ (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007b: x), ‘inherent contestability of belonging and non-belonging’ (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007b: xxvii–xxx), ‘lack of clarity’ (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007b: xxxiv–xxxv), ‘violen[ce]’ (Horstmann, 2007: 139); or their role as ‘the new political horizon’ (Soguk, 2007: 286). Influential contributions in the field nonetheless sought to ‘explore the critical potential of’ or ‘deploy’ ‘the borderscapes concept’ (Brambilla, 2015a). The editors of the Borderscaping collection saw ‘the borderscapes concept’ as an ‘analytical angle’ and ‘central organising element for [their] volume’. Yet they did not actually conceptualise the borderscape as such. Instead, they pursued a ‘conceptual polysemicity’ which is consistent with the way that borderscapes literature has developed, phronetically, from the ‘ground-up’, with an emphasis on context specificity (Brambilla et al., 2015b: 2, 3, 6, 7). My own aims and approach are different. And, thus, so is IBSO. It conceptualises the borderscape in a way that makes sense of its diverse elements and allows for political interpretation of them with regard to their effects on identities and orders. It does so by using categories that neither elide the specificity of particular borderings, nor remain exclusively rooted to their discrete contingencies. This facilitates better understanding of the borderscape as a whole but also of its constituent parts—and therefore allows for the identification of particularly beneficial or particularly problematic aspects. This also orients IBSO toward policy advice and knowledge transfer to border practitioners in a way that its competitors have not sought—including because of their generally critical stance of borders as, for example, merely

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Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

oppressive tools of capitalism (see Chap. 2) (Brambilla, 2015b). With all this in mind, I see the book’s main contributions as being fourfold: First, IBSO offers a major empirical and analytical contribution to understanding identities and orders, as well as borders, in the EU and its Eastern neighbourhood. Particularly it offers new, and newly nuanced, perspectives on the politics of CEE and of post-communist transitions. Significantly, IBSO also provides a corrective to blanket critiques of EU bordering (e.g. ‘Fortress Europe’), showing its positive sides while also highlighting the particular borderings that run counter to EU values and interests, or hinder the life chances of Europeans—whether EU citizens or third country nationals. The book excavates the roots of Europe’s migration and neighbourhood crises, the background to the backlash against the EU in CEE and shows how all this is linked to EU border policy and practice. It also offers new insight into the hinterland of Russia’s war on Ukraine, on Ukraine’s future in the EU and the role of other European actors in these issues. It shows the long history of failed EU engagement with Ukraine and why this must now be rectified. Second, IBSO provides a significant conceptual advance in the interdisciplinary field of CBS by conceptualising the ‘Borderscape’ as an analytical and interpretive framework for the first time. It particularly updates the contribution to CBS from the discipline of International Relations (IR) by both building on and going beyond the original Identities, Borders, Orders collection (Albert et al., 2001). It shows what IR can add to as well as what it can take from inter-disciplinary CBS work with regard to the discipline’s long-standing concerns of identities and orders as well in relation to materialities, discourses and practices. IBSO’s conceptualisation explicitly provides a platform for future comparative and empirical research as well as for theory building, which distinguishes it from other work on borderscapes and in CBS more widely. Third, IBSO pushes the boundaries of reflexivity in interpretive IR research and thus also offers a methodological contribution to the field. This enhanced reflexivity relates particularly to my own professional background and current work in policy and practice. The book explicitly tackles my difficulties in negotiating the fieldwork as well as negotiating (critical) academia and offers open and honest insight into my ‘journey’ as a researcher. IBSO thus provides a guide, from experience, to reflexively conducting interpretive research in the often-tricky security field, with the intent of having policy as well as academic impact. Fourth, in both the way the research was conducted and in the nuanced analysis facilitated by the newly conceptualised borderscape framework, IBSO seeks proximity to rather than distance from policy and practice. This distinguishes it from other CBS work that takes a more radically critical approach. My own ‘border crossings’ between practice, academia and policy inform this orientation and IBSO shows the analytical as well as reflexive value of the multiple perspectives that such crossings bring, as well as increasing the potential policy and public impact of the research. Overall, I hope that this book will be equally appealing to people interested in the empirics of borders beyond frontiers, in border theory, in the EU and its home

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Chapter Outline

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affairs, foreign, security and neighbourhood policies, as well as to anyone who cares about or has ever been fascinated by Central and Eastern Europe. It will also appeal to anyone interested understanding the background to Russia’s war on Ukraine, Europeans’ complicity in it and what they can do to make a better future together with Ukraine. As the chapter outline below shows, there is also plenty to draw on for interpretive researchers, anyone who wants to conduct interpretive research, who wants to navigate the worlds of research, policy and practice or negotiate the borders between them.

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Chapter Outline

Chapter 2, ‘Conceptualising the Borderscape’, provides a comprehensive picture of the theoretical and conceptual advance provided by IBSO, which develops IBO approaches. Drawing on extensive engagement with multi-disciplinary literature, it introduces previous approaches to borders and bordering beyond ‘traditional’ locations at state frontiers and highlights the scope they left for further development, particularly in relation to problems of ‘over-generalisation’ and ‘over-specification’. It then presents the newly conceptualised borderscape framework that I developed for my research and on which the book’s arguments are based. The chapter distils and defines the key ‘constituents’ of the borderscape as related arrays of discourses, practices and spatio-material features that occur at or are produced through the intersection of (in)security and (im)mobility. The chapter shows how I complement this interpretive distinction of the borderscape from the wider social world by also connecting it to political questions of identities and orders. Chapter 2 also identifies key socio-political, spatial and temporal underpinnings in extant research and explains how IBSO draws on or synthesises their insights—as well as how it is distinct from them—thus situating the book in relation to various fields of academic inquiry and key debates. The chapter clearly outlines how contested concepts like security, mobility, power, identity and order are used in the book. This exposition is integrated with a discussion of how the research was tailored to the regional particularities of post-cold war CEE, which provides an example of how the general framework can be applied to a specific setting and also provides orientation for readers who are not yet regional specialists. Chapter 3, ‘Interpretively Researching the Borderscape’, pushes the boundaries of reflexivity in IR scholarship. It situates IBSO in the burgeoning field of interpretive IR research and develops a key aspect of this approach—the commitment to thoroughgoing reflexivity in the conduct, analysis and representation of scholarly work. As well as discussing the novel combination of ‘quasi-ethnographic’ methods employed in the research (observation, participant observation, focus groups and a large number of conversational interviews with experts and policymakers), the chapter provides ‘auto-ethnographic’ elaboration on aspects of my research journey thus fulfilling my commitment to overt and open reflexivity. Importantly, this chapter deals with the genesis of the project in my professional experience as an

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Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

EU security practitioner and how my transition from practice to academia, as well as through different modes of ‘being academic,’ ‘being critical’ and ‘being impactful’, influenced my research and this book. Chapter 3 discusses the particular research methods used as well as practical questions of negotiating power relations in the field, as well as how to deal with familiarity and proximity to, rather than distance from, one’s interlocutors. It outlines practical ways to meet the demands of interpretive research—such as mapping for ‘exposure’ and ‘intertext’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012)—and discusses the challenges of integrating theory into fieldwork and research design, as well as the wider difficulties of ‘knowing what you are doing’ when you are doing research. Chapter 3 will interest (IR) scholars seeking to conduct interpretive fieldwork and anyone interested in the possibilities and pitfalls of crossing between academia, policy and practice. The next three chapters present the empirical material, analysis and interpretation of the key constituents of the CEE borderscape, as per my conceptualisation: features, discourses and practices. Chapter 4 presents the spatio-material border features that I define as particular combinations of bordering forms and functions that take place in particular settings. This chapter provides a typology of the key features that comprise the CEE borderscape and uses a series of conceptual metaphors to express their manifestations, particular effects and relations to identities and orders. The five types of border feature it identifies—‘Firewalls’, ‘Shadows’, ‘Filters (not Fortresses)’, ‘Curtain Walls’ and ‘Twisted Mirrors’—are shown to constitute the EU’s diverse ‘border archipelago’ that stretches from the cities of the Schengen interior, through intra-Schengen and external frontiers, into Ukraine in the Eastern neighbourhood. Chapter 4 shows that the EU has created an ambiguous array of border features, which in some cases defy commonplace ‘critical’ characterisations and support the Union’s order and interests, but in others have proved self-defeating as well as detrimental to the mobilities and lives of Ukrainians. For example, the internal firewalls and shadows of the Schengen interior were widely considered, even by Ukrainians, as inconvenient rather than oppressive—and necessary for maintaining the attractive aspects of the Schengen zone. Likewise, the EU’s Eastern frontier borders did not merit the ‘Fortress Europe’ tag, but the chapter shows the real damage done by the ‘lose-lose’ visa regime (up to 2017) and the Union’s externalisation of other bordering functions to its neighbouring countries. This chapter provides a unique spatio-material analysis of European borders and shows how EU bordering has long contained the seeds of (avoidable) crises in its neighbourhood and of migration more widely. Chapter 5 analyses and provides a typology of the second ‘related array’ of constituents of the CEE borderscape—discourses. It shows how the EU and EUMS have produced a combined discourse of ‘Freedom, Justice and Security’, which is central to Schengen zone governance. The accession of the EU-8 to the EU and the Schengen zone showed a transitional discourse ‘from Hierarchy to Belonging’ while the development of the ENP and EaP rested simultaneously on discourses of ‘Shared Values and Interests’ and ‘Divergent Values and Interests’. Finally, the

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Chapter Outline

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EU’s relation with its Eastern Neighbours and Partners, including Ukraine were also characterised by securitising discourses of ‘Threats and Fears’. Chapter 5 highlights how these discourses enacted borderings and how these borderings impacted on identities and orders in CEE. The chapter also shows the often-contradictory nature of these discourses, which juxtaposed integrative narratives with exclusionary tendencies. Overall, this chapter argues that the EU has layered negative, exclusionary discourses over the positive, inclusionary discourses that characterised its own historical achievements. In this way it failed to learn lessons from its own successes and created some of the conditions for the neighbourhood and migration crises. However, Chap. 5 shows this layering to be shoddy work, of the kind familiar to many Ukrainians under the name ‘Eurorenovations’, and thus leaves open the possibility to transform these crises should the EU and its member states manage to summon the political will and discursive ability to do so. Chapter 6 explores and typologises the key bordering practices in CEE: ‘Europeanising’, ‘Knowing’, ‘Protecting’, ‘Facilitating’ and ‘Moving’. It shows how Europeanising has emerged as an EU and EUMS ‘master practice’ due to the obligations and responsibilities of shared borders created by Schengen membership—and the imbalanced partnerships the EU forges in its neighbourhood. The chapter then discusses other key practices that have variously contributed to EU successes or been detrimental to its aims, as well as the life chances of Ukrainians. Chief among these are the ways it ‘knows’ migrants and mobility through the primacy of risk analysis, which skews the picture of migration, mobility and the EU’s neighbourhood. Yet so too are the contradictory—and perhaps counterintuitive—consequences of the Union’s focus on ‘protecting’ both borders and migrants, which point to the EU’s failure to learn lessons from its past successes. This chapter goes on to examine practices of licit and illicit facilitation of mobility in CEE as well as the ways in which people actually move in and through the region and how these mobilities contest or complement the other practices noted above. Overall, Chap. 6 concludes that the EU’s bordering practices not only serve to delimit ‘Europe’, with correlate effects on ‘EU-European’ and ‘Eastern European’ identities, but also to limit the EU’s effectiveness in spreading its own order—and the considerable benefits of such—to its Eastern neighbours. This chapter complements the aforementioned spatio-material and discursive borderings with those produced through practice. Together these empirical-analytical chapters thus make for a uniquely comprehensive analysis of European bordering that speaks to the increasingly influential ‘Practice turn’ in IR scholarship, without forgetting discourses or materialities. The Conclusion draws together the analyses from Chaps. 4–6 to highlight their variously cumulative and contradictory effects on identities and orders in Central and Eastern Europe. This synthesis directly addresses the puzzles that motivated this research and answers the research questions that were posed to explore them. The conclusion highlights the positive aspects of the EU’s bordering, thus providing a corrective to much of the (overly) ‘critical’ literature on the topic. However, the conclusion also identifies the ways in which EU bordering has hindered the

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Introduction: Identities, Borders and Orders in Central and Eastern Europe

protection, promotion and pursuit of the Union’s own values and interests, as well as negatively impacting the lives of many Ukrainians and other Europeans. Overall, it is argued that had the EU stuck more confidently to the methods that drove its own internal success in creating and spreading peace and prosperity as well as upholding its values and principles then it would have been more successful in extending its mode of governance to its neighbours, which would have benefitted Ukrainians as well as EU citizens. Despite the Union’s failure to do so, the way that it ‘moved’ its ‘East’ shows the latent potential to challenge and even change the borderings that hindered the EU as well as Ukraine. Chapter 7 also uses this synthetic analysis to show how the EU’s bordering has long exhibited tendencies that contributed to its neighbourhood and migration crises. Based on these conclusions, the chapter provides suggestions for further research that could extend the scope of IBSO and offers recommendations as to how EU border policy, practice and discourse could be improved. IBSO ends with an Epilogue, entitled ‘Europe Through the Prism of Russia’s War on Ukraine’, which brings the themes addressed in the book up to date. It specifically addresses the issues raised by Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the challenges this poses for EU Ordering as well as for the Union’s identity as an actor in international affairs, and for its (future) bordering. The Epilogue also traces the development of bordering issues related to security and mobility, including the 2017 liberalisation of visa requirements for Ukrainians, through the EU’s repeated migration crises and the refugee flows generated by Russia’s assault. This additional chapter looks at the development of the EU as security and geopolitical actor in this period and the journey of CEE states back to the periphery of the EU and then, back to the core again thanks to their support for Ukraine. Finally it reflects on possible futures for the EU, Ukraine and CEE.

References Albert, M., Jacobson, D., & Lapid, Y. (Eds.). (2001). Identities, borders, orders: Rethinking international relations theory (Borderlines 18). University of Minnesota Press. BBC News. (2003, April 16). EU takes major expansion step. BBC. London. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2954413.stm Brambilla, C. (2015a). Exploring the critical potential of the borderscapes concept. Geopolitics, 20(1), 14–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2014.884561 Brambilla, C. (2015b). From border as a method of capital to borderscape as a method for a geographical opposition to capitalism. Bollettino Della Società Geografica Italiana Roma, VIII(XIII), 393–402. Brambilla, C., Laine, J., Scott, J. W., et al. (Eds.). (2015a). Borderscaping: Imaginations and practices of border making (Border regions series). Ashgate. Brambilla, C., Laine, J., Scott, J. W., et al. (2015b). Introduction: Thinking, mapping, acting and living borders under contemporary globalisation. In Borderscaping: Imaginations and practices of border making (pp. 1–9). Ashgate. CNN. (2003, February 18). Chirac lashes out at ‘new Europe’. CNN website. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/02/18/sprj.irq.chirac/

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European Union. (2003). A secure Europe in a better world: European security strategy. European Union. Retrieved May 7, 2021, from https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-158952003-INIT/en/pdf European Union. (2016). A global strategy for the European union’s foreign and security policy. European Union. Follis, K. S. (2012). Building fortress Europe: The polish-Ukrainian frontier. Democracy, citizenship, and constitutionalism (1st ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. Habermas, J., & Derrida, J. (2003). February 15, or what binds Europeans together: A plea for a common foreign policy, beginning in the core of Europe. Constellations, 10(3), 291–297. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8675.00333 Horstmann, A. (2007). Violence, subversion, and creativity in the Thai–Malaysian borderland. In Borderscapes: Hidden geographies and politics at territory’s edge (pp. 137–157). University of Minnesota Press. Ingold, T. (1993). The temporality of the landscape. World Archaeology, 25(2), 152–174. https:// doi.org/10.1080/00438243.1993.9980235 Krichker, D. (2019). Making sense of borderscapes: Space, imagination and experience. Geopolitics, 26, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2019.1683542 Kurowska, X., & Tallis, B. (2009). EU border assistance mission: Beyond border monitoring. European Foreign Affairs Review, 14, 47. Mearsheimer, J. J. (2014). Why the Ukraine crisis is the west’s fault: The liberal delusions that provoked Putin. Foreign Affairs (September/October). Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-08-18/why-ukraine-crisis-west-s-fault Panebianco, S., & Tallis, B. (2022). Special issue on ‘shifting borders of European (in)securities: Human security, border (in)security and mobility in security’. International Politics. https://doi. org/10.1057/s41311-022-00375-y Perera, S. (2007). A pacific zone? (In)security, sovereignty and stories of the pacific borderscape. In Borderscapes: Hidden geographies and politics at territory’s edge (pp. 201–227). University of Minnesota Press. Prodi, R. (2002). A wider Europe: A proximity policy as the key to stability. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-02-619_en.htm Rajaram, P. K., & Grundy-Warr, C. (Eds.). (2007a). Borderscapes: Hidden geographies and politics at territory’s edge. borderlines (Vol. 29). University of Minnesota Press. Rajaram, P. K., & Grundy-Warr, C. (2007b). Introduction. In Borderscapes: Hidden geographies and politics at territory’s edge (pp. ix–xl). University of Minnesota Press. Schumacher, T., Marchetti, A., & Demmelhuber, T. (Eds.). (2018). The Routledge handbook on the European neighbourhood policy. Routledge. Schwartz-Shea, P., & Yanow, D. (2012). Interpretive research design: Concepts and processes (Routledge series on interpretive methods). Routledge. Soguk, N. (2007). Border’s capture: Insurrectional politics, border-crossing humans, and the new political. In Borderscapes: Hidden geographies and politics at territory’s edge (pp. 283–308). University of Minnesota Press. Szary, A.-L. A., & Giraut, F. (2015). Borderities and the politics of contemporary mobile borders. Walters, W. (2006). Border/control. European Journal of Social Theory, 9(2), 187–203. https://doi. org/10.1177/1368431006063332 Wilson, A. (2005). Ukraine’s orange revolution. Yale University Press. Wilson, A. (2014). Ukraine crisis: What it means for the west. Yale University Press.

Chapter 2

Conceptualising the Borderscape

Having identified borders and bordering as crucial to understanding the puzzle I outlined in Chap. 1, I had a lot of scholarship to draw on. The post-Cold War period had seen a surge of interdisciplinary interest in borders driven by the idea that understanding borders is crucial to understanding societies, states, international organisations and their interactions (e.g. Albert et al., 2001a; Brambilla et al., 2015a; van Houtum et al., 2005; Newman, 2006a, 2006b; Parker & VaughanWilliams, 2009; Rumford, 2006; Szary & Giraut, 2015). This profusion crystallised in the emergence of the cross-disciplinary sub-field or, better, supra-field of ‘Critical Border Studies’ (CBS) which revolutionised the study of borders by opening up a new ‘border imaginary’ that went beyond the notion of borders as static, naturalised lines at state frontiers (Schimanski & Wolfe, 2017). CBS ushered in new ontologies, epistemologies and interpretive methodologies to find and investigate borders manifested as dynamic processes (borderings) in diverse locations. CBS has proved more able than previous border research to engage multiple types and sites of borderings but also to better grasp their effects and begin to normatively challenge them (Brambilla, 2015c; Pallister-Wilkins, 2015; e.g. Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012; Vaughan-Williams, 2007). ‘Borderscapes’ scholarship is an influential and enduring approach that has emerged from CBS and it inspired the research on which this book is based, as well as major research projects (e.g. FP7 EUBORDERSCAPES); influential edited collections—Borderscapes (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007a), Borderscaping (Brambilla et al., 2015a), Borderities (Szary & Giraut, 2015) Border Aesthetics (Schimanski & Wolfe, 2017); special issues of journals such as Geopolitics (dell’Agnese & Amilhat Szary, 2015), and a host of individual articles (e.g. Krichker, 2019; Mendes & Sundholm, 2015; Pallister, 2018). From the outset, Borderscapes research has sought to broaden the ontological and empirical scope of border research—as an early and compelling intervention from Suvendrini Perera highlights. It is worth quoting from this at length as it shows the diversity that such research seeks to grasp. Perera (2007: 206) rejects the ‘flat and static’ borders of ‘the modern map’ in favour of borderscapes that encompass, inter alia: © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_2

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[M]oving bodies of asylum seekers [that] reconfigure this multi-ethnic, transnational, transborder space of islands and archipelagos, coastlines and oceans, constituted by a mesh of discourses and practices[;] multiple actors in this geo-political-cultural space shaped by embedded colonial and neo-colonial histories and continuing conflicts over sovereignty, ownership and identity[;] practices that attempt to organise, control and terminate their movements[; where], identities are consolidated and challenged as border spaces are reconfigured by discourses and technologies of securitization and the assertion of heterogeneous sovereignties.

Borderscapes’ broad ontological and empirical scope thus seemed to hold the promise of a way to analyse and interpret the kind of diverse and complex borderings (and their effects) that motivated my own research project in CEE. However, this very openness and broadness also caused difficulties in designing, conducting and representing the research and my enthusiastic embrace of this inspirational scholarship gave way to trepidation in the field. An early commenter on my research plan, channelling Foucault, described the project as seeking to tackle a “‘thoroughly heterogeneous ensemble’ consisting of just about everything under the sun” and argued that ‘it is not easy to manage a project which presupposes that you should look at just about everything’ (Gorlizki, 2011). And so it proved. This is the point where researchers would often seek refuge in their conceptual framework to help guide their research, structure their analysis and represent their findings. Yet, despite the profusion of Borderscapes research, there had been little attempt to formally conceptualise what a borderscape is, or might be, in a systematic way and so there was no framework to use. In addition to Perera, four other contributions to the original Borderscapes collection use the term ‘borderscapes’ a total of 15 times. They highlight, inter alia, their: ‘complexity and vitality’ (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007b: x); ‘inherent contestability of belonging and non-belonging’ (ibid.: xxvii–xxx); ‘lack of clarity’ (ibid.: xxxiv–xxxv); ‘violen [ce]’ (Horstmann, 2007: 139) and ‘politics as an on-going process’ (Toyota, 2007: 93; 108); which can be both ‘spatial and non-spatial’ (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007b: xxiv–xxv), ‘affective and moral’ (ibid: xxi). Significantly, while the borderscape is identified as ‘the new political horizon’ (Soguk, 2007: 286) it is not discussed in ‘general’, but rather in relation to the specific instances and manifestations of borderscapes that dealt with by the contributors, thus making it difficult to transfer in a comparable way to other contexts. More recent, ‘state-of-the-art’ borderscapes work is similar in this regard. Authors in the Borderscaping collection highlight the ‘complex and multidisciplinary,’ ‘fluid, shifting, relational, constantly evolving, in-becoming’ nature of borderscapes, which are “also related to power, [. . .]hegemonic [and] counter-hegemonic discourse” (Giudice, 2015: 247); and note the “normative dimension [including] struggles of multiple resistance strategies” in “mobile and relational space” and the possibility of “combining the different places where borderscapes could be observed” with “experiences [. . .] in borderlands and where [. . .] specific bordering processes have impacts, are represented, negotiated or displayed.” They emphasise the ways that borderscapes reflect “different sociocultural political, economic, legal and historical locations where a space of

2.1

Over-generalisation and Over-specification

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negotiating actors, practises and discourses is articulated”; and note the need to take account of borderscapes’ multi-sited-ness across time as well as space (Brambilla, 2015d: 113). However, despite repeated claims to ‘explore the critical potential of’ or ‘deploy’ ‘the borderscapes concept’ or the ‘borderscapes lens’ (Brambilla, 2015a; Brambilla et al., 2015b: 2, 3, 6, 7), neither the concept nor the lens are conceptualised or defined in these contributions or elsewhere (cf. Krichker, 2019). This under-conceptualisation is perhaps consistent with the way that Borderscapes literature has developed: from the ground up, with the emphasis on contextual specificity. It also fits with the commitment of some of the key players in the field to ‘conceptual polysemicity’ and an approach to political-aesthetic connections that prioritises suggestive juxtaposition and allusive constellation rather than systematic comparison (Brambilla et al., 2015b: 2). In the same piece, however, even these authors acknowledge that ‘a major research task lies in understanding the complex construction of borders through a robust comparative framework’ (Brambilla et al., 2015b: 1). Thus, in order to better guide, make sense of and represent my own study of the diversity of borderings in CEE, I undertook to more clearly conceptualise the borderscape. This conceptualisation is outlined below but it is worth first noting that the problem of under-conceptualisation of the Borderscape is also linked to other problems in CBS, in which theoretical and conceptual work has not always kept pace with empirical work or empirical realities (Parker & Vaughan-Williams, 2012; Tallis, 2021). By conceptualising the borderscape I suggest a way to overcome these problems, which I term ‘over-generalisation’ and ‘over-specification’ and introduce here.

2.1

Over-generalisation and Over-specification

Over-generalisation in CBS tends to happen in two, often related, ways. First, in some approaches, particularly those emanating from critical Geography (e.g. Minca, 2007) and IR/International Political Sociology (IPS) (e.g. Amoore, 2006; Bigo, 2007), borders and borderings are often seen as ‘generalised’ or even ‘ubiquitous to political life’ to quote Nick Vaughan-Williams, a leading scholar in IR-CBS (2009a: 1, 2009b). Borders appear everywhere and anywhere and thus lose their distinctiveness. This problem has been exacerbated in some theoretically sophisticated strands of CBS that emphasise the complexity, plurality and connectedness of borders and borderings but do so to the extent that they lose their particularities amidst the multiplicities of ‘dispositifs’ or ‘assemblages’ and become indistinguishable from, inter alia, other ‘dividing practices’ (for a useful recent summary see Sohn, 2016). Ontological openness thus becomes a double-edged sword as the effects, affects and underpinnings of borders and borderings, even their very manifestations, become hard to specify or disentangle from the wider socio-political field.

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Second, over-generalised analyses of borders and borderings are often instrumentalised to make wider or even blanket ‘critical’ points about oppressive governance that lack nuance or paint an exaggerated, overly negative picture of order, identity and subjectivity, thus diminishing their credibility and impact beyond as well as within academia (Austin, 2017). Several examples of this type of overgeneralisation that directly intersect with the concerns of this books are discussed later in this chapter (Bigo, 2007; Walters, 2006), but recent influential work in CBS shows these tendencies too. For example, the editors of the Borderscaping collection approvingly cite Etienne Balibar’s claim regarding the ‘immediate global import even of the slightest bend of a border’ (Brambilla et al., 2015b: 3), which may be somewhat overstating the case. For Chiara Brambilla, CBS’ normative drive is so interwoven with its analytical approach that she sees the ‘Border as a method of capital’ and ‘Borderscape as method for a geographical opposition to capitalism’ (2015b). Brambilla’s Manichean view is of course not shared by all CBS scholars. Yet it is clear from discussions with policymakers and practitioners (in research for this book but also in subsequent policy work) that they found it easy to dismiss such sweeping critiques, which they saw as bearing little resemblance to the realities of their work and its socio-political context, and thus as detached, utopian ‘academic’ preoccupations. However, they found it much harder to be so dismissive—and often expressed agreement with or sympathy for—more nuanced critiques that recognised the positive as well as the negative aspects of bordering and which were able to specify points of critique rather than offering only blanket condemnation. In contrast to over-generalising tendencies, however, some CBS research tends to ‘over-specify’ its inquiries. This over-specification often stems from ethnographically inclined work that seeks to explore the contingency of particular constellations of bordering sites and processes. Such studies have provided fascinating and intrinsically valuable thick description and have shown time and again the value of engaging in depth and up-close with a broader range of borders, borderings and the people affected by them—see, for example, the contributions by Toyota, Horstmann, Dean and Tangseefa in Borderscapes (Rajaram & Grundy-Warr, 2007a). Indeed, some borderscapes scholars explicitly seek to privilege contextual specificity over any kind of ‘general’ approach, lest it mean backsliding toward the “epistemological, ontological, and methodological shackles of an ultra-modernistic, ‘territorialist’ Western geopolitical imagination” (Brambilla, 2015a) that is seen to have characterised the ‘uncritical’, positivist border studies of old. This rejection of ‘fixed border knowledge’ or a fixed border imaginary has been key to CBS’s success. Particularly, it facilitated the broader border ontology at the heart of CBS and spurred engagement with ever more diverse forms of borders and borderings, their effects and underpinnings (Brambilla et al., 2015b). However, the combined effect of focusing on contingent specificity and the lack of a clear conceptual framework has been to preclude comparative work as well as conceptual transfer and limits the relevance of findings and conclusions (Tallis, 2021). As Dina Krichker (2019) has noted, the contingent and often site-specific nature of the instances of bordering featured in works such as Borderscapes and

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Over-generalisation and Over-specification

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Borderscaping do not lend themselves easily to more generalisable analysis or interpretation, nor to comparison with other borderings. This is, of course, a potential problem of ethnographic and site-specific work more widely (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012) but it is particularly troubling for the cross-disciplinary field of CBS with its aspirations to multi-level relevance—from that of the individual to the geopolitical, as both Borderscaping (Brambilla et al., 2015b: xv, 1) and Borderscapes (Bigo, 2007: 10) claim at various points. Moreover, committing to such over-specification precludes the development of comparative frameworks, which could alleviate elision or over-generalisation. It also hinders more general conceptual and theoretical development through which CBS could contribute to other fields of social and political research as some scholars have called for (Brambilla et al., 2015a; Sidaway, 2011).

2.1.1

Conceptualising the Borderscape

To mitigate both over-specification and over-generalisation, I sought to develop a conceptual framework specific enough to allow comparison across different borderscapes but general enough to accommodate the variety of particular borderscape contexts that CBS scholars have explored. This conceptualisation which was used to guide and represent the research and analysis conducted for this book (as well as structuring the analytical-empirical Chaps. 4–6) is outlined in the section below with regard to what constitutes a borderscape. I draw on and develop Tim Ingold’s (Ingold, 1993) work on Landscape (of which I see Borderscapes as being a particular sub-set) to argue that Borderscapes are constituted by ‘related arrays’ of features, discourses and practices. This aspect of the conceptualisation provides a framework for analysing and representing borderscapes. Yet as well as analysis and representation, borderscapes also require interpretation. In order to do so it is necessary to distinguish borderscapes from the wider landscape and from other socio-political phenomena. I argue below that it is their combination of security and mobility (and thus insecurity and immobility), albeit in varying forms and modes, that allows us to pick out the borderscape from the landscape. Having distinguished the borderscape (mitigating one form of overgeneralisation), it is also possible to contextualise it within and link it to wider socio-political, spatial and temporal issues (mitigating some types of overspecification). To do so, I outline a framework through which to interpret the contingencies and consequences of the various elements of the borderscape with specific regard to ‘identities’ and ‘orders’. This approach follows that outlined in the classic CBS collection Identities, Borders and Orders (Albert et al., 2001a, 2001b) but extends and updates it to take account of developments in IR and cognate disciplines. After outlining this conceptualisation of the borderscape I proceed to discuss its underpinnings and the analytical and interpretive frameworks that it provides. In

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keeping with the multi-disciplinary development of CBS—and this project—I do so in the spirit of Geographer Ed Soja’s ‘trialectic’ between the spatial, the temporal and the social and his call (with Barbara Hooper) that ‘we must all be historians, geographers & social analysts’ (Soja & Hooper, 2002: 388). I would add that it also helps to take a consistently international view (Rosenberg & Tallis, 2022) and thus an IR disciplinary perspective also informs the sections that, respectively, deal with socio-political, spatial and temporal implications of bordering for identities and orders. This introduction of the diverse underpinnings of the conceptualisation illustrates the international and political as well as spatial, temporal and social stakes of this research project into EU bordering in Central and Eastern Europe and situates it in relation to the various disciplinary literatures it draws on.

2.2

Constituting the Borderscape: A Framework for Analysis (& Representation)

Despite the lack of a formal conceptualisation of the borderscape, the CBS literature did provide a wealth of elements from which to construct one. Suvendrini Perera’s aforementioned work is a case in point: she notes the importance of ‘reconfigured border spaces’ and, like several other contributors to the Borderscapes collection, highlights the importance of ‘discourses’ (Haddad, 2007) and ‘practices’ (Bigo, 2007; Nah Alice, 2007; Sidaway, 2007; Tangseefa, 2007; Toyota, 2007). Later work also emphasises the importance of both discourses and practices (Bürkner, 2015; Krasteva, 2015), which stand out as commonly identified constituents of the borderscapes in many different settings. But how to make more general sense of the variety of discourses and practices that these different authors identify in their varied sites of research? Many CBS scholars draw things together through the ‘heterogeneous ensemble’ of the Foucauldian dispositif (Bigo, 2008; Bonditti, 2013; Foucault, 1980: 194) or through the Deleuzian notion of the assemblage or agencement (Acuto & Curtis, 2014; Loughlan et al., 2013; Nail, 2017). But it was just such an attempt—to construct and employ a ‘border dispositif’—that prompted the prescient warning from my colleague about the pitfalls of trying to research a ‘a heterogeneous ensemble consisting of pretty much everything under the sun’. Instead, I found inspiration—and a more workable approach—in the anthropologist Tim Ingold’s conception of Landscape (1993). 1 1

Ingold’s work on landscape is not mentioned in either Borderscapes or Borderscaping—although Krasteva (2015) cites his work on ‘Lines’ (Ingold, 2007). Elena dell’Agnese (2015) discusses landscape in the context of borderscapes but, while she provides many useful insights–including with regard to the double meaning of landscape as a “Freudian joke” that is both the ‘thing’ and the thing that we use to describe the thing, she does not develop this discussion into a systematic conceptualisation of either landscapes or borderscapes, which is not her aim, nor that of other scholars who link borders and landscapes (e.g. Rumley & Minghi, 2016). There are also, of course,

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Constituting the Borderscape: A Framework for Analysis (& Representation)

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Ingold sees landscape as firmly ‘embedded in the current of sociality’—the ‘world known to those who dwell therein, who inhabit its places and journey along the paths connecting them’. In this view landscape is a work in progress, a performative process that is made and experienced spatio-materially and temporally ‘amidst that which was made before’—and, I would add, amid expectations of what is to come. If a borderscape can be seen as a particular subset of landscape (as I do), then it is clear that Ingold’s reading resonates with many of the innovations that have been introduced by CBS in border research. Most pertinently, in an insightful interpretation of the landscape painting The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Ingold provides a concise conceptualisation of landscape as being constituted by ‘an array of related features’, the embodied form of a ‘taskscape’, which he defines as ‘an array of related activities’ to which the features are immanent (ibid.). From this basis, I sketched a conceptualisation of the borderscape as being constituted by ‘related arrays’ of bordering features, which draws in the architectural and spatio-material elements of CBS and the ‘new materialism’ in IR (e.g. Salter, 2015) and related arrays of bordering practices bring in the ‘practice turn’ in IR (e.g. Balzacq et al., 2010; Bueger & Gadinger, 2015). As other anthropologists have noted, Ingold disregards discourses because they clash with his phenomenological approach, but they have also shown that it is possible (and necessary) to bring them into understandings of landscape and bordering (e.g. Bender, 2002; Green, 2009). Returning to the painting from which Ingold takes his inspiration, it is important to note that Bruegel rarely painted ‘accurate’ or mimetic portrayals of topographical conditions and that the features and practices of his landscapes often serve symbolic or allegorical purpose. As Bruegel’s friend, the mapmaker Abraham Ortelius, observed he ‘painted many things that cannot be painted’ (Zagorin, 2003) and that ‘all of the works by [. . .] Bruegel imply more than they depict’ (Hagen & Hagen, 2007: 57). This implies that we require additional knowledge to apprehend as well as comprehend and interpret the landscape or the borderscape: we need to know how they are entangled in various discourses—which again resonates with much CBS work. I thus conceptualised the Borderscape as being constituted of ‘related arrays’ of features, discourses and practices. I briefly elaborate on how each of these constituents are understood below, although they are much more fully developed—by showing rather than telling—in the analytical-empirical chapters.

myriad other treatments of landscape, particularly in cultural geography (for a good summary, see Wylie, 2007) but these have not, yet, proven as heuristically useful for my research as Ingold’s work has.

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2.2.1

Conceptualising the Borderscape

Features, Discourses and Practices

In conceptualising bordering features, which I see as partly comprised of particular forms, I drew on the work of Sarah Green (2009) who argued that [i]f borders mark differences, they do not all do so in the same way. While this has been studied from a range of angles, this has rarely focused on the forms that borders take, both in material and conceptual terms.

As Green notes, this problem is reflected in the representation of the most common formal-conceptual imagination of the border—the ‘line’—which is precisely what so much of CBS and Borderscapes research has sought to go beyond. Green contrasts the line with the notion of the ‘trace’, which is seen to evoke a sense of time in a way that a line cannot. However, while the ‘line’ effaces time, Green claims that the trace is not sufficiently spatial and instead suggests a new conception of border forms as tidemarks, that she sees as being spatial, temporal and able to reflect the mobile social constitution—and contestation—of borders. The main point here is that representations of border forms need to take account of their material particularity and spatial distribution as well as their temporalities (as processes) and endurance (or not), their effects and underpinnings. Yael Navaro-Yashin’s border ethnographies poetically yet powerfully show the importance of considering spatiomaterial affect as well as effect in tackling such questions, giving a richer sense of what borderings do and how they do it (2009, 2012). Taking these observations into account, I see a bordering feature as comprising particular spatio-material form(s) at particular site(s), which perform particular bordering function(s) (whether intended or unintended). It is the character, combination and configuration of a bordering feature’s forms, sites and functions that distinguish it from the other (bordering) features in the landscape. Siding with Green I see bordering features as being found wherever bordering functions take place with sufficient ‘borderli-ness’ to enact bordering and thus make a bordering place, whether fleeting or longer-lasting and, of course, not just at ‘traditional’ state borders. Synthesising a wide variety of CBS and related research, this conceptualisation thus incorporates a ‘material-semiotics’ which understands that different types of bordering take different architectural and material forms, in different locations and have distinct spatialities, temporalities and socio-political implications (e.g. Green, 2009; Walters, 2010). Again drawing on Green’s compelling case for the need to go ‘beyond the line’ in our characterisations of bordering, each feature can be labelled with a different conceptual metaphor that conveys its particularity—of effect and affect as well as form. This practice also encourages consideration and communication of the ‘affective materialities’ that impact on how border spaces are ‘believed’ as well as ‘made’ (Navaro-Yashin, 2012). The approach advanced here resonates with the aestheticpolitical approach advanced in Borderscaping and Borderities (see also Brambilla, 2015a) but goes further in providing a basis for systematic comparison and contrast as well as contextualisation.

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Bordering discourses are understood here as the narratives, ideas or ‘imaginaries ready for use’ (Bürkner, 2017), that underpin, legitimate, express and/or emerge through policies, practices and features of security and mobility and which are related, through bordering, to identity and order (see below). Discourse is (famously) among the most contested and plurally defined terms in all social research but, in keeping with the general CBS approach—and the desire to make the framework flexible and inclusive—a broad understanding is advanced here. Tomáš Dopita (2015) has succinctly summarised how discourses influence the ways in which signs and meanings are organised, how we make sense (and nonsense) of different aspects of the social world (and make them seem sensical or nonsensical to others) and how this impacts on identities and orders: in a certain reasoned manner that renders the meaning of the objects and Subjects under consideration and excludes other possible interpretations [. . .] This reasoned order of signs [provides] a certain hierarchical power structure that renders a specific meaning of signs [and a] hierarchy among and between [them]. A certain order of signs is enacted in the course of a signification of what some Subjects or objects presumably are—or could be—can be understood as an act of power [and ordering]. Thus, a change in discourse is a symptom of a change in power relations among signs [. . .] The meaning of a collective self or subject is ‘made’ in the double process of identification and differentiation [by which] a particular identity of the Subject [is] simultaneously produced [via actions and statements] in a juxtaposition to what the subject is not, a particular identity of the other.

With Dopita, as well as Lene Hansen (whom he draws on), I see discourses not ‘merely’ as texts or speech but also as hierarchical, yet malleable structures of signs, often configured in a narrative and constellated via the intersection of plural narratives, and which constitute power relations as well as being linked to identities and orders (Dopita, 2015; Hansen, 2006: esp 17–54). In this view, bordering discourses both reflect and generate the spatial, temporal and socio-political contingencies and consequences of bordering. They can variously facilitate or frustrate the construction, deconstruction, function or malfunction, use and abuse of the features and practices of the borderscape. Discourses have their own connections to identities and orders, as well as interacting with the links between them and practices and features. Barbara Bender (2002) has explored the subjective and volatile understandings, experiences and engagements that humans have with landscapes, critically developing Ingold’s formulation to open the way for discursive, as well as material understandings of landscapes and thus of borderscapes too. Green’s (2005) work on borders and bordering in the Balkans has also shown the importance of self-locating discourses through which people relate to the places they are in—or through which they feel out of place—and which are often connected to temporalities and narratives of histories and futures. Significantly, this work supports the need to augment Ingold’s conceptualisation of landscape (and thus the conceptualisation of the borderscape) with discursive elements. While Ingold focuses, phenomenologically on the meanings that people and groups gather from the landscape, Green, Bender and others have also shown the importance of the meanings that people and groups

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attach to landscape, although these are often intertwined rather than discrete processes. This balanced approach allows us to understand the impact of the past—as Ingold (1993) put it, ‘life must be lived amidst that which was made before’—through discursive rather than merely material histories. It thus also brings discourses of collective memory into play rather than relying solely on ‘task traces’, which Ingold appears to understand as having been laid down evenly by all activities—and so disregards the discursive power relations that other border scholars have shown to be significant. Integrating discursive analysis also facilitates consideration of the future and its impact on the present, rather than limiting our inquiry to the remains and remnants of the past. Augmenting Ingold’s framework to take account of discourses and thus of different modes of attaching meaning to places, including through practices of dwelling and moving, opens up productive channels for analysing borderscapes, but also for interpreting their relations to identities and orders. For example, discursive processes of securitisation (Buzan et al., 1998; Wæver, 1995) of both places and groups of people and the discursive representation and meaning making around mobilities (Cresswell, 2010) play significant roles in the construction and performance of EU borderings in CEE and impact on: who gets to move or stay where and under what conditions. Bordering discourses are thus considered a constituent of the borderscape in an equal, although different, way to bordering features and practices. Border(ing) practices are understood here in general, common-sense terms as the tasks of bordering, but also the logics those tasks arise from and give rise to, and related patterns of collective action. My use of practices comes close to that advanced by Andreas Reckwitz (2002): a practice is a routinized type of behavior which consists of several elements, interconnected to one another: forms of bodily activities, forms of mental activities, ‘things’ and their use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge. Performing a practice always depends on the interconnectivity of all these elements.

I separate out some of these elements (which Reckwitz would likely frown upon) in order to see and understand what I consider to be spatio-material features and discourses of the borderscape more clearly. Yet, as I bring their manifestations, underpinnings and effects together in my analysis, this remains compatible in spirit if not strictly adhering to the terminology. Bueger and Gadinger (2015) have done much to develop the practice turn in IR and have usefully argued that taking practices seriously implies emphasizing process, developing an account of knowledge as action, appreciating the collectivity of knowledge, recognizing the materiality of practice, embracing the multiplicity of orders [and orderings in which practices are implicated], and working with a performative understanding of the world [as having its meaning in its making].

Taking this approach, it is possible to see that much as the harvesters (partly) make their landscape through their tasks in Bruegel’s painting, so too do various actors make the borderscape (partly) through their bordering practices. This

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relationship between landscape and practice is symbiotic as the landscape that people make also influences their practices: ‘the paths and tracks ‘impose a habitual pattern on the movement of people’ (Jackson, quoted in Ingold, 1993). And yet [the paths and tracks] also arise out of that movement [. . .] as the accumulated imprint of countless journeys that people have made’ (Ingold, 1993). This approach, which highlights the two-way relation between practices and features, is echoed in the literature on relations between ‘subject’ and space and on place-making. It explores how the activities of people, over time, contribute to collective understandings of what places are as well as what and who they are for and how they are delineated, making clear the links to bordering (Dear & Flusty, 2002; Massey, 2005). However, whereas Ingold focuses on the tasks performed by ‘skilled actors’ I incorporate a wider variety of practices: the repeated activities and ways of doing of both professional (institutionalised) or non-professional (individual or informal) actors involved in bordering. This includes: the tasks of border guards managing a BCP, of humanitarian NGOs providing care, of ‘ordinary’ people moving through— or evading—controls, accessing state services where they reside or moving ‘freely’ within the Schengen zone (e.g. Pallister-Wilkins, 2017; Wemyss et al., 2017). Both security (Balzacq et al., 2010) and mobility (Cresswell, 2010), which I argue below are the key characteristics of bordering features, discourses and practices, have been shown to be practice-based as well as discursive. Looking at practices helps understand ‘the strategies, tactics, norms [and] best practices of the game’ (my emphasis) (Salter, 2013: 85–86). Highlighting and categorising key bordering practices facilitates understanding of a ‘related array’ of practices that is distinct from—but also connected to—the related arrays of features and discourses that also constitute the borderscape. As influential scholarship in the field of practice theory in IR has argued, practices play a significant role in knowledge production and meaning making through social action (further confirming their symbiotic relationship with discourses as well as features). Thus, bordering practices are important in understanding continuity and change, as well as political and social relations with regard to identities and in processes of ‘ordering’ and ‘disordering’ (Adler-Nissen, 2016; Bueger & Gadinger, 2014: 66–67, 2015). It should of course be noted that the separation of features, discourses and practices is both analytical and imperfect—as in reality they are mutually entangled and interdependent—but it proved analytically—and interpretively—useful for this project. This section has outlined these key constituents of borderscapes (features, discourses and practices) that are explored with specific reference to EU Bordering in Central and Eastern Europe in the analytical-empirical chapters of this book. Structuring these chapters around the key constituents also shows the value of this conceptualisation in providing a framework for making sense of and representing, as well as analysing, borderscapes. In addition to analysis, however, the conceptualisation that I advance here also includes an interpretative component, which is now outlined in the section below.

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Distinguishing and Contextualising the Borderscape: An Interpretive Framework

To address the problems of over-generalisation and over-specification that stem from the under-conceptualisation of the borderscape, it is necessary both to distinguish bordering from and contextualise it in relation to other phenomena. The interpretive framework that I fashioned for this project thus has two aspects, which are introduced here. First, I show how I distinguished bordering features, discourses and practices from other features, discourses and practices—through their combination of security and mobility (or insecurity and immobility). This shows how I mitigated one type of ‘over-generalisation’ by distinguishing the borderscape from the landscape more widely and avoiding the trap of ‘border ubiquity’. Second, I then link bordering to other socio-political, spatial and temporal phenomena, particularly to questions of identities and orders by drawing on, but also developing the ‘Identities, Borders, Orders nexus’ that was an early influential part of CBS work (Albert et al., 2001b). Like the conceptualisation of the borderscape it forms part of, this interpretive framework for distinguishing and contextualising the borderscape draws on scholarship from a wide variety of academic disciplines. Nonetheless, this diversity is harnessed in ways that primarily address concerns of my home discipline of International Relations, although they will still be of interest to scholars from elsewhere. The choices that underpin the ways that I conceptualise the borderscape are discussed and situated in relation to the literatures from which I drew inspiration in the later sections of this chapter.

2.3.1

Distinguishing a Borderscape: The Intersection of (In)Security and (Im)Mobility

To overcome over-generalisation, it was necessary to limit the scope of analysis and interpretation to avoid seeing borderings everywhere and in everything and every process. As Philippe Bonditti argues (when talking about dispositifs), any object of research, however complex, should be refined until it becomes ‘analyzable’ (2013: 120) and, I would add, interpretable. In conceptualising my ‘object of research’—the borderscape—I ‘refined’ it by limiting my understanding of bordering features, discourses and practices, to those that occur at the intersection of security and mobility (and, thus, also insecurity and immobility), broadly understood. It is the central (or at least significant) presence of both (in)security and (im)mobility, which sets borderings apart from other features, discourses and practices in the landscape. This intersection of security and mobility is easily observable at ‘traditional’ borders such as those at state frontiers. People attempting to pass from the territory of one state to another must either evade controls (raising further insecurity and immobility issues) or be checked and either denied or granted access

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by officials of the state that lays claim to the territory in question. This decision is based on policies that take account of the benefits of mobility—such as for trade, tourism or friendly relations with neighbouring states—but also on the threats or risks that such cross-border movement is seen to pose, whether to political, societal, economic, identity or other forms of security, which the border control seeks to protect against (e.g. Guild, 2009). However, it has been a central tenet of CBS that intersections of (im)mobility and (in)security also occur beyond state frontiers (Walters, 2006, 2010; Zaiotti, 2016). There are myriad examples of this, many of which are outlined in the CEE context in the empirical chapters of this book. For now, however, it suffices to point to the police and customs checks that take place at locations away from state frontiers within the EU’s Schengen zone. These checks—some more planned, others more random—control the movement of people with direct reference to perceived notions of security and whether the person’s movement (and/or dwelling) is considered threatening or beneficial. Movement—for tourists and commercial travellers as well as migrants—is considered to extend to the period of stay in the territory they have entered as it required mobility from their country of origin to get there and then the immobility of staying there under certain conditions, which may be considered threatening for the state. Of course, the personal security and security of belonging (to a community or in a territory) of the person being controlled can also be threatened by the control itself (e.g. Walters, 2006). Thus, the control which takes place well away from the state frontier, becomes a bordering moment at the intersection of (in)security and (im)mobility. Similarly, this intersection is either explicit or apparent in the practices of protecting the integrity of laws and borders against ‘irregular’ mobilities (or protecting the human security of people seeking to move) and the practices of ‘knowing’ by analysing the (security) ‘risk’ of particular mobilities. As shown in detail in the empirical chapters, there are also many other, less obvious intersections of security and mobility in the CEE borderscape. To illustrate the point here, we can briefly consider the ways in which security and mobility are discursively linked in the policy documents of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP) and how this linkage is expressed, in practice, in the conduct of these policies, with. One basic example is how ‘progress’ on border security standards in neighbouring countries is repeatedly and explicitly linked to visa facilitation processes. It is also clear in the more positive and progressive stated aims of such policies that emphasise that meetings between people from different countries, facilitated by mobility, can enhance security, peace and prosperity (e.g. European Commission, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011; European Union, 2009, 2010). Conversely, enhanced mobility is also seen as threatening and has been securitised discursively and in practice as has been well described by critical scholars in many settings (Andrijasevic et al., 2012; Aradau & Van Munster, 2007; Huysmans, 2000). A distinguishing criterion must, of course, be able to exclude as well as include. Accordingly, there were many intrinsically interesting features, discourses and practices that I identified during the course of research into the CEE borderscape, that did not fit the security-mobility criterion and which I thus excluded from the

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findings outlined in the empirical chapters. These included, for example, the ways and places that Ukrainians gather in Prague and the discourses that both reflect and generate the informal social segregation that means that they tend not to visit the same pubs and cafes as the Western European expats who also live in the city. Nor did I consider the delineation of Europe (generally the EU and the non-EU Schengen countries) from non-Europe, including Ukraine, by commercial actors such as mobile phone companies, which charge differently for roaming coverage in these two zones. This may enact a type of delineation or division, but it does not do so in the same way, or with the same implications for and in security and mobility as those types features, discourses and practices that I see as primarily constituting the CEE borderscape. Nor do these types of bounding impact on identity and order to the same extent as the elements of the borderscape which I explore in the analyticalempirical chapters. While they probably contribute to the environment in which these other borderings take place and are made possible, as well as probably exacerbating some of their effects, they did not merit inclusion as key parts of my study, using the framework outlined here. Using the intersection of security and mobility as the distinguishing criteria for borderings allowed for the identification of bordering features, discourses and practices that most closely spoke to the key concerns of the research project: to understanding how borders relate to identities and orders in Central and Eastern Europe; how this affects the ways that various groups of people can move and how they are governed; as well as how distinctions between these groups are constituted and contested, largely on the basis of citizenship of states that are included or excluded from certain orders; and how those inclusions and exclusions happened. These criteria and questions also reflect the project’s disciplinary origins in IR and the value of speaking to key issues in that discipline as well as to related concerns regarding geopolitics. In other cases and with different aims these foci would be less appropriate or useful and, e.g. economic or humanitarian issues could be prioritised instead. This would also likely require other distinguishing criteria instead of (or in addition to) (in)security and (im)mobility, as for example when Polly Pallister Wilkins, focused on ‘care’ in analysing a ‘humanitarian borderscape’ (2018). Nonetheless, for this study, distinguishing bordering features, discourses and practices by their intersection of security and mobility proved highly productive, particularly in terms of identifying those constituents of the borderscape that were strongly implicated in the context of issues of identity and order. This contextualisation is discussed below.

2.3.2

Contextualising the Borderscape: Identities-Borderscapes-Orders

To recap the conceptualisation so far: the borderscape is seen as being constituted by related arrays of features, discourses and practices that, while diverse, are each

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characterised by the intersection of (in)security and (im)mobility, which distinguishes them from other phenomena in the wider socio-political field and the landscape more generally. The distinguishing criteria outlined above helped overcome one aspect of the problem of over-generalisation. The creation of a framework for identifying distinct yet related constituents of the borderscape (related arrays of features, discourses and practices) and to compare and contrast between them helped overcome the elision of plurality and the levelling that also characterises other types of over-generalisation. Moreover, the possibility to compare and contrast the manifestations but also the effects and affects of the various features, discourses and practices encouraged nuanced and precise critique rather than blanket denunciation. The conceptualisation advanced here also mitigates over-specification in two ways: first through the potential that it opens up for comparing and contrasting the features, discourses and practice between as well as within borderscapes; and second by the possibility for contextualising the borderscape in relation to other issues in a systematic way, which is discussed in this section. In contextualising the borderscape in relation to identities and orders I took (and updated) an approach pioneered by the authors who contributed to an influential collection (Identities, Borders and Orders) that played an important early role in the development of CBS (Albert et al., 2001b). Yosef Lapid’s summary of the identities, borders, orders (IBO) nexus is worth citing at length: Massive bodies of cross-disciplinary literature strongly suggest that IBO concepts are intimately related to each other; they are therefore best defined, and best discussed, in relation, to each other. Processes of collective identity formation invariably involve complex bordering issues. Likewise, acts of bordering (i.e. the inscription, crossing, removal, transformation, multiplication, and/or diversification of borders) invariably carry momentous ramifications for political ordering at all levels of political analysis. Processes of identity, border and order construction are therefore mutually self-constituting. Borders, for instance, are in many ways inseparable from the identities they help demarcate or individuate [and] from orders constituted to a large extent via such acts of individuation and segmentation. (Lapid, 2001: 4)

IBO scholarship developed largely in IR, particularly in the nascent sub-field of International Political Sociology (IPS), and it is clear that there are also other ways of contextualising borderscapes, which may appeal more to those working in other disciplines. Indeed, Brambilla and others have suggested links with Arjun Appadurai’s work on other kinds of ‘scapes’ which, if more systematically developed may yield a complementary approach (Brambilla et al., 2015b; dell’Agnese & Amilhat Szary, 2015). However, the IBO approach proved most productive for this research project, although it did need updating to take account of more recent research. The first change that I made was, unsurprisingly, to substitute ‘borderscapes’ for ‘borders’, which brings CBS’ broader empirical and ontological scope into the framework. Moreover, this brings in insights from the literatures mentioned above, including from the practice turn and new materialism in IR. It also further develops the original IBO book’s championing of ‘processism, relationalism, and verbing’ in

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studies of borderings, which is in keeping with the new border imaginary introduced by CBS (Lapid, 2001: 3). In updating the IBO, I also more explicitly incorporated ‘relational, processual and performative’ understandings of identity and order. I focus here on those aspects that were most directly useful for contextually interpreting borderscapes with regard to identities and then to orders in the ways that are then elaborated in the empirical chapters. First, I introduced ‘subjectivity’ as a dynamic, performative aspect of the identities component of the IBO nexus. To do so I utilised Michel Foucault’s work on the importance of power (in various modes) to making us ‘what we are’ and, particularly, the way that power ‘categorises the individual, marks him [sic.] by his own individuality, attaches him to his identity [and] makes individuals subjects’ (2002: 331–333). Identities—the ways in which people are identified and identify themselves—are considered to be inseparable from the subjectivities through which these identities are enacted, including in the ways that people make themselves into particular types of subjects. For borderscapes or identities-borderscapesorders, the ways in which socio-political, spatial and temporal subjectivities of security, mobility and belonging (inclusion/exclusion) and the ways they (temporarily) stabilise into identities are of critical importance. So too is how different collective and individual subjectivities and identities relate to each other (In the CEE context see, for example, Neumann, 1999; Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). However, although identities can be stabilised over time through repeated performance of a particular subjectivity, so too can they be changed or challenged. In the context of this research project it is indicative to consider (as elaborated later) those ‘Central Europeans’ who were able to ‘shed their Eastern-ness’ to become recognised as ‘fully’ European, i.e. EU-European (Kuus, 2004). As I argue below, one way they could do this was through the mobilities they could enact. Thus, in this interpretive framework, peoples’ socio-political possibilities and the ways they can live can change too, even if this is likely to be a difficult, drawn out and precarious process (Butler, 1993; Stern, 2006; Wibben, 2009). ‘Order’ is ‘one of the oldest and most discussed topics in political enquiry’ as Nick Rengger (2000: 2) put it some time ago. And so it remains, replete with contested meanings and understandings as recent debates over the ‘Liberal International Order’ show (e.g. Cooley & Nexon, 2020; Jahn, 2018; Porter, 2020). Dan Nexon and Alex Cooley argue that ‘at heart, ‘international order’ refers to relatively stable patterns of relations and practices in world politics’ (Cooley & Nexon, 2020: 31). In their book, Exit from Hegemony, they offer an extended discussion of the concept and what they think it comprises, which also shows the importance of different domestic or regional orders for wider ordering. Here, I understand orders in a relatively basic but operative way as the stabilisable yet malleable configurations of relations at one level between governing authorities and those they seek to govern and at another as those relations between different governing authorities, which are also stabilisable yet malleable. Orders are instantiated through the socio-political, spatial and temporal relations between authorities, such as states or the institutions of the EU, and between authorities and the people and groups whose lives they shape through the subjectivities they can enact.

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In the context of this study, I looked particularly at how the EU and its member states enact, police and bound a particular form of order in relation to subjectivities of security-mobility in the Schengen zone and how they do so differently in the Eastern neighbourhood, which implicates bordering in several ways. I also looked at how the EU’s actions in its Eastern neighbourhood necessitated interactions with other governing actors whose different forms of governance had led to the stabilisation of different forms of order. Thus, in keeping with the ambition to make borderscape analysis relevant at all levels from the geopolitical to that of the individual, it was also possible to consider the relations between the orders that are divided by border(ing)s, as in the case of the EU and its Eastern Neighbourhood partner states as well, albeit very differently, with the Russian Federation. Moreover, the study also looked at how ordering actors change the borders of their orders over time—as the EU and its member states did when enlarging the Union in 2004 and the Schengen zone in 2007. The study also shows the background or, better, the ‘prehistory’ as Walter Benjamin auspiciously termed it, to significant disordering processes that are directly connected to bordering and identity questions and which manifested themselves in the EU’s migration and neighbourhood crises (Frisby, 2013: 187). This conceptualisation of the borderscape thus holds out the potential to understand dynamic processes of ordering and disordering (as well as stabilisation of orders) through borderings and their relations to identity and subjectivity as well as governance. Governance is seen to be the performative, relational counterpart to order and which can, like the performance of subjectivity have either ordering or disordering effects, including through borderings, whether they are manifested through features, discourses or practices (Adler-Nissen, 2016; Bueger & Gadinger, 2015). Taking these points together I thus offer a framework that allows for the study of border (ing)s that for the (shorter or longer-term) reflect different governing orders and identity-subjectivities by delineating between them. Yet borderings in the way they are conceptualised here, through the borderscape, can also reproduce, generate or contest the (dis)ordering and identity-subjectivity processes that they are symbiotically related to (Lapid, 2001; Rosenau & Bredemeier, 1993). So far, this chapter has outlined the conceptualisation of: (1) the borderscape’s constituents as an analytical and representational framework; and (2) ways of distinguishing and contextualising the borderscape as an interpretive framework. To conceptualise the borderscape in this way I drew on and synthesised a wide variety of CBS literature as well as scholarship from the various disciplines that CBS has emerged from. This process of course involved making choices and it is useful now to illuminate some of those choices by introducing some of the key underpinnings and inspirations for this work and, in so doing, to situate this research in relation to key literatures that it draws on and develops, as well as further explicating the links between borderscapes, identities and orders. Furthermore, the remainder of the chapter also provides clarification on the ways in which key concepts and terms such as security, mobility, power and place are used. Not only is this useful in making sense of the analysis and interpretation that follows but it also allows readers to examine these choices and see where they would make different ones. This is in

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keeping with the commitment to reflexivity that runs through this project but also allows readers to then (re)construct their own borderscape conceptualisation substituting their choices for my own.

2.4

Socio-political Underpinnings of the Borderscape

When I began to autodidactically research borders in 2007, it quickly became apparent that it was an auspicious time to do so. New and inspiring research from a variety of disciplines was coming out on practically a weekly basis. CBS was blossoming, avant le lettre, and IR scholarship was increasingly crossing borders with research from Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, History, (Political) Philosophy and Area Studies. Later, being at a large research university allowed me, to the despair of my mentors, to extensively pursue this interdisciplinary scholarship, which opened up some fascinating insights—and took me down some equally fascinating dead ends. While overwhelming in some ways, this proliferating profusion of border research—and much besides that was more tenuously related to borders and bordering—provided fertile ground in which to nurture the analytical and interpretive frameworks outlined above. It also showed both the lack of and need for a proper conceptualisation of the borderscape. What united much of this research, however, was that it was interpretivist in approach (e.g. Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012), sociologically, linguistically or materially inclined, attuned to cultural as well as political considerations and could loosely be characterised in IR terms as constructivist or poststructuralist—which still leaves a very broad spectrum. There is not space—and nor would there be sense—here to do justice to the full depth and breadth of the research that my own project stands on the shoulders of. Rather, in the subsequent sections of this chapter I focus on the key insights that informed the conceptualisation of the borderscape. These are not truly separable but for analytical purpose are divided into those that are more ‘socio-political’, spatial or temporal, respectively. I particularly focus on highlighting connections between borderings and questions of identity and order, as well as showing more of the rationale behind the delineation and definition of the key constituents of the borderscape. I thus elaborate on the underpinnings of the analytical as well as interpretive frameworks presented here and better situate my conceptualisation of the borderscape in relation to the extant literature in various disciplines. Finally, this section and those that follow it, ground the conceptualisation of the borderscape in the regionally particular context of Central and Eastern Europe.

2.4.1

Mobilising Security in Word and Deed

A key aspect of the interpretive framework outlined above is the distinguishing criterion for a bordering feature, discourse or practice that it must have elements of

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both security (or insecurity) and mobility (or immobility) at its heart. The presence of both security and mobility in ‘traditional’ borderings is clear and, as noted, CBS has shown that security and mobility are key to borderings that fall under the new border imaginary. However, as well as confirming that it is in their intersection that the state (and EU) borderings are produced or reflected, it is necessary—and useful—to say a little more about what is meant by both security and mobility, given the wealth of literature on these concepts. Borderings are provoked by attempted or desired movement or dwelling, triggering a decision on access to territory or validity of stay on that territory, based on considerations of potential threats to security as well as potential benefits from movement (e.g. Bigo & Guild, 2005; Walters, 2006). The threats or risks that are considered in such decisions could be seen as being to the political, societal, environmental, economic or identity security of the community (whether imagined, affective or otherwise) that is considered to reside on the territory in question and which border control seeks to protect and allow to prosper (e.g. Agnew, 1994; Anderson, 1991; Bigo, 2007; Bigo & Guild, 2005; Ciutǎ, 2009; Corry, 2014; Guild, 2009; Huysmans, 2000).2 However, promoting mobilities of different kinds also plays a significant role in borderings. For example, the EU’s Schengen zone aims to promote the ‘four freedoms’ of movement for people, goods, capital and services, through the removal of the permanent border controls located at the frontiers between member states. Nonetheless, the mobilities that this encourages remain entangled with security as shown, for example, in the accompanying commitments to ensuring that ‘the free movement of persons is assured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, immigration, asylum and the prevention and combating of organised crime’ (Treaty on European Union, 2012 Article 2; Haddad, 2007: 129; Huysmans, 2000; Jeandesboz, 2007). Didier Bigo (2008: 107–8) is one of many scholars to explicitly link security and mobility to re-bordering processes, arguing that logics of security work through a double movement of ‘extending the area and freeing circulation’ in order to maintain the ‘liberty of the majority’ at the expense of securitizing the mobility of others, which he and other critical scholars argue is what the EU has done with the Schengen zone (e.g. Huysmans, 2000; Walters, 2006). However, Bigo also claims that rather than just trying to encourage mobility, this mode of liberal security actually seeks to ‘impose’ it. Bigo’s work is structuralist (which is not an approach I share) but he and others working in International Political Sociology (IPS) have pioneered a sociological, practise-based approach to studying security, that has been influential for my work as well as for that of many others working on borders (see e.g. Parker & Vaughan-Williams, 2009, 2012).

2

Clearly each of these terms is open to multiple understandings and interpretations, but the point remains that these are some of the most common categories used to map threats to referent objects of security (e.g. C.A.S.E., 2006; Guild, 2009).

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However, as well as practice-based approaches, Critical Security Studies (CSS) has also developed other influential ways of studying security. Most famously, the ‘Copenhagen School’ of security studies initiated the study of ‘securitisation’—the process through which certain issues are made into and acted upon as security concerns—by discursive means, analogous to speech acts (e.g. Buzan et al., 1998; Wæver, 1995). The emergence of the Copenhagen School (around Ole Wæver, Lene Hansen and others taking discursive approaches) and the Paris ‘school’ (around Bigo and others taking practice-based approaches) offered different ways of going about understanding security for scholars, but there is actually considerable potential for synthesis or, at least, combination between them. The analytical framework outlined above therefore includes both bordering discourses and bordering practices as key constituents of the borderscape. This synthetic approach incorporates both securitisation through speech acts—‘the declaration of security’—usually by policy-makers—and ‘practices of security,’ particularly those arising from, and giving rise to the institutional logics and organisational orientations of security professionals (Balzacq et al., 2010; C.A.S.E., 2006). The borderscape thus benefits from considering both the ‘philosophical’ and the ‘sociological’ aspects of securitisation (Balzacq et al., 2016). Both discourses and practices also share the quality of ‘performativity’, as do other key processes of placemaking and belonging, discussed later in this chapter, which helps to bring a certain coherence to the inspirations that I draw from different disciplines (e.g. Bialasiewicz et al., 2007; Butler, 1993). As well as the inspirations for the understandings of security that are utilised here, however, there are also scholarly debts that I need to pay in relation to mobility and the ways in which I see that too as being a key distinguishing feature of the borderscape. My approach is influenced by the ‘mobility turn in human geography and sociology’ (Salter, 2010: 196) as well as calls for critical migration studies as a counterpart to critical security studies (Guild, 2009) and for the ‘mobilisation of security’ (Walters, 2010) and so I use mobility or mobilities rather than ‘circulations’ as discussed by Bigo (2008: 97). My key point of reference in this regard is the work of Timothy Cresswell (e.g. Cresswell, 2006; Cresswell & Merriman, 2011) who has done most to develop a ‘politics of mobility’ (Cresswell, 2010) from the ‘New Mobilities Paradigm’ (Sheller & Urry, 2006), and who advocates consideration of: • ‘constellations of mobility’ as entanglements of historically and geographically contingent and made up of • Three ‘aspects of mobility’ (as I term them) ‘patterns of movement, representations of movement and ways of practicing movement[;]’ which are interlinked and comprised of • six elements or ‘constituent parts: motive force, velocity, rhythm, route, experience and friction’ I introduce these elements, (very) briefly here in the hope of encouraging more IR scholars to engage with Cresswell’s work—if they haven’t yet had the pleasure—as well as to clarify what I talk about when I talk about mobility.

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Questions of ‘motive force’ (the motivation[s] for movement) and ‘experience’ are strongly linked and ostensibly relatively clear. Consider, for example, the different motivations for and experiences of movement for a truck driver and a stowaway in the container carried by the truck, even if much of their routes are the same. Forced movement will also be experienced—and represented—differently than commercial or leisurely travel. However, as Cresswell notes, the internal and external forces that turn inertia into movement (and vice-versa) are complex and neither the movement of the ‘tourist’ (the business or leisure traveller), nor the ‘vagabond’ (the refugee or low-skilled irregularly moving migrant) can be seen as entirely willed or completely compelled (Bauman, 1997: 89). Key reference/meta-survey works in migration studies (e.g. Goldin et al., 2011) also point to the complexity of ‘micro-level’ choices and cost-benefit analyses by individuals and families about whether to move (or try to), but also note that these are fundamentally socially and culturally embedded processes. As such they are also linked to people’s ‘meso-level’ analyses, or intuitions they have, about their networks and social capital. These connections are important because they affect assessments of potential costs and benefits of various ‘routes’ and ‘rhythms’ of mobility—how to move, for what purpose, for how long, coming back how frequently, etc.—as well as their likely social positioning ‘here’ and ‘there’ (Heisler, 2001). These micro and meso-level decisions are also linked to the ‘macro-level’ considerations that are commonly known as ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. These ‘pushes’ and ‘pulls’ are understood as structural, political, economic, security and cultural factors that shape the context for decisions on moving to and from particular places. ‘Velocity’ and ‘friction’ of mobility are bound up in these considerations but are also immanently related to each other in more complex ways: speed is associated with exclusivity (e.g. fast-lane border controls) but also necessity (flight from threat), while slowness is linked with both poverty (taking a long-distance bus instead of a plane) and luxury (an ocean cruise or leisurely train journey). Immobility (related to friction) is similarly multifaceted, encompassing the possibility of dwelling without facing deportation as well as the denial of entry to, or passage through, a particular place. Some mobilities imply or open up the possibility of immobility (and vice versa) and can, like the (in)security to which they are linked, be imposed or desired, acquiesced to or resisted, which also implicates them in power relations. The analytical and interpretive frameworks that I outlined above incorporate these varying notions of security (and insecurity), mobility (and immobility), the ways they are practised, represented and materialised, as well as the complexity and unevenness of how they are both desired and imposed. The implications of both security and mobility in issues of identity (e.g. who is threatening, who is safe, who can move and how, who cannot move or stay?); as well as for matters of (dis-)order and governance (e.g. border drawing and re-drawing, sovereignty, the rule of law, and border management visa, residence and labour policy, relations between governing entities) are manifest and multi-faceted, as the analytical-empirical chapters show. The ways in which these issues and connections are engaged through the conceptualised borderscape are also inflected by particular perspectives on power in social relations, which are outlined below.

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Power, Resistance and the Limits of the Social

Like much contemporary research into borders, security and spatiality, this book draws on Michel Foucault’s work on power, resistance and acquiescence, which is discussed in this section, as well as the different ‘modes’ of power identified in Foucauldian scholarship, which are discussed in the section on spatiality (Crampton & Elden, 2007; Walters, 2006). In contrast to top-down theories of power that saw the repression of powerless, ideologically blinkered or structurally determined individuals by an all-powerful ‘king’ (or his successors, the false consciousness producing hegemon and the ‘cold monster’ of the state) Foucault theorised power not as a possession, but as a process produced by, and through, social relations (Digeser, 1992; Foucault, 1978: 92–102; Foucault, 1982; Foucault, 2009: 144). For Foucault, power was not merely repressive and thus something to be emancipated from, but omnipresent and ‘directly productive’ of subjectivities and social relations that are ‘non-egalitarian and mobile’ (Foucault, 1978: 94) For bordering, this matters for how different forms of power relate to (im)mobilities and (in)securities and the ways they are managed, as well as for the subjectivities and social relations they engender, as will be discussed further below. Here, however, it is useful to outline the ‘overall’ positioning of this research project in relation to issues of power, resistance, acquiescence and exceptionalism, as well as related questions regarding normativity, which as will be seen, differ somewhat from a lot of CBS and ‘critical’ work in IR. I conceptualised the borderscape in accordance with Foucauldian work that sees power as immanent with resistance and exercised over ‘free subjects, and only insofar as they are free’ (Foucault, 1982). This is the case because those whom power is acting on—and through—must have more than one option: at the very least they must be able to affirm or resist, to obey or disobey and, as such, remain ‘recognized and maintained to the very end as a subject who acts’ (Foucault, 1978: 95). Without this option to do otherwise the relation is one of violence rather than power, but this does not imply that the ‘partners’ in relations of power are equal. Power relations can solidify over time into forms of domination, but this does not preclude the possibility of resistance developing into revolution or change of other kinds (Foucault, 1978: 94–95, 1982). Nonetheless, ‘resistance’ may not always be realistic or even desirable, which raises questions of complicity with the operations of power and even with forms of domination (Bigo, 2007). Yet it is also illuminating to take other considerations into account. We may submit ourselves to (e.g.) medical procedures (in a classic Foucauldian example) or to the airport scanner (in one directly related to bordering) because we feel it is in our best interest, and perhaps even in the general interest. Such actions may not be mere expressions of our ‘voluntary servitude’ (de la Boetie, 2008) but, rather, reflect our desires for governance (and security) and our consequent willingness to reproduce their codes. The unequal social relations through which power is produced and performed— as well as those it constitutes—imply that the balance between power and resistance,

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imposition and desire, coercion and acquiescence, can vary according to the subject position in question. Indeed, the view taken in this research project is that the changeable, contextual nature of power also means that acquiescence should not (always) be seen as mere cowed subservience, nor should it necessarily be interpreted as permanent or totalising. I thus echo Paul Roe’s (2012) corrective to some critical work on security, which sees security as only negative (Aradau, 2008). This project also diverges from the work in CBS that has taken its cue from Giorgio Agamben’s readings of power. Inter alia, Agamben develops Carl Schmitt’s dictum that ‘Sovereign is he who decides upon the state of exception’, emphasizing that power effectively resides with those having the monopoly on this ‘decision’ (1998: 5–11). In this view, the power of decision regarding states of exception implies the power to decide over life and death and, using Agamben’s terms, is thus productive of ‘homo sacer (sacred man), who may be killed but not sacrificed’ and who therefore exists at the mercy of sovereign power (1998: 8). Leading IR-CBS scholar Nick Vaughan-Williams (2009a: 29) describes how Agamben’s work has been ‘taken up’ by scholars dealing with a variety of topics relevant to this project. It has particularly been used to heavily criticise border policies and practices, including those of the EU in relation to refugees and irregular migrants (2009b, 2015). However, this wide engagement with Agamben’s work includes some, such as Bigo (2007), who do so in critical opposition rather than endorsement. Jef Huysmans (2008), a leading scholar in IPS argues that Agamben collapses Schmitt’s dialectic between law and politics and effects an ‘ontological erasure of the political conception of the social’. In making the exception the rule, Agamben not only casts us ‘all’ as homo sacer (Agamben, 1998: 115), but universalises this across space (2000: 37) and time (1998: 191). This would leave us, in the words of William Connolly ‘at a historical impasse, with no way out’ (Edkins et al., 2004: 11). In conceptualising the borderscape I therefore eschewed Agambenian approaches. While sovereign ‘moments’ do happen, generalising from them lacks both proportion and perspective and would obscure the socio-political complexity of bordering, as has been the case with regard to other phenomena tackled by Agamben and his scholarly disciples (Edkins & Pin-Fat, 2005: e.g.; Minca, 2005). It is no exaggeration to say that Agamben uses exceptional cases to make claims about the norm. He describes ‘the camp’ (meaning the concentration camp and specifically the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp) as the ‘the new nomos of the earth’ (2000: 37) and ‘the fundamental biopolitical paradigm of the West’ (1998: 181). In a similar vein, Vaughan-Williams (2007) uses the UK police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes to make claims about the ‘generalised’ or ‘ubiquitous’ biopolitical border and sovereign power (Vaughan-Williams, 2009b). While highlighting these extreme cases has normative political value, it is little wonder that the geographers Mat Coleman and Kevin Grove have written that this approach creates ‘an abridged understanding [. . .] of political, economic, and social space’ (2009). This is the ‘ontological erasure’ that Huysmans (2008) cautions against as it removes our ability to detect and deal with nuance and unevenness in its blanket critique. Worse, it erases the highly varied lived experiences of borders and their relations with identities and orders. Such work thus falls into the trap that

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Derek Gregory outlines—it does ‘victims of injustice’ the ‘ further indignity of becoming the objects of Theory’ (Gregory, 2004). In my research I therefore steered clear of the Agambenian ‘limit fetish’ and other forms of blanket condemnation that I saw as contributing to the ‘over-generalisation’ that is a key problem of Critical Border Studies and other critical work (Austin, 2017). Instead, I sought to understand the complexity of desire, imposition, resistance and acquiescence in social relations. To better apprehend the interplay of agency and structure in borderings, this also meant diverging from overly structural accounts of bordering institutions (Bigo, 2007; see Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). Like Paul Roe (2012) I rejected the notion that security is necessarily ‘negative’ or that ‘the horizon of security is, ultimately, fascism, the community that draws impermeable boundaries’ (Aradau, 2008: 162–3). Similarly, I preferred to develop the concept of ‘mobilities’ (Cresswell, 2010) to that of ‘circulations’ which seemed too prescriptive to sufficiently capture the richness and variety of the socio-political worlds I was engaging with (Bigo, 2008). In doing so I wanted to avoid the kind of totalizing, top-down categorisations—‘[the] view from on high; as the noose of total social control is drawn tightly’ (Ley & Mills, 2002: 372)—imposed by scholars who tend to be ‘pessimistic for populations’ that they see as ‘(over-)controlled’ (Corry, 2012). My approach was also influenced by the Geographers David Ley and Caroline Mills who sought to understand the many ‘cultural worlds’ that people inhabit and make (2002) and by Paul Roe’s (2012) critique of the ‘single attributions’ that are common in critical IR work and CBS, which ignore the ‘multifaceted lives’ that people live. As I discuss in more detail in Chap. 3, my work can also thus perhaps be seen as part of a ‘post-critical’ tendency in IR, which seeks to make ‘critical impact’ in the world, partly by moving beyond blanket critique and condemnation delivered from pristine ‘critical distance’ (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015).

2.5

Spatialities of the Borderscape

This section looks at the more explicitly spatial underpinnings of and inspirations for my conceptualisation of the borderscape. As well as situating the project in relation to a variety of scholarship, particularly from Geography, it highlights spatial connections between bordering, identity and (dis)order. To do so it discusses relations of space and subjectivity; placemaking; the enduring significance of territory and materiality; and the relations between space, power and knowledge.

2.5.1

Space and Subjectivity

CBS scholars have shown the need to ‘revisit space’ to better understand borderings beyond state frontiers as well as their contingencies and effects (Parker & Vaughan-

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Williams, 2009). A key aspect of this revisiting has been to draw on work in Geography to look again at the relations between space and subjectivity, including the ways in which individual, institutional and collective identities relate to—and are mutually constitutive of—spaces and places (Dear & Flusty, 2002; Lefebvre, 1991; Ley, 2002; Massey, 2005; Rose, 1997). I draw particularly on a ‘co-ontological’ strand of the ‘Spatial Turn’ that sees being as ‘being with’ (mitsein in Heideggerian terms) (Ingold, 1993). From this co-ontological perspective, people are always already involved in interspatial as well as intersubjective social relations: we constitute each other, but also symbiotically constituted with the places in and through which we live. In this view, people co-exist with each other socially and spatially but nonetheless become ‘particular’ through their unique combinations of ‘biography and interest’ which lead them to take/follow specific paths of ‘attendance and association’ (Ley, 2002: 73). How and where people can move and dwell and how these processes are influenced by borderings is thus of significance for the subjectivities that people can enact and the particular identities they form over time. Who feels in place and out of place—and to what extent people feel as though they ‘belong’ under a particular governing order (and thus how they relate to it) is also reflected in and generated by these processes (Dear & Flusty, 2002: 216, 363–367; Jansen, 2009; Raban, 1998; Soja & Hooper, 2002). For people, as ‘embodied selves’ and ‘emplaced bodies’ (Dear & Flusty, 2002: 303–306), bordering and security-mobility governance matters for where but also how they can live—and how they relate to themselves. These entanglements of bordering with feelings and perceptions of recognition, belonging and precariousness are well illustrated by the Turkish-German poet Zafer Senocak who is quoted in the borderscapes collection by Nevzat Soguk (Soguk, 2007: 283). I carry two worlds within me but neither one is whole [. . .] the border runs right through my tongue.

IR scholars have also explored related issues in ways that were useful for this research project. Mark Salter (2006) and William Walters (2006) explore connections between documentation, the body and security-mobility governance. Louise Amoore (2006) shows how biometric documentation of identification and recognition attempt to fix data—as an abstraction of identity, and a marker of subjectivity— to bodies, which are then allowed to move or not, in particular ways. Amoore argues that this creates ‘mobile bodies’ as ‘carriers’ of ‘the portable border par excellence’ (2006), showing connections between identity and borders that can take place at multiple locations, triggered by movement. Noel Parker (2009) suggests other ways that space and subjectivity are implicated in bordering and which have particular relevance for this project in terms of who is recognised as being ‘(EU-)European’ or not and how that happens, including through bordering. He focuses on the border as a place of ‘mediation’ between entities; a place where how ‘the world’ sees you and how you can see the world, is

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negotiated. This makes a bordering a moment of enhanced, intersubjective knowledge of self and other, albeit one that can have lasting consequences for belonging. Catarina Kinnvall and Paul Nesbitt-Larking (2009) link subjectivity and space through ‘place-making processes’ that impact on the ‘ontological security’ of different people and groups as well as their ability to move, dwell and the degree to which they can—or cannot—enact belonging. It is also pertinent to note that the way that different governing authorities manage the demand for and imposition of security and mobility, including through bordering, has political consequences for their relations with other governing authorities and on their ability to maintain and extend (their) order.

2.5.2

Performative Placemaking

Stef Jansen (2009) observes that: ‘having a place in the world clearly implie [s] knowing your place’, echoing the reflective qualities of bordering, noted above, that entwine processes of knowledge about self and place. Significantly, such knowledge also implies being able to distinguish one place from another, which directly implicates bordering. Two key aspects of border place-making emerged as being of greatest relevance to the conceptualisation of the borderscape. Firstly, enquiring into the making of border-places asks how different sites and forms of bordering have acquired or retained their ‘borderliness’ despite (in some cases) their dislocation from the frontier and their departure from classically understood bordering practices (Green, 2009). This first aspect required consideration of what constitutes a border and how it becomes recognised and experienced as a border place. It also helped to ask how and why borders come to ‘take place’ in the sites and forms they do—and was thus crucial to the development of the analytical framework, particularly with regard to features and practices, but also implicating discourses. Secondly, I looked at the places that borders make by bounding spaces (such as ‘EU-Europe’ or ‘Eastern Europe’) and facilitating particular orderings through techniques of government, with significant implications for subjectivity and identity, and thus of importance for the interpretive framework. This line of enquiry also required differentiating between ‘space’ and ‘place’. In doing so, I chose to invoke the spirit (but reverse the terminology) of Michel de Certeau (1984: 117). Thus, places are spaces that have acquired particular meanings—although these meanings are not fixed, unequivocal or incontestable. Spaces, on the other hand, have either yet to become particular places or are not dominated by a particular set of meanings. While spaces signify fluxus or unrealised potential, places are seen to have a ‘real character’ which makes certain behaviours and people, subjectivities and identities seem appropriate, while others are ‘out-ofplace’ (Massey, 1995, 2005). This has implications for both how border places are made, but also for the places they make—and who is in or out of place there. Working with the insights from the spatial turn and taking additional inspiration from the ‘middle ground’ approach of Tim Ingold, I understand space—and place—

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as neither ‘natural’, ‘given’, nor an ahistorical blank slate for the writing of social, cultural and political desires. Instead, the conceptualisation advanced above treats place-making as performative and socially as well as temporally contingent (Butler, 1993, 2006; Ingold, 1993; Massey, 1995, 2005). Place-making can be seen as analogous to a performative speech act with its attendant ‘felicity conditions’, the fulfilment of which influences the success or failure of the speech act. This view combines Judith Butler’s work on performativity with consideration of ‘materialsemiotic’ (Walters, 2010) factors that augment the former’s focus on the discursive and representational satisfaction of felicity conditions. Both practices and discourses of place-making operate in ‘re-iterative’ and ‘citational’ ways through the use, ‘abuse’, representation and misrepresentation, of a place, through the repeated enforcements, rejections, reproductions or transgressions of certain behaviours, activities, representations and experiences that reinforce or destabilise meaning and which reflect and generate particular spatio-material forms and territorialisations (Cresswell, 2010; de Certeau, 1984). This opens scope, variously, for resistance to as well as acquiescence or even enthusiastic reproduction of a place’s established character. However, as Butler notes, while performativity has the potential to explain change, it can also account for ‘stabilis [ation] over time to produce the effect of boundary, fixity and surface’ (Butler, 1993: 2, 9, 11–12; Dear & Flusty, 2002: 4; Ley, 2002). Stabilisations of what and who certain places are for affects the ways in which people can—or cannot—access them and what they can do there, which in turn affects people’s horizons of possibility as well as their sense of belonging. Placemaking thus links material and ideational ‘boundaries, fixities and surfaces’ to who and what are seen as in-place or out-of-place within them, as well as who gets to make them—and how this can change over time. As will be seen in the analyticalempirical chapters, such considerations play a significant role in border and placemaking in CEE and how it changed over time. Yet neither this malleability, nor the performativity of place-making or indeed the advent of peripatetic borderings meant that territory and materiality no longer mattered.

2.5.3

Territory and Materiality

Considerable effort has been expended to free the analysis of borders from the ‘territorial trap’, (Agnew, 1994) and reductive ‘Inside/Outside’ (Walker, 1993) or ‘Domestic/International’ (Bigo, 2001) dichotomies. This effort sought to help scholarship escape the pervasive ‘territorialist epistemology’ (Brenner quoted in Lapid, 2001) which is now widely seen to have hindered understanding of the sociopolitical effects as well as the manifestations of bordering (Brambilla et al., 2015a). Indeed, this breakout was a key move in the development of CBS’ expanded border imaginary—‘beyond the line’—and the development of broader ontologies and epistemologies of borders (Parker & Vaughan-Williams, 2009, 2012).

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Understood beyond a strict ‘National Order of Things’ (Malkki, 1995) however, territory and its uses are still highly salient to understanding contemporary bordering despite the dislocation of (some) borders from frontiers, often referred to as ‘deterritorialisation’ (e.g. Krasteva, 2015; Walters, 2004). This would be better termed re-territorialisation, as territory does not disappear or lose relevance. Similarly, despite the prevalence of discursive and practice-based understandings of security and mobility, and the de-materialisation of some border functions—through virtual and digital borders and the use dataveillance, etc.—materiality also remains highly significant for borderings, identities and orders (Amoore, 2006; Jansen, 2009; Walters, 2006). Exploring the materiality and territoriality of the ‘internal’ bordering (in the Schengen zone) as well as its ‘edge’ and ‘external’ bordering thus held considerable potential for generating a newly comprehensive understanding of the manifestations of EU borders, their contingencies and consequences and is reflected in the sites in which I conducted research for this project. This is why I chose to conduct research in the Schengen interior (in the Czech Republic and Poland), as well as areas at and close to the Polish-Ukrainian frontier and border places in Ukraine itself. I wanted to apprehend the diverse materialisations, and complex re-territorialisations of linked, but distinct, border sites. Trying to capture this diversity of sites, forms and functions led me to develop the notion of bordering features as a key constituent of the borderscape as it is outlined in the framework presented above. The expanded ontology of CBS has shown the need for researchers to be alive to the formal and informal materialities, discourses and practises through which spaces become bordering places—whether, for example, sites of temporary police controls, gathering points for migrant labour exchange or no-go areas—and how these affect people’s horizons of possibility and sense of (non-)belonging. There is a good deal of scholarship on: the materialities of some of these places and processes as well as the role of technologies in both de-materialising and re-materialising borderings (Amoore, 2006; Jansen, 2009; Walters, 2006, 2010); the materiality of documentation (Jansen, 2009; Torpey, 2009); as well as to the value of studying the spaces, whether mundane (Struver, 2005) or poetic (Sidaway, 2007) where border controls have been removed; and the ‘affective materialities’ of functioning borders amidst (border) ruins (Navaro-Yashin, 2009). This variety again shows the need for criteria to avoid the over-generalisation of the everywhere border and its elision of border forms. Works by Navaro (2012), Andreas Huyssen (2003) and Chandra Mukerji (1997) also paved the way for studies that linked materiality to wider questions of (geo-) politics and international relations, that have more recently become of considerable interest to scholars in IR who pursue research in the so-called ‘new materialism’ (e.g. Salter, 2015). As will be seen in the empirical chapters, my own work owes a significant debt to these pioneers, but I also take particular approaches to materiality that do not, for example, follow those (generally Latourian) scholars of ‘dingpolitik’ in ascribing agency (without intent) to things (e.g. Aradau, 2013; Bueger & Mireanu, 2015; Mutlu, 2013: 192). This led me to distinguish between ‘participant observation’ of people and ‘observation’ of sites, settings and forms in my attempts to

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produce knowledge about border spaces and places, which also implicate power and knowledge, as I discuss below.

2.5.4

Space/Power/Knowledge3

The ‘Spatial Turn’ has shown that space (and place) are anything but ‘innocent’, ‘natural’, ‘given’ or ‘fixed’ and cannot be reduced to a ‘dead, unproblematic background’ (Soja, 2009: 19). Rather we should engage with what Henri Lefebvre (1991) called the ‘production of space:’ the way that spaces and places are constructed and performed, contested and confirmed (e.g. Dear & Flusty, 2002: 216; Raban, 1998: 2). These processes render the social legible in the spatial, but in order to ‘read’ it we need to account for power relations. With regard to bordering, I particularly considered how power influences and is influenced by the materiality and spatial distribution of bordering features, discourses and practices. This also allowed for consideration of the ways that these constituents combine to produce knowledge about spaces and places and relate to identities and orders. William Walters (2006) and Mathew Hannah (2007) have ably demonstrated the different spatialities associated with different ‘modes’ of power. Briefly (as these issues have been well covered elsewhere), Disciplinary power requires ‘environments of enclosure’ that facilitate ‘anti-nomadic technique[s]’ which ‘fix or arrest movement’ (Foucault, 1977: 219) and which allow for pan-optic surveillance—like border crossing points. However, power exercised as ‘Control’ (Deleuze, 1995: 177) or as biopolitical ‘Regulation’ (Foucault, 1978, 2004, 2009) operates differently, encouraging particular types of mobilities and working through more ‘fluid and less centred’ (Walters, 2006) types and materialities of borderings (Bigo, 2008: 97). Correctly identifying bordering features can thus make modes of power legible, which is important for understanding borderings’ relations to subjectivity and identity. Discipline (like Regulation) offers potential inclusion through access to integrative societal processes, although this is also often dependent on excluding other groups (e.g. Bigo, 2008). Discipline and Regulation share a ‘moralizing and inclusive drive’ that seeks to reform and integrate marginal elements of society, by shaping their subjectivities toward conformity with the societal norms of the governing order. Control, however, is not seen to be ‘interested’ in reformist integration or shaping subjectivities, but rather in enforcing access and stay parameters to protect a status quo (Walters, 2006). Departing from Walters (and Deleuze) I consider that even this form of power does actually, nonetheless, ‘modulate’ subjectivities in practice over time—for example through experiences of mobility and their effect on belonging (Cresswell, 2010). Whereas Regulation governs through categories based on statistics, Discipline and Control seek to govern people omnes et singulatim, ‘all and each’. Control can 3

This title is borrowed from Jeremy Crampton and Stuart Elden’s excellent (2007) edited collection.

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do so without confinement, by enacting a filtering that allows for (near) automatic entry control and mobile verification of data through the use of information technologies. The effects of these different types of power on order are ambiguous. They all mark attempts to govern and impose order but Regulation and Discipline’s expansionary and inclusionary governance could have re-ordering effects. Control enacted through bordering may also have disordering effects because of its exclusionary and hierarchical tendencies. Exercising each of these modes of power through bordering depends heavily on data about the people trying to enter, but also on knowledge of other kinds. Foucault’s (Foucault, 1977: 27–28) well-known conceptual conjunction (power/ knowledge) has been extended to ‘Space/Power/Knowledge’ and is highly relevant for understanding bordering including through placemaking (Crampton & Elden, 2007). Lefebvre notes the importance of formal spatial knowledge, the ‘conceived space’ and ‘representations of space’ made by ‘scientists, planners, urbanists, technocratic subdividers and social engineers’ (Lefebvre, 1991: 40). Others have also shown that these issues—how we map and divide different spaces and how this influences who is supposed move and dwell within them—are highly significant for understanding bordering and such considerations inform my identification and analysis of both discourses and practices of bordering in CEE. In Europe, such representations have had a particular importance for the ‘invention’, portrayal and bordering of ‘Eastern Europe’ (Neumann, 1999; Wolff, 1994). These issues are temporal, however, as well as spatial, and the ways that history and memory are implicated in the times and spaces of ‘post-communist transitions’, and thus in the ‘regional particularity’ of Central and Eastern Europe are discussed in the next section.

2.6

Temporalities and Particularities of the CEE Borderscape

I’m still here, though my country’s gone West. [Extract from Das Eigentum (Property) by Volker Braun]

While this book seeks to contribute to better understandings of borders and bordering in general, it does so from a ‘regionally-particular’ perspective. As well as being a study of borders it is a study of post-Cold War Europe, the European Union and of Europeans in the particular contexts of what are often referred to (here and elsewhere) as ‘post-communisms’ or ‘post-socialisms’4—and ‘what came after’ (Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008; Verdery, 1996). This duality is in keeping with

4

Because of the varied usage in the extant literature, as well as in general discourse, the terms (post-) communism and (post-)socialism are often used interchangeably. Although it is recognized that there are differences between these terns, they are not significant for this project.

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the conceptualised borderscape’s ambition to be able to handle both the general and the specific. Nonetheless, CEE’s regional particularity requires some introduction, which I offer in this final section of the chapter. In doing so, I also engage the temporal politics of post-communist transitions and related issues of history and collective memory in and of the region. As the empirical chapters show, these entanglements of temporality and particularity have had major implications for borderings and identities in the region—as well as for order and disorder in Europe more widely. Beyond CEE and beyond Europe, however, I seek to demonstrate that understanding temporalities, histories and collective memory is very useful in understanding borderings and to offer some leads as to how they can be incorporated.

2.6.1

A Particular Europe

By incorporating both spatial and temporal considerations, the conceptualisation of the borderscape proposed in this book sides with Alison Stenning and Kathrin Hörschelmann’s approach that makes what is ‘in some ways, a simple argument which insists on the importance of history and geography’ (Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). As well as this importance, however, they also recognise the problems inherent in connecting spaces to times, as doing so inherently effects borderings by delimiting regions to which particular histories and temporalities are relevant and those to which they are not. In understanding particularity, I did not seek a return to the bad old ways of ‘area studies’ with its bracketing off of regions from the world and obscuring of their connections to and disconnections from it (Tallis, 2015). Richard Sakwa (1999) was right that ‘we are all post-communist now’, in that effects of state socialism, its collapse—and what followed—have extended far beyond the borders of the states where socialism ‘actually existed’ (ibid.). Nonetheless, ‘socialism and what came after’ affected some places differently than others (Verdery, 1996). There is, therefore, a productive tension that I work with in this book to ‘keep hold of post-socialist difference’ (and post-post-socialist difference) when exploring the CEE borderscape in three former-communist states—the Czech Republic (CR), Poland and Ukraine— without fetishizing or falsely separating them from countries where state socialism did not ‘actually exist’. So what then is the region about which I wish to be particular? With Kathrin Hörschelmann (2002) I accept: as a starting point, that there is an ‘East’, a part of Europe with a specific, though differentiated past, constructed as an (often singular) ‘other’ by the West (Wolff, 1994) and differentially positioned in contemporary political and economic structures and flows. I also accept that this ‘East’ is variously constructed as Eastern, East Central and Central Europe.

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I also recognise—as Hörschelmann does—the dangers of essentialising an ‘East’ in derogatory fashion, and so when using the term ‘Eastern Europe’ and ‘Eastern European’ (as I do in the empirical chapters) it is precisely to signal constructed and performed modes of governance and subjectivity, solidified politically into orders and identities that have been distinguished from ‘EU-Europe’ through bordering. To describe ‘the region’ I use ‘Central and Eastern Europe’ (CEE) as a singular term, which avoids linguistically bordering ‘Central Europe’ from ‘Eastern Europe’ in too definitive a fashion. Using ‘CEE’ recognises that this region could not reasonably be described as Western Europe but also refuses to peripheralise the ‘East’ by ceding the ‘Centre’ to somewhere else. I prefer CEE to ‘East-Central Europe’ (ECE), which I consider to be both too literally geographic and, even on these terms, a fallacy: Vienna, which is rarely included in such definitions, is East of Prague, which invariably is included. It is well noted that ascriptions of ‘Eastern-ness’ have been used to exclude from, or establish hierarchical relations with(in) ‘Europe’ (Neumann, 1999; Wolff, 1994). Such exclusions and suppression have relied on particular readings of the past and future to underpin borderings that have proved enduring—but also contestable. These issues are developed in the analytical-empirical chapters with specific regard to EU bordering in CR, Poland and Ukraine, but it is useful here to introduce the more general significance for contemporary European belonging of delineations between: identities (European/Eastern European), which are linked to past orders (Non-Communist/Communist) and borders (Hapsburg Empire/Russian Empire, non-USSR/ USSR) as well as present-day orders (EU/Non-EU) and borders (EUMS/Eastern Neighbours). The remainder of this section thus looks at some of the histories, memories and futures that have impacted on identities, borderings and orders in CEE and introduces some of the temporal frameworks through which these issues are considered in this book.

2.6.2

Historicism at the End of History

Rather than a thousand shoots blossoming into as many different flowering plants, mankind will come to seem like a long wagon train strung out along a road. Some wagons will be pulling into town sharply and crisply, while others will be bivouacked back in the desert, or else stuck in ruts in the final pass over the mountains. (Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, 1992: 338)

Interpretations of ‘Political Time’ and philosophies of history in IR by Kimberley Hutchings (2008) provide a useful lens through which to re-examine the temporalities of postcommunist transitions and their relations to EU bordering in CEE. I argue that a regionally particular temporal politics emerged. In the analyticalempirical chapters I show its effects on the delineation and gradation of European belonging through bordering and its enactment through EU enlargement, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP). In the present sub-section and the next I discuss this regional temporal politics more

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generally and in relation to how it informed the conceptualisation of the borderscape as an analytical and interpretive framework, particularly in its discursive aspects but also with regard to its materialities and practices. Hutchings highlights the political importance of two modes of time: chronos and kairos. Chronos is seen as quantifiable, divisible and combinable, the linear, ‘clocktime’ against which phenomena can be measured and managed. Kairos, on the other hand, is seen as the transformational ‘time of action’ in which the certainty of chronos is challenged or supplemented and its linearity, evenness and continuity are interrupted or accelerated. Kairos is thus ‘political time’ but it works ‘across and through chronotic time’ (Hutchings, 2008: 7). Kairos implies ‘qualitatively specific categories’ such as beginnings, endings, novelty, repetition, stasis and change, that divide historical time into periods and enable the narrativisation of development through time. Distinguishing between then and now also facilitates distinctions between here, where something happened, and there, where it did not, and thus also facilitates bordering (Hutchings, 2008: 35). ‘[R]aising the possibility that different places inhabit different times’ enables the construction of relative advancement and, thus, also the relative backwardness that has played such a role in structuring CEE’s relations with the rest of Europe and the wider world (2008: 7). Hutchings also emphasises the importance of ‘historicism’—the politicised and obfuscatory naturalisation of kairos in chronos that is often associated with ideas of ‘progress’. She identifies three modes of historicism (mechanical, organic and pedagogic) that are all of relevance to post-communist transitions. Mechanical historicism links Newtonian ideas of linear, knowable time to natural, knowable processes in human history and frames kairos as: ‘deeper-level causes [. . .] which appear to precipitate events in chronotic historical time’ (Hutchings, 2008: 50). This implies that historical processes are governed by natural, universal laws, which occlude the plurality of human experiences and political action. Organic historicism also exhibits the unifying logic of a teleological kairos, in which defined end points or goals both explain and justify the means and processes by which they are to be achieved. People and societies are thus assumed to have particular destinies and ‘true’ histories, deviations from which reflect poor ‘internal health and[/or] [an] [in] appropriate environment in which to flourish’ (Hutchings, 2008: 50–51), and which justify corrective intervention. So too in Pedagogical historicism, which likens history to personal development but with capacity for proper learning limited to those people with a certain self-consciousness. This implies both a universalising view of history and consciousness, and a timely civilising mission (e.g. for an interventionist and victorious West), both of which are replete with power relations (cf. Jacoby, 2001). Each of these historicisms are present in the teleological political philosophy of the post-Cold war period, which came disguised as ‘The End of History’. The quote at the beginning of this sub-section makes that clear, as does the following passage: [F]ew of those comfortable residents of developed democracies who scoff at the idea of historical progress in the abstract would be willing to make their lives in a backward, Third World country that represents, in effect, an earlier age of mankind. (Fukuyama, 1992: 130)

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Both Fukuyama’s approach to the (postcommunist) world—and many of the voluminous critiques of it (e.g. Burns, 1994; Huntington, 2002)—can be (only slightly) caricatured as justifying: a heroic intervention by the victorious ‘West’ to drag the countries and peoples of the ‘East’ back from the diversion off their true paths caused by their communist deviance (e.g. Cooke, 2005: 50). Approaches like Fukuyama’s have been highly influential and echoed in practice, creating a telos of transition to the type of liberal market democracy practised by the West. In the EU, this has been explicitly linked to certain ‘European values’ and their manifestation in ‘European Standards’, which are used to delineate European belonging. This approach often obscure the experiences and desires of people in the region (Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). Yet, as Stenning and Hörschelmann also show, so too do critiques which assume that (neo)liberal approaches were simply imposed on people against their will or interests in a totalising fashion. The approach that I take to the borderscape problematises these sweeping simplifications and a more nuanced picture is presented in the analytical-empirical chapters and the Epilogue.

2.6.3

Histories’ Ends

OSCE rules do not apply to real countries. (A ‘Western Diplomat’)5

Jürgen Habermas’ description of the overthrow of communist regimes in CEE in 1989 as mere ‘catching-up revolutions’ (Scribner, 2003: 146) is emblematic of the historicisms outlined above. It is also indictive of the ‘end of difference’ trap in which post-communist states were no longer seen as ‘different’ (as they were under communism), so much as ‘backward’ compared to the West, thanks to their ‘Eastern’, communist detour.6 Frequent descriptions of ‘countries in transition’ as ‘success stories’ or ‘laggards’ (e.g. King, 2000) and of some EU-8 countries as ‘backward’ (e.g. Moravcsik & Vachudova, 2003) by leading scholars in the field show the widespread acceptance of the aforementioned telos in the study, as well as the (institutional) practice, of transition (Kuus, 2004; Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). Critical scholars have characterised these hierarchical relations as akin to those of ‘tutors and pupils’ (Jacoby, 2001) or ‘priests and penitents’, (Jacoby, 1999), that underpin the ‘Pentecostal’ view of the revolutions among some of the leading commentators. Timothy Garton Ash, for example, styled the revolutions as a re-birth, implying the need for the ‘children’ of ’89 (Garton Ash, 2009) to be

5

As described by Toomas Ilves, a once Foreign Minister and, later, President, of Estonia. While the ‘Western diplomat’ was responding to a question as to why EU member states do not follow the citizenship policies that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was recommending for Estonia, such attitudes are echoed in some EU policies and relations with CEE countries as inter alia Chap. 5 shows (Kuus, 2004). 6 The slowest, most painful way from capitalism to capitalism, as a popular CEE joke has it.

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schooled in (EU-)European-ness if they were to shed their Eastern-ness, as others have, more critically, commented (Kuus, 2004). In practice, the ‘schooling’ focused on elites to facilitate the formal politics of the ‘triple transition’: (re)forming economic structures, (re)making democratic institutions and (re)building international relationships. This focus on processes of marketisation, democratisation and accession to the EU (and NATO) often obscured the diverse lived experiences of transition, but also of what came before it. After Western ‘salvation’ (Cooke, 2005: 50), ‘Easterners’ could be constructed not only as victims and poor relations but also as damaged—and potentially dangerous—goods. Spreading the gospel of the West duly gave rise to zealots, hardcore market believers such as Czech PM and later President Vaclav Klaus (even if he was decidedly EU-sceptic), or Polish finance minister Leszek Balcerowicz. The duty to teach the ways and means of European integration found its corollary in dire warnings about the failure to do so. This emerging ‘Wild East’, supposedly left the EU vulnerable to dark forces of ‘anarchy, retrograde interests and organised crime’ (Case, 2009), but also to the nationalism and xenophobia that ‘EU-Europe’ had, in its own self-image, consigned to the past (Jeandesboz, 2007; King, 2000; Zielonka, 2004). The resulting hesitancy is reflected in many aspects of EU policy and practice in CEE including: post-enlargement conditionality (Papadimitriou & Gateva, 2009); go-slows on accession processes (Trauner, 2009) and imbalanced partnerships that sought influence without real integration (Chandler, 2006). However, some CEE actors appropriated this situation for their own interests in dealing with the EU. Leading figures in Czech and Polish elites (such as Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa) also emphasised potential dangers to the liberal postcommunist settlement if integration with the West—and particularly accession to the EU—were not to happen (see e.g. Follis, 2012: 185). These figures and many around them also made positive arguments for the belonging of CR and Poland in the ‘West’, often drawing on interwar history (Orzoff, 2009: KL-220-350) as well as making the case for shared values extending to rights and opportunities. This was effectively augmented in some cases by employing discursive strategies of historical victimisation (e.g. Kundera, 1984) all of which played on the EU’s self-image to push the Union to acquiesce to accession (Kuus, 2004; Schimmelfennig, 2001). However, while Czechs and Poles’ ‘Return to Europe’ strategy worked effectively, it had the opposite effect on, inter alia, Ukrainians. As part of the supposedly wilder, further East, they suffered from ‘nested orientalism[s]’ (Bakić-Hayden, 1995). This stigmatised them as not only more dangerous but also part of one of Europe’s constitutive others—the ‘Orthodox/Russian East’—the very perpetrators of the ‘kidnapping’ of Central Europe (Bialasiewicz, 2003; Judt, 2010: Kl-14847; Kundera, 1984). As the analytical-empirical chapters show, the difference between being recognised as (EU-)European and being cast as ‘Eastern’ and thus not fully European has had considerable impact on EU bordering in CEE. Such differences are constructed and maintained not only through discourses, practices and materialities of history but also of collective memory, which, like history, can also be mobilised as a political resource (Scribner, 2003), in ways discussed below.

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2.6.4

Conceptualising the Borderscape

Memory Contra History?

What I never had is being torn from me. What I did not live, I will miss forever. [from Das Eigentum (Property) by Volker Braun]

The historicist temporal politics of transition have been underpinned by attempts to fix particular meanings of the past to the spaces of post-communism. This has impacted on EU bordering processes related to post-communist transition—most clearly in the accession of Czechia and Poland, but not Ukraine, to the EU. However, as will be shown in later chapters, these differences were not so clear cut in terms of the belonging that CEE citizens could enact. As well as history, the enactment of belonging by CEE peoples and states has also been influenced by collective memory, about which I introduce some considerations here. Charity Scribner cites Pierre Nora’s assertion that collective memory and history “‘far from being synonymous’ actually oppose each other. If ‘memory is life’ then history reconstructs what is no longer” (Scribner, 2003: 38). For Scribner and Cooke, (post)communist memory, like postcolonial memory in Werbner’s (1998) conception, is a collective socio-cultural practice and performance rather than the individual recall of something specific. Scribner draws on Maurice Halbwachs’ classic work to assert that: ‘what remains in [collective] memory are not ‘readymade images in some subterranean gallery of thought’[.] [M]emory survives as an uneven smattering of ‘piecemeal impressions’ whose meanings can be divined only through the lens of the social’ (Scribner, 2003: 38). The collective, socio-cultural performance of memory can therefore act as either a potentially resistant alternative to or as a reinforcing mechanism for dominant histories. However, collective memories are unlikely to be homogenising or stable in the way that dominant histories can be, on the contrary, they are unstable and socio-politically contested as well as politically ambiguous. As Paul Cooke (2005) and others have shown (Berdahl, 1999; Drakulić, 2003; Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008; Tallis, 2013, 2019) one use of collective memory in CEE has been to challenge the blanket condemnation of every aspect of the communist period. This has (unevenly) ushered in more nuanced understanding of the lives that could be—and were—lived during that time. It has fostered public recognition that, despite the oppressive conditions, people’s lives had not simply been ‘wasted’ as victims of a totalitarian regime. This ‘memory work’ matters for identity and subjectivity. Scribner compelling argued that it allows people to maintain a ‘subjective authenticity’: self-recognised continuity of identity, in the face of ‘external’ ruptures in frameworks of meaning and possibilities for action. In this case, that rupture is seen specifically as the collapse of communism and the changes to conditions of governance, order and social relations that it entailed, as well as the re-borderings it facilitated (Scribner, 2003: 146, 158–177). Richard Werbner (1998: 7, 99) and Jennifer Cole (1998: 105) show the link between practices of public memory and the formation of political subjectivities, identity communities and, consequently, to relations with other communities and orders. Maintaining or

2.7

The Conceptualised Borderscape: Analysable, Interpretable, Researchable

51

recovering subjective authenticity thus provides a platform for political subjectivities beyond that of the oppressed victim and the oppressor. Collective memory work implies practices of memorialisation and remembrance, both formal and informal but it also involves materialities. Like Karolina Follis, I found the borderscape I researched to be ‘a palimpsest where new modes of living overlap with material and mental residues of old systems of rule and oppression’ (Follis, 2012: 33) Being alive to this (and to Ingold’s assertion that we live amidst that which was made before), helped in identifying and categorising different kinds of bordering features. Discourses play a significant role too and the re-evaluation of various aspects of the communist past as well as processes of post-communist transitions have come together with re-evaluations of the costs and benefits of EU and Schengen membership. Comparisons to various other eras in the history of CEE peoples and states, as well as the use of history and collective memory by populist and right-wing politicians in the region have further demonstrated the need to consider such factors in understanding bordering as well as its contingencies and consequences (see, e.g. Toomey, 2018).

2.7

The Conceptualised Borderscape: Analysable, Interpretable, Researchable

This chapter has shown how I conceptualised the borderscape as related arrays of bordering features, discourses and practices. I distinguished the borderscape from other subsets of landscape—and borderings from other socio-political phenomena— by their combination of security and mobility (and thus also insecurity and immobility), which helped to overcome one aspect of the problem of over-generalisation (border ubiquity) noted above. I then showed how borderscapes can be contextualised in relation to other key concerns of international relations—identities and orders and the subjectivities and governance through which they are enacted— which helps to overcome the problem of over-specification. This latter problem is also mitigated by the comparative potential opened up by conceptualising the borderscape as constituted of related arrays of features, discourses and practices, which can be compared and contrasted to those in other settings: for example, the EU-CEE borderscape could be compared to the EU-Balkan or EU-Mediterranean borderscapes. They can also be compared and contrasted to those constituents that are identified by other types of border enquiry, which focus not on citizenship and state bordering as their primary concern (as my study does) but on other types of borderscape such as political-economic or humanitarian borderscapes (e.g. Pallister, 2018). The conceptualisation presented here allows for the inclusion—and for making sense—of diversity not only within and between the constituents of the borderscape, but with regard to their contingencies and consequences: spatial, temporal and sociopolitical. This helps overcome the other type of over-generalisation identified as a

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problem (the making of overly-sweeping critical judgements) and thus enhances the potential impact of such studies beyond as well as within academia. As well as providing an analytical and interpretive framework for making sense of contemporary bordering in light of the broad empirical and ontological scope ushered in by CBS, conceptualising the borderscape helped to guide the research that I conducted into CEE borderings. How I went about this interpretive research—and why that matters—is the subject of the next chapter.

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Trauner, F. (2009). From membership conditionality to policy conditionality: EU external governance in South Eastern Europe. Journal of European Public Policy, 16(5), 774–790. https://doi. org/10.1080/13501760902983564 van Houtum, H., Kramsch, O. T., & Zierhofer, W. (Eds.). (2005). B/ordering space (Border regions series). Ashgate. Vaughan-Williams, N. (2007). The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes: New border politics? Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 32(2), 177–195. https://doi.org/10.1177/ 030437540703200202 Vaughan-Williams, N. (2009a). Border politics: The limits of sovereign power. Edinburgh University Press. Vaughan-Williams, N. (2009b). The generalised bio-political border? Re-conceptualising the limits of sovereign power. Review of International Studies, 35(04), 729. https://doi.org/10.1017/ S0260210509990155 Vaughan-Williams, N. (2015). Europe’s border crisis: Biopolitical security and beyond (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. Paperback. Verdery, K. (1996). What was socialism, and what comes next? Princeton studies in culture/power/ history. Princeton University Press. Wæver, O. (1995). Securitization and desecuritization. In R. D. Lipschutz (Ed.), On security (pp. 46–86). Columbia University Press. Walker, R. B. J. (1993). Inside/outside: International relations as political theory (Cambridge studies in international relations 24). Cambridge University Press. Walters, W. (2004). Secure borders, safe haven, domopolitics. Citizenship Studies, 8(3), 237–260. https://doi.org/10.1080/1362102042000256989 Walters, W. (2006). Border/control. European Journal of Social Theory, 9(2), 187–203. https://doi. org/10.1177/1368431006063332 Walters, W. (2010). Migration and security. In J. P. Burgess (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of new security studies (pp. 217–228). Routledge. Wemyss, G., Yuval-Davis, N., & Cassidy, K. (2017). ‘Beauty and the beast’: Everyday bordering and ‘sham marriage’ discourse. Political Geography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2017. 05.008 Werbner, R. P. (Ed.). (1998). Memory and the postcolony: African anthropology and the critique of power (Postcolonial encounters). Zed Books; Distributed in the USA exclusively by St. Martin’s Press. Wibben, A. (2009). Who do we think we are? In J. Edkins & M. Zehfuss (Eds.), Global politics: A new introduction (1st ed., pp. 70–96). Routledge. Wolff, L. (1994). Inventing Eastern Europe: The map of civilization on the mind of the enlightenment. Stanford University Press. Wylie, J. (2007). Landscape. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203480168 Zagorin, P. (2003). Looking for Pieter Bruegel. Journal of the History of Ideas, 64(1), 73–96. https://doi.org/10.1353/jhi.2003.0021 Zaiotti, R. (Ed.). (2016). Externalizing migration management: Europe, North America and the spread of ‘remote control’ practices (Routledge research in place, space and politics series). Routledge. Zielonka, J. (2004). Europe moves eastward: Challenges of EU enlargement. Journal of Democracy, 15(1), 22–35.

Chapter 3

Interpretively Researching the CEE Borderscape

It is only in retrospect that learning processes can bedescribed in what sounds like a very patterned way. (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 32)

It would, perhaps, be nice to be able to say that having reviewed the CBS literature and come to a clear conceptualization, I set off into the field to look for the borderscape in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). I could then, in this chapter, simply report how this was done. But that’s not how it happened. The reality was far messier. It involved going back and forth, again and again, between concepts, theories, empirical material, fieldwork sites, participants, colleagues and emerging academic research. I repeatedly redesigned my research plan, revised my research questions, and found new ways of adjusting my approach to fieldwork—and my analytical framework—in the process of conducting the research project. These challenges—and those that I had in getting the theories and concepts that I was working with to dovetail with the practices of fieldwork—led me to consult with others who were working in seemingly similar fields or in similar ways. Through these consultations and, particularly, the experience of co-authoring a paper on related topics, I became more aware of ‘interpretive’ approaches to social research (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). Although I had lacked the concepts and vocabulary to articulate it, the struggles and sensibilities, iterations and recursivities of this approach had been mine too. I was relieved to find that, not only were these difficulties and the ways that I dealt with them considered to be acceptable, from an interpretive perspective they actually made the research better—or more ‘trustworthy’ and ‘persuasive’ to use the terms favoured by leading scholars in the field (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012). In some regards it would have been easier to ‘know what I was doing’ at the time. Yet in other ways, the very struggles of thinking and feeling through the processes of reformulating research questions, clarifying the status of analytical tools and conceptual frameworks, honing techniques, building or reviving relationships, revising planned field visits and questioning the hours I spent grappling with complex theory lie at the heart of interpretive research—as I now know to call it. Reading interpretive © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_3

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scholars 1 reflections on their own research was hugely reassuring. It also provided a wealth of tips and very practical solutions to problems or questions I encountered at various stages of my project and really helped me to see—and seize—the potential of this approach to designing, conducting and representing research. Now, I want to pay back this debt (at least partly) by using this chapter to openly and fully reflect on the process of interpretively researching the CEE borderscape. First, I introduce key elements of the interpretive approach. In doing so, I outline the rest of this chapter, which discusses: my ‘particularity’ as a researcher; the ways in which I designed and conducted my interpretive research into the CEE Borderscape; and concludes by elaborating on the reflexivity that is essential for interpretive researchers who seek to produce ‘trustworthy’ and ‘persuasive’ knowledge. As well as paying back, however, I also seek to pay forward, by using this chapter to offer a new level of reflexivity in CBS and critical IR scholarship. I therefore open up my own research project to reflect on what I found useful, what I thought worked and why—as well as what didn’t. I hope that this will be useful to others in the way that the work of other interpretive scholars has been to me.

3.1

Elements of an Interpretive Methodology

The book that set the standard for interpretive methodology in social research— Peregrine Schwartz-Shea and Dvora Yanow’s Interpretive Research Design (2012)—makes clear distinctions between this type of research and ‘positivist’ research. In doing so, it explicitly addresses the issue of in-process research re-design of the kind described above: ‘positivist research designs, drawing on an experimental prototype, would require the researcher to hold fast to the initial design; but from an interpretive perspective, changing a design in light of field realities is par for the course’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 29, 71–72). As the authors emphasise, interpretive research is designed and conducted differently than positivist research. The two approaches engage methodologies and seek methods that reflect their respective ontological and epistemological presuppositions and choices (2012: 4, 40, 65–69). Interpretive research rejects the ‘view from nowhere’ of some positivist research. Rather than seeing data as ‘given’ or as ‘waiting to be found’, interpretive approaches see data as being ‘generated’ by researchers in conjunction with the actors with whom, and settings where, the research takes place (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 78–81). For interpretive researchers, reflexivity about their situatedness, positionality, the

1

There are many excellent examples in Schwartz-Shea and Yanow’s (2012) Interpretive Research Design—I found Zirakzadeh, Soss and Forbis’ reflections on their work particularly useful—and reassuring. I’m eternally grateful to Xymena Kurowska for introducing me to this field—and lending me Schwartz-Shea and Yanow’s book at a crucial time. I still fondly remember reading it, eagerly taking it in, on the train from Budapest back to Prague.

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relationships they form and decisions they make—and being open about all of this— is the sine qua non for producing ‘trustworthy and persuasive’ knowledge. Interpretive approaches heavily implicate the researcher in the co-generation of knowledge with research participants, as well as in framing, designing and conducting the research. In this chapter I therefore discuss my particularity as a researcher and how this influenced my research project, with specific reference to my professional and academic experience, choices and trajectories. Throughout the chapter I also reflect on the ways in which I interacted with research participants and how my particularity influenced these interactions. This auto-ethnographic element further adds to the reflexivity of the project, which I situate in relation to wider issues in IR—particularly the emergence of so-called ‘post-critical’ work (Austin, 2017; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 25, 32–39). I then discuss how I conducted my research into the CEE Borderscape. I describe the methods, skills and sensibilities that I employed in various phases of the research. I outline how I ‘mapped’ the project to enhance its ‘exposure and intertext’, which is key to making interpretive research trustworthy and persuasive. In so doing, I engage the idea that epistemologically (as well as ontologically), interpretive research is based on a ‘different set of philosophical wagers’ than positivist research (Jackson, 2011 cited in Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 91). This renders notions of ‘validity, reliability, replicability, objectivity and falsifiability’ largely irrelevant as the world being researched is seen as being neither ‘out there’ nor stable (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 83–84, 89, 92, 99–100). Accordingly, my research did not aim to uncover ‘the Truth’ about a particular aspect of the social world. Rather, and in keeping with the interpretive ethos, I sought to explore the multiple, competing or complementary truths relating to various situations and processes by understanding different actors’ ways of ‘meaning-making’ in their settings (Soss, 2006; Vrasti, 2008). Through a process of ‘sense-making’, I could then explore the meanings that these actors made, in relation to the research questions that I framed, in order to demystify the puzzle(s) that drove my inquiry (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 40, 71–73, 86–90, 96–100). Rather than reasoning deductively or inductively, these processes reflect the ‘abductive’ reasoning that is inherent to interpretive approaches—the ways that the researcher’s thinking is ‘led away’ from the puzzle and toward possible explanations (Friedrichs & Kratochwil, 2009; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 26–27). Unlike the linear (‘first this, then that’) inductive or deductive modes of thinking, abductive reasoning encourages a recursive back and forth between ‘what is puzzling and possible explanations for it whether in field situations or [. . .] in research-relevant literature’ that can leave us ‘simultaneously puzzling over empirical materials and theoretical literatures’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 27).2 Interpretive research of this kind is therefore a hermeneutic enquiry, but spiralling rather than circular, without mandated beginnings or endings, but with a clear sense

2 In developing this conception of abductive reasoning, interpretive researchers draw on, inter alia, the work of Wilhem Dilthey (1976) and Hans Georg Gadamer (1976).

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of the importance of where the researcher ‘is’. Such situated knowledge cannot be fully ‘generalisable’, but it can still be relevant in other contexts, particularly when understood through a conceptual framework like the one advanced in the previous chapter. Openly discussing issues such as my ‘research journey’ and my particularity as a researcher, as well as the methods and sensibilities that I employed, satisfies another condition of interpretive research. It does so by reflexively engaging the conditions under which I tried to produce knowledge about the CEE Borderscape, as well as reflecting on that knowledge itself. In the last section of this chapter I discuss particular interactions with different groups of research participants that were significant for the project and how I attempted to handle them reflexively. I then outline the ways in which I also sought to be reflexive in ‘making sense’ of the data that I had (co-)generated in order to try and produce knowledge which, according to interpretive criteria, could be considered ‘trustworthy and persuasive’. This chapter thus sets the standards against which the empirical chapters should be judged—and through which their findings and perspectives can be adopted or adapted by other researchers.

3.2

A Particular Research Journey

Taking an interpretive approach requires a researcher to reflect on how their own particularity influenced the puzzle that motivated their research, the ways they went about exploring it and how they ended up making sense of it. Interpretive researchers emphasise that it is not unusual for prior experience, including through a professional career, to be the spur to research or the context in which a puzzle emerged. They do not see the particularity and positionality of the researcher as ‘something to be contained and avoided’ in the production of knowledge and instead emphasise the need to reflexively deal with this particularly and to be open about its relation to the research (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 26). In this section I discuss these issues with regard to the ‘prior knowledge’ and ‘prior experience’ that I ‘brought with me’ into the field (ibid.). I first outline the origins of the puzzle in relation to my professional background in the field of European (border) security. I then briefly reconstruct my ‘research journey’ from the ‘proximity’ of working for the EU, to the distance of critical academia and then back again through field research and efforts to help my work have impact beyond as well as within academia. In doing so, I situate my work within an emerging ‘postcritical’ strand of International Relations, of which more later (Austin, 2017).

3.2

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From Dissatisfied Practitioner to Critical Academic

My research puzzle emerged from my experience of working for the EU and particularly for the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).3 I wanted to productively explore my deep dissatisfaction with both the mission and with EU engagement in Ukraine more widely. I didn’t understand how, despite the ostensibly laudable aims of EU policy in the region, it seemed so different in practice—to the detriment of Ukrainians, EU citizens and others. I didn’t understand why the EU and EUMS were apparently ignoring the lessons of their success in integrating the EU-8, including Czechia and Poland. My confusion was deepened by reading critical assessments of the EU’s position and attitude during the accession processes of the EU-8, as well as of its post-accession governance and the supposedly oppressive effects of its Schengen regime, internally as well as externally (see Chap. 2). I worried that my experience of the mission in Ukraine could be indicative of less-laudable modes of EU governance, which were negatively affecting the lives of Europeans, both within the EU and in the neighbourhood—and that this was undermining the EU’s potential to act as a normative ‘force for good’ internally and externally. My research project was initially motivated by a quest to explain how this situation came to pass and to understand its impacts on Central and Eastern Europeans—as well as on the EU itself. I therefore sought to find ways to explore the contingencies and consequences of the uneven de-borderings and re-borderings that had taken place in CEE in the context of EU enlargement, the expansion of the Schengen zone and through the ENP and EaP. Seeking to distance myself from my professional dissatisfaction, I took refuge in academia and sought out the most critical approaches to borders, security, mobility and IR more widely. This process had already begun in the last months of my work on the mission as I had auto-didactically attempted to read some critical theory— mainly the Frankfurt School and some poststructuralist works. A ‘free trial’ month on SAGE journals allowed me to start exploring Critical Security Studies (CSS), especially the ‘Copenhagen school’, to which a visiting researcher had introduced me during and after our discussions about EUBAM. Having resigned from the mission and while preparing (unsuccessful) PhD project proposals I discovered ‘critical border studies’ (CBS). I then undertook a second MA to boost my chances of acceptance to PhD programmes and, having finally succeeded in gaining a funded place, become increasingly enchanted with ever more critical and radically poststructuralist approaches to international politics. It was on this Masters programme that I was introduced to the ‘Paris school’ and International Political Sociology (IPS) and that I began to explore geographical and anthropological border scholarship. I worked for ‘EUBAM’ from mid 2006 until December 2007, having previously worked for the EU Police Mission EUPOL Proxima and the OSCE Spillover Monitor Missions in Skopje, Macedonia from October 2003 until December 2005.

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I had come a long way from the initial puzzle—and it really felt like it. So much so that I wrote in a fieldwork report to my supervisors (in 2012) that the significant difference between the sleek, corporate Frontex Headquarters in Warsaw and a Czech migration facility in a former-Soviet military base (both fieldwork sites) seemed less than: the chasm between the time and place where the rationale for this project began to crystallize and where now, having been academically refined, it is beginning to be shaken into stark, serif-less form.

Indeed, when I set out for fieldwork in September 2011, the journey back to Central and Eastern Europe, seemed like a ‘significant step back towards the Polish-Ukrainian frontier’, where my ‘frustrations on mission had taken clearly identifiable form’ (ibid.). However, the theoretical perspectives that I had become aware of since leaving Ukraine and which I was now bringing back with me into the field were not only difficult to translate into practical fieldwork, they were also troubling in other ways. As noted in Chap. 2, some CBS work has often focused on extreme cases while claiming that these are indicative of wider situations. Moreover, I was disconcerted by the way that some CBS work unfairly demonised security practitioners. Agembenian work has characterised practitioners of security as ‘temporary sovereigns’ potentially exercising power with impunity and a degree of agency that implies callous recklessness, if not relish (Minca, 2005, 2007; Vaughan-Williams, 2009a, 2009b). The rest of ‘us’ (non-sovereigns) are cast as (virtually) homines sacri in a world supposedly governed by the logic of the camp (Agamben, 1998: 115, 2000: 37). Non-Agambenian4 critical work that focused on securitisation through practices and thus also looked at the practitioners of security had, conversely, tended to overemphasise structure, thus creating a ‘deterministic or doom-laden image of the ‘professional managers of unease’ (Bigo, 2002)’ (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). In this view, security professionals ‘appear as automaton executors of neoliberal discourse and creators of ever-more-fearsome institutional practice’ (ibid.). Like the Agambenian scholarship, these approaches were appealing in both their logic and their desire to highlight repressive practices, but they weren’t persuasive when attempting to make more general claims. To take just one example, a leading scholar in this tradition conflates passengers waiting to board international flights in airport lounges with detained migrants in ‘waiting zones’ to claim that ‘we are all in the waiting zone’—a somewhat vulgar conflation of experiences (Bigo, 2007: 26). I was also concerned that neither type of analysis either corresponded to my own experience nor accurately or fairly portrayed the security-professional and civilianpractitioner colleagues that I had worked with in the Balkans and former Soviet Union (Kurowska & Tallis, 2009, 2013). While admiring their motivation and theoretical sophistication, I could not help, therefore, but reject the conclusions of these two visions of critical scholarship with regard to security practitioners as either: 4

Indeed, these approaches often explicitly reject Agamben’s work—e.g. Bigo (2007) and Huysmans (2008), as noted in Chap. 2.

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(1) the terrifying agents of sovereign power, striking in a Benjaminian flash that turns every alleyway and airport lounge into some echo of Auschwitz and therefore needs to be stopped, supposedly by drawing attention to their actions; or (2) the unthinking bureaucrat as a mere ‘throughput’ beholden to institutional discourse and thus needing to be outwitted in an interview in order to get beyond the company line and access the ‘real’ ‘backstage’ agenda, which reveals the underlying and generalisable logic of domination (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015; Goffman, 1990; Kurowska & Tallis, 2013; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 80–81, 111).

3.2.2

From Critical Academic to Post-critical Researcher

My frustration with these critical approaches and their normative implications was compounded by the difficulties of translating my theoretical work into practical research. My journey from dissatisfied practitioner to critical academic had become increasingly bound up in my struggles to retain a sense of ‘subjective authenticity’ while dealing with the ruptures in both knowledge and outlook, and discord between the critical literature and my experience—as well as what I considered to be my responsibilities (Scribner, 2003: 136). I had gone beyond trying to use academia to understand my ‘surplus of meaning’ to questioning how, why, by who and for whom knowledge is produced and how it can ‘intervene’ in the world (Latour, 2005). My struggle to square the critical impulse of my project with the critical academic perspectives I had encountered and my wish to produce trustworthy, persuasive and ‘useful’ knowledge intensified in the course of fieldwork (Friedrichs & Kratochwil, 2009). I interviewed policymakers and practitioners in ministries, delegations, services and missions; I built rapport with people I met through fieldwork and rekindled relationships with former colleagues. These people fit neither of the critical descriptions noted above and representing them as such would have been both disingenuous and unfair. The dissatisfaction I felt manifested itself in a heated discussion at the next ISA between myself—supported by several others—and an influential critical scholar. We took exception to the damningly negative characterisation of border guards and other security professionals in his presentation and challenged him on it, to some shock from other audience members. The senior scholar, flanked by a senior colleague, later made clear to me in a nearby bar that this kind of challenge was not considered acceptable. Several years later when presenting my research at a top Scandinavian university, one academic asked me whether I thought it was appropriate for critical scholars to critique each other. She went on to ask whether I thought my criticism of other critical scholars was ‘helpful’ for the ‘critical project’. I responded that I did, especially when critical scholars’ characterisations were inaccurate or unfair and that if this was ‘politically’ awkward then so be it. Beyond inaccuracy or unfairness, some critical analyses and characterisations seemed almost designed to limit the extent that they could be taken up in policy or practice. Practitioners and policymakers that I interviewed or talked with could

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easily dismiss (many of) these critiques as naïve, utopian, partial or exaggerated as they simply did not correspond to the issues, constraints or challenges, that they faced and engaged with in their work. I had made the transition from practice to academia in order to better understand a troubling situation, but I had done so in the hope that such understanding could help influence that situation for the better. I wondered, therefore, what was the purpose of ‘critical’ research that highlighted the negative consequences of current (border) security policy practices to the point of exaggeration and over-generalisation as this alienated policymakers and practitioners who could potentially change the very situations they were critiquing. When I presented my initial reflections on and findings from fieldwork to an avowedly ‘critical’ audience at a major university, I was struck by the change in mood in the room when I mentioned my intention for my research to be ‘policyrelevant’. This was seized upon in the Q&A to attack the ‘critical credentials’ of my project and, although there was some discussion on this, it was clear that negative othering of policy scholars remained a point of identity assertion for critical academics. Christian Bueger and Manuel Mireanu (2015: 118) argue that the roots of this problem lie in the influential distinction drawn by Robert Cox (1981) between ‘Critical’ and ‘Problem Solving’ research and, particularly, the ways that selfdescribed critical scholarship in IR has developed from these beginnings. They particularly draw attention to Cox’s statements that problem-solving theory ‘takes the world as it finds it’ and that critical theory ‘is critical in the sense that it stands apart from the prevailing order of the world’ (1981) to argue that: critical theorizing as a detached practice of historicizing and intellectualizing—which can be developed from Cox—set practical standards for years of scholarship to come. In these standards, scholarship gains its worth through distance: the good critical scholar engages in philosophical reasoning, large-scale histories and genealogies and seeks distance from security practitioners and the processes of making security.

Similarly, the notion that ‘theory is always for someone and some purpose’ (Cox, 1981) and therefore also always ‘against someone and some purpose’ (Mutimer, 2009) has pushed scholars to take ‘sides’. For critical scholars seeking to avoid reproducing dominant discourses this choice has led to a deliberate distancing from those they critique, notably governmental agents of security—and they generally leave other scholars to provide the problem-solving ‘policy advice’, which they see as failing to problematise dominant discourses and practices. In asserting their critical identity, critical scholars thus effect two forms of othering: of problemsolving researchers who give policy-advice; and of security policymakers and practitioners, which, particularly, in the latter case rests upon a ‘great divide between Self and Other [which is] effectively vacuous’ (Faubion, 2009: 150). This divide has nonetheless been maintained in two key ways. Firstly, through detached, ‘experience-distant’ ‘historicizing and intellectualizing’ that seeks ever more complex and sophisticated theoretical links between instantiations of power that are seen as dominant or oppressive, which allow such scholars to speak safely from the tenured ‘margins’, but simultaneously marginalizes their relevance in

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policy and practice (Austin, 2017; Bueger & Mireanu, 2015: 119; Ley & Mills, 2002; Soja & Hooper, 2002: 371–377). Secondly, for those critical scholars who engage in ethnographic-type fieldwork and ‘experience-near’ theorising, the divide has been reproduced in another way, through the type of ‘participant objectivation’ advocated by Pierre Bourdieu (Bourdieu, 2003). James Faubion (2009: 150) sees Bourdieu as merely the latest inheritor of a problematic tradition that has been questioned by the reflexive turn in anthropological research (Lie, 2013; Vrasti, 2008). Drawing on this reflexive turn, Xymena Kurowska and I (2013) used a ‘revisit’ to a research encounter in European security to ‘crack open’ the researcher–practitioner relationship and examine the mutual constitution of ‘experience, interpretation and representation’ that questions the academic’s claim to a monopoly on knowledge and authorial authority (Jacoby, 2006; Vrasti, 2008). If ‘border guards are people too’5 and if they co-generate knowledge through research encounters then, rather than seeking distance, critical security researchers should seek ‘proximity to the world of practitioners and their activities’ (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015: 119). In interpretive research, critical legitimacy can be bolstered through the reflexive ‘negotiation’ of this proximity rather than through distance and detachment (ibid.). However, it is also clear that critical legitimacy is coming under examination from other angles, in IR as well as elsewhere in the field of social research. Jonathan Austin (2017) has called for a ‘Post-Critical’ IR that seeks to ‘make critical impact in the world’ and thus actually deliver on the initial critical imperative ‘to change it’ for the better (however we define this). Austin is not alone, however, as the extensive bibliography of his work shows and many scholars operating in different ways have started to explore different strategies or modes of ‘post-critique’ ranging from the ‘transformative’ or ‘engaged’ to the ‘parasitic’, ‘dislocational’ and ‘hibernatory’ (Austin, 2017).6 I see my own work as touching on both the transformative and engaged modes of ‘post-critique’. As a ‘post-critical’ researcher I see my research as a social practice that can intervene in the world and which can thus be productive of political and social change. Like others working in this way, albeit with different methods, foci and epistemologies, I seek to address “issues that require intellectual attention, not because they are ‘matters of fact’, but because they are matters of concern” (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015: 120; Latour, 2005: 87). Rather than cede the ground of policyrelevance to scholars, or others that I would explicitly disagree with (e.g. many mainstream, realist foreign policy scholars or think tankers), I seek to make my work relevant beyond as well as within academia particularly, to policymakers and practitioners. Being ‘Post-Critical’ puts greater responsibility on the researcher to avoid disengaging with social realities and losing a sense of proportion. Encounters with and proximity to practitioners during my research helped me in this regard.

5 6

Xymena Kurowska, personal communication, April 2012. See also Aradau and Blanke (2017), Boltanski (2011), Lisle (2016), and Zournazi (2003).

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However, proximity also requires thoroughgoing reflexivity if it is to produce critically trustworthy and persuasive knowledge. As Patrick Jackson (2016) has argued, this reflexivity needs to extend from methodology to methods and Schwartz-Shea and Yanow (2012) rightly extend this need for reflexivity into the full scope of research design. Accordingly, I openly discuss the ways I designed and conducted my research and the methods, skills and sensibilities that I employed to do so in the next two sections of this chapter.

3.3

Mapping the Borderscape

Following the advice of leading interpretive scholars, it is considered as good practice for interpretive researchers to ‘map their field’ to expose themselves to its full richness and allow for the intertextual ‘reading’ and cross-checking of its different elements as well as the differing perspectives of its various actors. Yet, mapping in advance can also create problems. In most fields, and certainly those related to security professionals or secured sites, there is a need to inform potential participants in advance of your intention to visit for either observation or interviewing and indeed to gain permission to do so. Often such permission is contingent upon approval of the types of questions the researcher wants to ask, the topics to be discussed or the purpose of any observation that will be conducted. It is therefore necessary to ‘know’ in advance (to some extent) what you want to get at through the fieldwork. This foreknowledge raises a potential contradiction for interpretive researchers who are supposed to let concepts ‘emerge from the field’ in order not to impose meaning on the actors in-situ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 18). In this section I discuss how I negotiated this tension, which also relates to the way I conceptualised the borderscape as my object of research. I then introduce the sites, settings and actors that I studied, briefly outline why I considered them relevant for my research, and outline how I refined and supplemented these choices during the course of the project. Mostly, however, this section amounts to a simple argument that, from an interpretive perspective, its ok not to know exactly what you are doing when you do your fieldwork and that its definitely ok not to know all the answers before you get to the field.

3.3.1

Mapping an Emerging Concept

Entering the fieldwork phase of my research having just conducted an extensive literature review, I had a head full of concepts, theories, ideas and other floating notions that amounted to an awful lot of prior knowledge that I was bringing into the field. This surplus initially made it difficult for me to explain to some potential interviewees what I was doing—and how my research involved them. I was also

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troubled by the purpose of the fieldwork, however, as in some ways my literature review of the extant work in CBS had provided too much in the way of empirical detail and interpretations as well as theories. Even though I didn’t yet know some the empirical particularities of my ‘case’ I felt like I knew too much about the various aspects of the borderscape. I had a nagging question: If I knew that my puzzle was so clearly linked to the specific aspects of security, mobility, identity, space, time and the social world that I had identified in the literature review, then why was I heading out to look for what I already knew I would find? Conversely, if none of my interviewees talked about these things then I wondered whether this wouldn’t effectively amount to a hypothesis that was tested and found wanting, thus implying a positivist conception of research to which I did not subscribe. As noted in Chap. 2, however, my initial conceptualisations of my research object and the ways I intended to investigate it did not work out as planned. My research design was too broad, its categories overlapped and, if I stuck to it, I would impose too much meaning onto the field, rather than letting concepts and meanings arise from it. My analytical framework was both over-complicated and underconceptualised. It was also poorly connected to my research design but simply abandoning these things would leave me without a plan and with my literature review work seemingly wasted. This was quite disconcerting but, as I found out later when talking to interpretive researchers and reading the more reflexive parts of their work, it was also actually quite normal. In fact, the process of encountering, reflecting on and overcoming these problems is a key reason for doing fieldwork as part of interpretive research. It was only later, while transcribing interviews, going through fieldnotes and re-reading voluminous EU documents, that I worked out that it was actually the borderscape that was my object of research. With the benefit of 20:20 hindsight this appears obvious, but it didn’t during the process of fieldwork itself, nor as I tried to make sense of and plan that fieldwork through the frameworks I had developed from my literature review. The borderscape thus became a retrospective mapping device through which to make sense of what I had done and the data I had generated. In doing this, I had unknowingly echoed the work of Hugh Gusterson (2004: 66) who ‘converges the results of multi-sited fieldwork with theoretical reflections and analyses into a key conceptual tool, which he calls the securityscape’ (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015: 125). In mapping the field retrospectively, I took an approach similar to that described by Victoria Loughlan, Christian Olsson and Peer Schouten in a very useful chapter on methods for critical security studies, who describe mapping as: ‘akin to a slide show of the journey unfolding into the present’ and as ‘unwinding a stable entity back into the past’ (Loughlan et al., 2014: 47–48). This approach fit well with my project which sought to illuminate the contingencies as well as the consequences of the features, discourses and practices of the borderscape. However, it was also necessary to approach the field with some guiding ideas. Not least because I had to account to project funders for what I planned to do (and why) and, as mentioned above, I had to arrange interviews and field visits, which I discuss in more detail later in this chapter.

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Mapping Sites, Actors and Settings

Despite the conceptual, analytical and interpretive shortcomings of my initial approach, I was clear that my research into would involve finding out about issues related to bordering, security and mobility in CEE and so was able to identify three states as broad initial sites of research, which I chose for their location and relevance to particular policy areas or phenomena. I thus selected Czechia, Poland and Ukraine, which each had particular entanglements in: the AFSJ/Schengen zone; EU and Schengen enlargement; as well as the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP). Czechia, which joined the EU in 2004 and Schengen in 2007, is territorially surrounded by other Schengen states and therefore has no ‘classical’ land borders with permanently controlled frontiers. This made it an ideal place to hunt for ‘nontraditional’ border features, discourses and practices in a newer member state of both the EU and the Schengen zone. Czechia has also had particular historical experiences of communism and post-communist transition as well as relations with and within the EU. Polish experiences of communism, post-communist transition, accession to and membership of the EU and Schengen have certain commonalities with Czech experiences, but also differences. Including both countries in the study thus enhanced its depth, breadth and intertextual potential. Poland joined the EU and Schengen in the same waves of enlargement as the Czech Republic but still had (and has) land frontiers with non-Schengen, non-EU states (Russia [via Kaliningrad], Belarus and Ukraine) and is a site of confluence for EU and Schengen frontiers with the Eastern neighbourhood, including with Belarus and Ukraine, two of the EU’s ‘Eastern Partners’. Selecting the Polish-Ukrainian frontier as a site therefore allowed for consideration of how a ‘traditional’, frontier-type border is implicated in the de-bordering and re-bordering processes inherent in Schengen, enlargement, neighbouring and partnership. As an important ENP and EaP country (the largest by both territory and population), and the site of the initial puzzle that motivated this research, I selected Ukraine as the third site for studying EU bordering in CEE. This allowed for examination of the ways in which the EU has externalised (or has attempted to externalise) its border sites (through instruments such as re-admission agreements) and exported its border policy and practices (through the European Commission/European External Action Service delegation in Kyiv, the EU Border Assistance Mission and various ENP and EaP activities). The Ukrainian site opened up consideration of ‘remote control’ and displaced bordering practices, as well as exploration of the relation between EU bordering and non-EU European subjectivities and governance, outside the EU as well as regarding inward mobility. The Ukrainian experience of both communism— as a Soviet Republic, constituted partly from formerly Polish territory—and of postcommunist transition as an EU ‘neighbour’ and ‘partner’, but without the clear prospect of becoming an EU member, made it distinct from Czech or Polish experiences, despite other commonalities.

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Exploring multiple sites increased my project’s ‘exposure’ to the different policies, practices, forms and locations of EU bordering while also providing for the possibility of intertextual contrast and comparison, which increases what SchwartzShea and Yanow call the ‘systematicity’ of the research, which is in turn one way to make it more ‘trustworthy and persuasive’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 10, 14, 17, 89). Having selected the key sites of research, I also identified key actors which I would focus. It was logical that the EU (in its various guises) would be an actor in each site, as would the member or neighbour/partner state in each case, although in which configuration of institutional form and personnel was more varied. Moving and dwelling people as well as NGOs were also among the initial actors that I identified and approached in their differing configurations across different sites. This rich complexity and the unfolding emergence of different interlocutors and settings for the research was one of the joys of fieldwork as it became clear that some actors and settings were more relevant—and others less. New opportunities for interviews, observation and informal conversation came from leads, tips and recommendations arising through the relationships that I formed or built-upon as I both created and followed the trail of inquiry. Taking a dynamic, flexible approach further added to both the ‘exposure’ and the ‘thickness’ of the research and enhanced the intertextuality of the project. It meant that I had to account for and represent more differences and inconsistencies than I would have done otherwise—and had to cross check more thoroughly for nuanced meanings and interpretations (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 51, 84–88, 105). I discuss the methods that I used to explore these sites and settings and to engage with these actors in the next section.

3.3.3

Conducting Interpretive Research

Interpretive methodologies require the researcher to be attuned to the dynamism and inter-subjectivity of the field in order to adjust to the challenges and seize the opportunities they present. As well as redesigning research plans and strategies on the fly, this also means accepting the ‘loss of control’ that comes from recognising participants’ agency in generating data and knowledge. This requires the researcher to accept that they generate data together with participants and thus that they need to attend to the varying dynamics of researcher–participant relations (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). Relinquishing control adds an element of productive unpredictability, which can open up new research possibilities and constraints as access is surprisingly granted (or denied) and rapport-building exceeds or undershoots expectations (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015: 128; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 74). In this section I discuss how such considerations affect the ways in which various ‘phases’ of interpretive research can be conducted, focusing on the skills and sensibilities as well as the methods that I found helpful in my own research.

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Research Skills, Phases and Sensibilities

To deal with the dynamic and inter-subjective character of field research, SchwartzShea and Yanow (2012: 74–75) identify several key skills and sensibilities for interpretive researchers: openness to learning and change; willingness to be able to revise one’s thinking in light of experience; a high tolerance for ambiguity; improvisational skills; and the ability to manage myriad details of documents, observations and interviews transcribed into text, as well as pictures and other forms of representation or action. They also usefully distinguish certain ‘phases’ of research, which require different skills and sensibilities (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 7, 99). They describe these phases as ‘fieldwork’, ‘deskwork’ and ‘textwork’, noting that John van Maanen (2011) added the category ‘headwork’ to this mix. Fieldwork can be understood as the co-generation of data and evidence through engaging with actors, texts, material objects, affective spaces and other aspects and elements of field sites and settings. Deskwork comprises the organizational and analytical activities that take place away from the field, including the literature review and initial planning, as well as the formal retrenching and revision that reflects the researcher’s revised thinking. Headwork is the conceptual work that informs the research, inter alia through the synthesis of prior knowledge or experience and the application of the interpretive framework to the data generated, but also the reflection and rethinking through which research is redesigned or through which we make sense of our data. Textwork consists of the more focused preparation of the research report, monograph, thesis or article(s) that will represent the knowledge that is produced (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 90–104). Reflecting the iterative, recursive character of interpretive research, these phases should not be considered temporally discrete or sequential, but they are, nonetheless, distinct and require different skills, sensibilities and methods, which I discuss below. First though, it is useful to say a little more about headwork, which is a little different. Headwork is the least amenable of the phases to the assignment of particular methods, as it basically involves thinking, feeling, imagining, reflecting, pondering, wondering and other somewhat intangible activities. Headwork does not take place in the isolated mind of the lonely, detached scholar but with and through the ‘heads’ of peers and participants, as well as with and through objects, readings, experiences and sensations. It might be better described as ‘mind, body and soul’ work given the immersive and at times all-consuming nature of interpretive research and the situatedness of the researcher conducting it. This not only allows for ‘all scopes of the imagination to be kept on board’ (Navaro-Yashin, 2009) but also requires the researcher to be cognizant of the company that they are keeping, the conversations they enter into, the texts they read and the locations they situate themselves in, as these can all impact on one’s ‘Headwork’.

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Deskwork Methods

In the deskwork and fieldwork phases of research, I employed the following methods: analysis and interpretation of documents, observation, participant observation, field ‘noting’ (including photographic, voice-memo noting as well as the collection of objects), conducting conversational interviews and holding focus groups. Employing these methods involved considerable trial and error, in-field learning and flexibility as the research design changes and the research questions were amended. Initial deskwork mainly comprised analysis and interpretation of academic and policy documents relating to Schengen, ENP, EaP, EU Justice and Home Affairs and Borders (e.g. Frontex), including the Schengen Acquis, ENP Action Plans, the EU Treaty base, Frontex regulations and the electronic document repositories of, inter alia, European Commission Directorate General (DG) Enlargement & ENP; DG Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship; DG RELEX (External Relations), the Council General Secretariat (CGS) and Frontex. I also read deeply and broadly across many academic disciplines and in media and cultural representations relating to borders but also to CR, Poland and Ukraine, their histories, processes of postcommunist transition and relations with the EU. I made instinctive choices about readings and followed leads and trails, frequently going down what seemed like blind alleys and needing to backtrack. Some remained as dead-ends but I returned later to others to find they opened up to new meanings in light of the data I generated or field experiences I had. This deskwork, together with interviews and focus groups, were the prime ways of identifying and generating data on the key discourses of the borderscape and understanding how different actors related to them. There was also more mundane deskwork—transcribing interviews or arranging field visits—but these too involved implicit sense-making and headwork processes that carried their own opportunities for understanding. For example, the possibility of reconstructing interviews and the feelings and atmospheres around them from listening to transcripts combined with notes meant that I found it useful to do my own transcribing rather than outsource it as some researchers do.

3.3.6

Fieldwork Methods

I employed various fieldwork methods: observation, participant observation and fieldnoting, interviewing and focus groups. Together, they comprised what may be termed a ‘quasi-ethnographic’ approach to co-generating data with participants and accessing the meanings they made in various settings. Quasi-ethnographic rather than fully ethnographic as my intention was not to replicate the full anthropological or sociological method (and its well-documented problems) but rather to use elements of it in combination with other techniques that better suit an enquiry based in

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IR and CSS. The quasi-ethnographic approach probably falls into some of the traps that Wanda Vrasti (2008) identifies but it also has advantages as it is more flexible than classic ethnography. It also allows for greater scope of the imagination to kept on board and to try more ways to access meaning-making by actors in situ—and avoids any pretence that the researcher is ‘naturally’ in all researcher settings. A quasi-ethnographic approach was practical as, in some cases I required permission to be in secured zones close to or at border crossing points and state frontiers, or required interviews and meetings to be arranged in advance, whereas otherwise I could make use of the freedom that my (then) EU citizenship gave me to travel and stay freely across the Schengen zone and in Ukraine. I engaged in both observation and participant observation7 in and around border sites and potential border sites in order to better apprehend the everyday bordering practices of ‘professional’ and ‘non-professional’ actors. In secured locations such as the Border Crossing Point (BCP) at Medyka-Shehyni on the Polish-Ukrainian frontier, or the detention facility in Przemysl, I was accompanied by representatives of the relevant authorities. This presented opportunities to discuss issues and situations spontaneously as they arose—and to do so in different ways than in formal interviews, where it was more necessary to ask pre-planned ‘research questions’ (Liebow, 1993: 321–322; Soss, 2006: 142). Likewise, participant observation also involved repeated conversations over time with people who had experiences bordering, moving and dwelling in and through CR, Poland or Ukraine (Soss, 2006: 138). These, often informal, sessions integrated into the normal flows of their lives (around other interactions) provided another way into the ways people understand and experience CEE bordering. I also conducted informal observation sessions in my 2 years of my fieldwork, during which time I made making many intra-Schengen as well as inter-Schengen journeys, undertook many border crossings and spent considerable time in and around border places of different kinds. This immersion prompted various combinations of foreseen (although uncertain) and unforeseen encounters with other actors, architectures and things. Some of the related observation sessions primarily involved on-going human activity, while others focused mainly on the built spaces and physical artefacts that help constitute (potential) bordering places, but most were a combination of the two (Navaro-Yashin, 2009; Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 6, 79).

7

I separate these as, contra some current scholarship drawing on the work of Latour or Bennett, I am not comfortable describing spaces and objects as participants, ‘actants’, ‘non-human agents’ or indeed anything that seeks to recognize their agency in the same way as human agency. Nor am I comfortable with decoupling agency from intention as some Latourian scholars do (Aradau, 2013: 200; Bueger & Mireanu, 2015; Mutlu, 2013: 192). Rather, in dealing with spaces, places and objects as having affectual as well as effectual, practiced, discursive, material and ideational, ‘made’ and ‘believed’ qualities, that can be observed and experienced, in relation to people and social processes, but cannot be considered as participants in the same way as people are (Navaro-Yashin, 2009, 2012; Yanow, 2006).

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I made extensive field notes of my interviews, (participant) observation sessions, journeys and time spent more generally dwelling in the field, including written notes on paper, iPhone or iPad, made recordings of interviews—and small aides memoire—took thousands of photographs (both with my phone and a digital SLR—each more suited to different contexts.) and collected large numbers of artefacts. I registered numerous incidental and contextual observations, which blurred the distinction between ‘note-taking (descriptions) and note-making (analytical comments)’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 105). These multiple kinds of fieldnotes were invaluable during later deskwork and textwork and added to the intertextuality of the research as they provided different ways of accessing and reconstructing actors’ meaning making and the particular qualities of certain research settings (for a much fuller treatment of this, see Pink et al., 2006). They also provided reminders of ‘indiscrete’ fieldwork experiences—such as impressions of the materiality and spatial organisation of an institution’s headquarters while being escorted through on the way to an interview or about the security checks that you must pass through (or not)—and how these experiences helped make sense of or problematized other data. Interviewing was the other main method I employed in the fieldwork for this project. I conducted interviews with border policymakers, practitioners, users and other moving and dwelling people, as well as with NGOs working with migrants or on border issues across the various sites. Like Joe Soss, I used interviews to ‘pursue questions that are difficult to locate in documentary sources or everyday interactions and to explore such questions in intricate detail’. These interviews greatly helped to understand how people relate to discourses and practices, but also provided an excellent source for intertextual comparison through the transcripts that I generated from them—just as Soss wrote that they would (2006: 142). Following Soss’ example I prioritised ‘tailored, mutually negotiated communication,’ recognising participants’ situatedness and ‘sought to encounter such understandings on terms plausible to the participants themselves’ (2006: 132). The conversational interviews that ensued were loosely and flexibly structured around the key themes of the research project, tailored to the interviewee in question. I based this tailoring on prior information (including institutional literature), previous interviews but also adjusted it according to the flow of interaction so as not to waste participants’ time by asking a rigid set of irrelevant questions (Hochschild, 1981:12 cited in Soss, 2006: 133). After initial small-talk, I generally began by asking interviewees to describe their job or how they came to be where they are (in the case of migrants), thus allowing them to begin the interview by establishing themselves in their own terms and context. By doing so, the interviewees would often touch upon issues that I wanted to know more about, allowing for follow-up questions that flowed naturally through conversation, although this also often required me to demonstrate competence or knowledge of the field to avoid coming across as ‘socially stupid’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 75; Zirakzedeh, 2009). In the case of the (extra)ordinary’ people moving, dwelling or otherwise involved in bordering, I often went first to civil society groups which worked with or represented them and could help identify people I could speak to directly. Some

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contacts also came through the course of ‘normal’ (non-research-focused) life in the field sites. In other cases, however, it was more practical to organise focus groups (structured similarly to the interviews), which allowed a greater number of voices to be heard. This also allowed participants to identify and explore differences in experiences and understandings in potentially different ways than if I had prompted them individually and allowed for intertextual comparison and contrast of different dynamics between the groups. The ways in which I dealt with the various different dynamics between myself and research participants, as well as how I sought to reflexively tackle my fieldwork and deskwork, data generation and sense-making are discussed below, in the concluding section to this chapter.

3.4

Reflexive, Post-critical Interpretive Research

Explicit and thoroughgoing reflexivity is a key aspect of interpretive research and one that I emphasised throughout this project—even before I knew that I was doing interpretive research! This commitment to reflexivity is discussed in the preceding sections of this chapter in relation to: my particularity, prior knowledge and experience; the orientation and purpose of the research; the way the project was planned and how the field and fieldwork were mapped; and with regard to the methods employed to generate data and the sensibilities and skills required to do so. This final section of the chapter now reflects upon how the ways in which I conducted the research influenced the data that was generated and the ‘sense’ that I made of it (the results of which are represented in the subsequent chapters of the book). Specifically, this section explores how my particularity as a researcher, combined with the type of research that I wished to conduct and the normative drive behind it to create a certain ‘proximity to the field’, which I had to reflexively negotiate (Bueger & Mireanu, 2015). This proximity, stemming largely from being a former security practitioner, was helpful in gaining access and building rapport with (some) participants, which increased the exposure and intertext of the research, thus enhancing its reflexivity. However, this very proximity as well as the normative drive of the project and my desire for it to impact beyond as well as within academia, also raised concerns over ‘researcher contamination’, co-option, bias or even ‘going native’. The latter is, of course, a problematic notion as I show later, but for now I use it as shorthand for academic concerns regarding researchers becoming too close to and insufficiently critical of security practitioners and other state bordering actors. I argue that, to the contrary, it was precisely the particularity of my trajectory from dissatisfied security practitioner to critical academic and then post-critical researcher that prevented me from contamination and bias. This trajectory which carried traces of previous stages into the next prevented me from ‘going native’ like a practitioner or, more controversially and post-critically, from becoming too much like those other natives: critical academics.

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Negotiating Access, Negotiating Proximity

I considered my background as a former EU (border) security practitioner to be a significant facet of my particular ‘identity’ as a researcher studying a related field of European security. Because of my experience and contacts, I was able to gain very good access to institutional settings, including Frontex, the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), the Polish Border Guard Service and the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In each case I asked my existing contacts to suggest people to speak to, provide introductions or endorse my presence as a researcher, which allowed me to overcome bureaucratic and administrative hurdles8 more easily than other researchers without this background. More significantly however, it was in the conduct of interviews and the follow-up meetings and additional contacts that they facilitated that I felt the greatest impact of my researcher identity—because I was intimately familiar with the field and the concerns of practitioners working in it. As Robert Forbis argues in relation to his research with ranchers, which is worth quoting from at length, such familiarity means a lot (quoted in Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 66–67): Ranchers are notorious about sizing someone up within the first five minutes of meeting them [. . .] I also knew that as a group, they are notoriously reserved . . . Oil Representatives don’t trust anyone . . . And elected and non-elected officials are guarded when questioned by outsiders . . . [-] ranchers and oil-men view academics as having ‘agendas.’ [. . .] If either of these groups suspected that I meant to do anything other than relate to them and their story or seek their expertise to help inform my research, . . . they would have never opened up to me as much as they did . . . I needed them to ‘size me up’ from the start as ‘one of them’ as someone who could be trusted with their story and tell/analyze/interpret it from their perspective, not mine [. . .] Once in the room, I made small talk . . . about being a ‘born and bred’ Wyoming boy, or about my first job out of high school as a ‘roustabout in the oil patch’ or that ‘my dad was a former city administrator in a very small town in Wyoming.’ As the interviewees found out about me, they saw me as something other than a PhD candidate.

Having worked on three international community security missions, I knew that attitudes towards academics could be mixed (to say the least).9 Police and borderguard professionals seemed particularly wary of researchers who ‘didn’t get it’ and whose critiques they therefore viewed as invalid. They were also suspicious of researchers looking to trip them up or catch them out—a problem exacerbated by researchers who have seen a need to outwit practitioners with ‘context specific cunning’ (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). Civilian practitioners (but also some law enforcement or military officers) tended to hold more ambiguous positions which involved presenting a good image of themselves and their institutions, yet 8

Which exist despite the generally welcoming and open approach of these institutions. This observation is based on anecdotal evidence from speaking to other researchers working on similar topics, many of whom asked how I managed to get the access that I did. 9 EUBAM to Moldova & Ukraine, EUPOL Proxima & OSCE Spillover Monitor Mission to Skopje—Police Development Unit.

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simultaneously show that they were aware of and could relate to (some of) the critiques made by academics and civil society (ibid.). Civilian practitioners often sought to demonstrate that they too ‘got it’ academically by evaluating such critiques, reflecting on the differences between research and practice and speculating on the potential usefulness of (my) research. Like Forbis, I used my particular experience to partially break down the divide between the researcher and research participants and allow my interlocutors to see me as something other than just an academic (Shehata, 2006). I told stories about my own work on missions, often relating them directly to stories that participants told me about similar issues. I could sympathise with many of their frustrations and could speak the same (EU) language to show that I ‘got’ what they were doing and (in some cases) could relate to why and how they were doing it, even with the law-enforcement officers.10 I also discussed examples of (critical) academic research (or NGO statements and protests) that either well or poorly represented the situations that practitioners and institutions were dealing with. This helped me position myself as something other than a detached but judgemental researcher (as they are often perceived). It also gave intellectually curious research participants something to get their teeth into, which helped create a different dynamic of knowledge exchange with participants and thus vitiated institutional power relations (Soss, 2006: 138). My past experience, allied to the approaches I employed, also helped build rapport with participants, leading to more productive research encounters (ibid.). In several cases, I was actually interviewing former colleagues, and even if I had not previously met the person I was interviewing, we often knew people in common. However, given the transition in my own views and understandings during my journey from practitioner to researcher, I should emphasise that rapport-building did not mean ‘pretending’ to be sympathetic to positions of which I was critical (another form of ‘context-specific cunning’). Rather, it meant showing willingness to understand how and why people make the meanings they do on their own terms and in their situations. Where rapport building ‘worked’ it often opened up the complexities and tensions with which participants themselves were working. It illuminated tensions within their organisations and their own inner struggles to understand their work and its impacts—similar to those that I had experienced when working in the field myself (Kurowska & Tallis, 2009, 2013). Rapport building also led to additional, informal or social encounters with participants which provided additional contextual material and immersive understanding of the field. However, there is little doubt that my ‘outsider-insider’ positioning also made me seem like a good target for instrumentalisation or co-option. Some participants openly acknowledged that they wanted to ‘use’ me as a seemingly sympathetic and knowledgeable outsider, to get information seen as inadmissible, inappropriate or likely to be ignored within internal feedback mechanisms, out of the institution—

10

This was something that did not come naturally during my time as a practitioner but which I had worked at during my professional career and which certainly helped in dealing with police, border guard, customs and military officers.

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and thus make it potentially useful for them. On other occasions (including where rapport building failed), certain interlocutors presented classic ‘frontstage’ institutional positions, seeming to think that I would simply relay this uncritically, whereas in fact this data proved particularly interesting in intertextual relation to other data. In another instance, which highlights the ambiguous and socially negotiated nature of interpretive field research, an institution freely admitted that ‘we want to use you as advertising’. For this reason, along with my enthusiasm to explore the site (which the participants considered unusual and positive), I was granted extensive access to a secured setting. This access provided the possibility for repeated encounters and rapport building and allowed for a combination of both frontstage and backstage data to be generated. While I was able to gain access and exposure to internal institutional grievances and complex reflections by participants on tensions or frustrations they experience, my particularity and approach also necessitated consideration of bias, ‘researcher contamination’ or even ‘going native’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 95, 109). The latter is an inadequate term in interpretive research where the field is simultaneously familiar (through experience) and strange (through the puzzle) rather than simply existing ‘out there’, waiting for an exotic researcher to arrive (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). ‘Going Native’ also ignores the diversity of different ‘natives’ that one encounters in the field—and indeed the diversity of nativities we researchers (and our research participants) are made up of. More seriously, interpretive researcher must guard against ‘researcher contamination’ or ‘bias’ which can skew their sensemaking processes. This is mainly seen as a problem for researchers who risk being unduly influenced by powerful institutions or who have certain preferences or predilections that would skew representation of the knowledge they produce. It is an issue that any normatively committed researchers, including critical researchers, should grapple. I deal with these issues of bias and contamination below, but first it is also useful to reflect briefly on how I dealt with other issues of access and power relations in the field. In the case of the NGOs, a key challenge for access and rapport-building was to show that, despite being a former security-practitioner, I was not merely a classic ‘agent of the state’ (or the EU). I had to show that I was not merely interested in reproducing dominant discourses, which many of these actors consider repressive. However, thanks to introductions from friends and acquaintances as well as previous encounters and discussions in Prague (where most of my NGO interactions took place) I was somewhat known to them and granted a certain legitimacy. I also shared many of the concerns expressed by NGO representatives and openly expressed these in the research overview that I sent to all participating organisations (including EU and government institutions). I recount this to show first the value of making contacts and being known in the field but also the value of openly stating concerns when addressing institutions for access, without rushing to judgement, although this is a tricky balance to strike. I was able to build trust to the extent that I was invited to join NGO legal staff on visits to a CZ-MoI migrant detention facility where, having concluded their legal business, clients were asked if they would like to participate in research regarding

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borders and their current situations. The people detained in the facility were informed that there was no obligation to participate, nor would it influence the legal work on their cases and that they could stop the interview at any time. The vast majority of them agreed and, like all other interviewees, signed a consent form in a language they understood before the interviews proceeded formally with the lawyers present. The key point here is that reflexively negotiating power relations in this case meant respecting a high degree of formality to avoid exploiting people in potentially vulnerable situations. This contrasts with other settings (such as in law enforcement or governmental institutions) where the challenge is usually to break down formality and build rapport in order to mitigate the hierarchy the researcher faces or to overcome suspicion toward researchers. With that in mind, I now turn to the ways in which I attempted to reflexively make sense of the data I generated from these (and other) fieldwork encounters.

3.4.2

Sense(s) of Doubt

I used the analytical and interpretive frameworks of the conceptualised borderscape (Chap. 2) to ‘make sense’ of the data that I generated through my fieldwork and deskwork and to structure the way that I represented the knowledge that is conveyed in this book. Interpretive research demands that researchers approach these ‘sensemaking’ and representational processes with an ‘attitude of doubt’ that complements, systematicity, exposure and intertext, and reflexive negotiation of proximity to the field in making research that can be considered trustworthy and persuasive (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 12, 17, 107). I think of this sense of doubt as being closely linked to the thoroughgoing reflexivity that has been discussed in—and practised by the writing of—the preceding sections of this chapter. There are, however, (at least) two further ways in which interpretive researchers can guard against bias or contamination, both of which are infused by doubtful practice. The first is to ensure systematicity and exposure and thus to boost intertextual possibility. While doing so, we researchers should continually and seriously ask ourselves whether we could have done more to increase our exposure and whether our methods were sufficient to (co-)generate the data needed to answer the research questions, demystify the puzzle and ensure that diverse perspectives are taken into account. In some cases this will mean researching further sites, settings or actors. Sometimes, however, simply ‘doing more research’ is not possible or useful. Instead, adjustments can be made to research questions, the scope of enquiry narrowed to explore a part of the puzzle—rather than the whole as initially imagined—or particular lines of enquiry can be pursued more deeply while others can be left fallow. Most importantly, the researcher should reflect on this and clearly state what has been done and why—and how this relates to the questions they posed and how they have been answered (or not). Second, interpretive researchers must systematically and repeatedly search for bias in their findings, interpretations and representations and examine whether

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‘various experiences and viewpoints’ are properly articulated. In effect, this means accounting for different and contradictory as well as complementary evidence. Contrasting perspective often arises from fieldwork ‘surprises’ which should be followed up, further explored and properly accounted for. The researcher should both map and explore the field in ways that give a reasonable chance of being surprised, including by ensuring diversity of encounters and pushing at (and through) the boundaries of planned research sites and settings (see also SchwartzShea & Yanow, 2012: 105). Reflexive practice in this regard does not mean that the researcher slavishly follows the interpretation of participants. Rather, in making sense of their findings and marshalling them into compelling arguments, the researcher needs to interrogate and account for the inconsistencies and silences that emerge from intertextual analysis across sites, settings and actors. This is the interpretivist version of positivist researchers’ need to account for variance, mutatis mutandis. Peregrine Schwartz-Shea & Dvora Yanow, whose book Interpretive Research Design, was crucial for me in making sense of my own project, helpfully propose two variants of a key question that researchers should ask themselves when reflexively examining their own sense-making (2012: 108): (a) What evidence would convince you that your analysis is wrong? (b) How would you know if there were something else afoot in this situation that might be a better explanation of the puzzle you are seeking to explain? Schwartz-Shea and Yanow (2012: 108–9) then suggest three ways in which these questions can be addressed, from an interpretive perspective, by examining: 1. the consistency of evidence from different sources (the intertextuality of the analysis) 2. the ways in which conflicting interpretations have been engaged with 3. the logic with which the argument has been developed These are good questions that, if engaged honestly and thoroughly, will help any interpretive researcher to make their work more trustworthy and persuasive. Rather than researchers deliberately ‘cooking the books’ (Schwartz-Shea & Yanow, 2012: 112) there are other, bigger threats to the credence and impact of much critical academic research—in CBS and elsewhere. These threats come from implicit assumptions or even ways of being, that have led to the kinds of extreme or sweeping judgements and demonization of security practitioners and EU as well as EUMS institutions that I criticised in this chapter and in Chap. 2, and which are further problematised in the analytical-empirical chapters that follow. Proper consideration of inconsistent evidence and conflicting interpretations depends not only on using a nuanced and flexible analytical and interpretive framework, but on the attitude and approach of the researcher who, as we know, is as much a socially situated and relational being as the people they research. This is why interpretive researchers need to account for their particularity which, in my case, required serious reflection on my past career as an EU security practitioner. Did the ‘6th sense’ provided by my professional background and which facilitated access

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and rapport building, allied to my desire to produce policy-relevant knowledge, dull the sense of doubt required for my research to be critically trustworthy? If so, and I failed to deal with this reflexively, then would I in effect be a type of ‘5th columnist’—masquerading as being critical but actually reproducing dominant and harmful power structures. Yet, as I described above, this project stemmed precisely from a dissatisfaction with many of these power structures—in relation to EU bordering in particular—that was serious enough to cause me to abandon a well-paid, interesting and influential position as well as a promising career and led me to eagerly embrace critical IR, CSS and CBS. Nonetheless, during my research journey I also came to seriously doubt some aspects of critical IR, CSS and CBS, particularly those that seemed to give rise to sweeping judgements and blanket critiques which lacked perspective or nuance. Not only did I not find these works convincing but, moreover, they seemed to forego significant possibilities of impact beyond academia, which in turn appeared to disavow the critical imperative to change things for the better, however construed (Austin, 2017; Boltanski, 2011). Thus, I sought to develop a dual sense of doubt towards (although not outright rejection of) (1) EU and EUMS (border) policy and practice and (2) certain strands of critical academia. I acutely felt the need to participate—and have impact or relevance in—both worlds. But I knew too that this meant that my more practice/policyoriented work could be judged by the critical academics, while my critical academic work could be judged by the policymakers and practitioners. Such crossovers of knowledge and judgement have been made more likely by the online availability and promotion of academic and policy writing and by the broad and deep network effects of social media. I have therefore needed to speak to different audiences and pay heed to their sometimes competing and contradictory demands: to get used to being simultaneously judged in the courts of different publics’ opinions. This may speak to a certain two-facedness, which, if taken in its colloquial meaning, could represent exactly the kind of duplicity that would undermine reflexivity and critical trustworthiness or to affirm the unproductive use of a ‘context-specific cunning’ that I criticise above and elsewhere (Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). However, this type of duplicity also brings to mind Janus, the two-faced Roman god, through whom another, more positive association emerges. The psychologist Albert Rothenberg (1971) has written extensively on the ‘Janusian’ thinking that often drives creativity in both arts and sciences. This ‘two-faced’ approach stems from being able to simultaneously hold and pay heed to seemingly contradictory ideas: ‘[a]ctively conceiving multiple opposites or antitheses simultaneously. As a mental operation, this process plays a role in the development of all types of creativity—defined as the production of both new and valuable phenomena’ (Rothenberg, 1996; Rothenberg & Hausman, 1976). Channelling Rothenberg, I argue in favour of duality and its contradictions—but as a spark to reflexivity, as well as creativity. Accounting for oneself in the eyes of two communities and their competing demands for ‘relevance’ and ‘critique’ (to caricature somewhat) helped me to guard against becoming too comfortable, too undoubting in either the policy/practice or critical academic communities. Far

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from ‘going native’ (with regard to either community) this two-facedness was a powerful double-disciplining that put me in the position of a tightrope walker, highly attuned to any potential shift towards unreflexive proximity, and ‘at home’ in neither camp. Readers can now judge the results of this for themselves in the empirical chapters, conclusion and epilogue that follow. There is, however, a wider point that I hope to have illustrated here about the potential benefits for (critical) researchers—and for policymakers and practitioners—of trying different roles, taking different responsibilities and making different choices as they cross between and dwell in these connected but different worlds (see also Kurowska & Tallis, 2013). Doing so will not be appealing or compelling for everyone in these communities, but it does suggest a way of doing post-critical interpretive research and even one possible post-critical subjectivity, among other possibilities (Lisle, 2016) for post-critical researchers (Austin, 2017). Clearly, however, resolving questions of normativity and the role of critical and post-critical research in relation to international social and political issues, including borderings, are not simply automatic results of assuming and enacting particular subject positions. They are also matters of political choice, motivation, evaluation and preference. This includes researchers’ willingness and ability to take responsibility for suggesting, or even constructing, alternatives to the situations and processes they make sense of through their research. Yet it also extends to political preferences. Politics can, perhaps ironically, be something of a fraught matter for both researchers and practitioners of politics as—just like in all other communities— their peer groups create dominant notions of what is and is not acceptable. These can coalesce into orthodoxies from which it seems difficult to deviate. When this happens critical reflection, including by border crossing, is essential to disrupt orthodoxies that can silence critique or hinder reform for ideological reasons. There is no need to go further into these issues here, but they should not be simply obscured behind a scholarly or epistemological façade as they affect both knowledge and practice, and should thus be borne in mind when evaluating the following analytical-empirical chapters against the standards for reflexivity that I hope to have set in this chapter. Such considerations will also be useful for other interpretive researchers in evaluating and reflecting on their own research practice and purpose.

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Chapter 4

A Diverse Archipelago: Borderscape Features

The conceptualisation of the borderscape developed in Chap. 2 showed that both sites and forms of borderings are highly significant for understanding their consequences in terms of identities and orders, as well as their social, spatial and temporal contingencies. Different types of bordering functions reflect and generate different spatialities and locations of borders, which take diverse (architectural) forms and thus make the socio-political legible in the spatial and the material. Each combination of site, form and function produces a particular border ‘feature’ that is related to the array of other border features that along with discourses and practices constitute the borderscape. This chapter maps the key features of EU bordering in CEE and proposes a typology of these features and their effects. I use conceptual metaphors to distinguish these different types of bordering that encompasses their sites, forms and the functions they serve: firewalls, shadows, filters, curtain walls and twisted mirrors. First I look at the Czech Republic (Czechia) and the ‘firewall’ borders (Walters, 2006) that take place in the interior of Schengen states—both through spatially dispersed police controls and institutionally anchored residence bureaucracies. Both aspects of these border controls focus on documents and data relating to particular people, which are verified through particular processes. Obtaining the necessary documents and having to produce them in order to prove one’s right to remain on Czech (and Schengen) territory, enacts social, temporal and spatial dividing practices which include some migrants but exclude others from EU-European belonging. The result is a dividuated, bespoke borderscape in which different people experience the ‘same space’ differently. However, diverging from previous analyses (e.g. Walters, 2006), I argue that for Ukrainians at least, these ‘control-type’ borders are neither entirely oppressive nor discrete and incontestable. Rather, they act in concert with other border features, discourses and practices, to facilitate inclusion as well as exclusion and they provoke wilful acquiescence as well as resistance. I then illuminate the shadow borders that have endured between Czechia and its Schengen neighbours despite the ending of permanent frontier controls. The ghosts © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_4

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of borders past lurk amid the police and customs controls that still take place along the old ‘Iron Curtain’ border and they act as reminders of de facto difference and hierarchy in contrast to the Area of Freedom Security and Justice’s (AFSJ’s) de jure equality. However, there are also other reminders of past borderings, which carry mixed messages. Museums and memorials at some former Border Crossing Points (BCPs) cast the shadows of past European divisions—but also of how they were overcome and how Czechs have enacted EU-European belonging. At some former BCPs, the infrastructure has been removed entirely, while at others it has been left to rot. At others still it has been superseded by other structures which dynamically mark the ‘darker’ sides of ‘transition’ that reproduce old hierarchies in new ways. Next I turn to the Polish-Ukrainian frontier, which is also the territorial edge of both the EU and the Schengen-zone and has often been characterised as the Eastern edge of ‘Fortress Europe’. This commonplace description is inaccurate and closer examination of this border’s material forms and functional effects showed it to be more like a filter than a fortress wall: it is permeable and intended to facilitate as well as frustrate movement. The fixity of the fortress metaphor also fails to capture the fluidity of this border since Schengen enlargement. It ignores the flows that are facilitated through the introduction of ‘Local Border Traffic Agreements’ (LBTAs) that dislocated the territorial referent of the visa regime. These LBTAs required that the border be ‘civilised’ but have helped to de-securitise some local forms of mobility. Significantly, these processes pointed to possibilities for more widespread loosening of the EU’s mobility regime. Mischaracterising the Eastern frontier as a fortress also obscured the subtler ways in which the EU (and its member states) did restrict mobility for Third Country Nationals (TCNs), such as Ukrainians, primarily through their visa regimes. These regimes have often been called the ‘visa-curtain’, which is intended to invoke memories of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and the restrictions on mobility of its symbolic features such as the Berlin Wall. But this characterisation fails to grasp the nuances of EU bordering with Ukraine and its relations to the modes and affects of EU neighbourhood governance, which are neither completely closed nor completely open. Instead, I characterise the border feature relating to the visa regime as akin to a glass and steel ‘curtain-wall’, which left Ukrainians able to ‘look [at,] but not touch’ the ‘real Europe’—the EU [UA-I-NGO-1]. 1 Finally, I look into the EU’s externalised bordering in Ukraine, which I see as a ‘twisted mirror’. Of course, all borderings reflect (and generate) wider aspects of the identities and orders they are entangled with and so all the features here could be seen as mirrors of different kinds, but this mirror is different. The EU’s neighbourhood governance including the ways that it exported aspects of its bordering to Ukrainian territory caused this border mirror to become twisted, distorting

1

The visa liberalisation of 2017 changed this situation for the better, but not completely, as Ukrainians may now be able to make short trips to Schengen without visas but, like other TCNs, still face an overly restrictive visa regime that negatively affects EU neighbourhood governance. Chapters 7 and 8 deal with this in more detail.

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the EU’s vision of both itself and of Ukraine. I link the construction of this border feature to the EU-Ukraine ‘Readmission Agreement’, the activities of EUBAM, EUDU and Frontex as well as to the ‘deputisation’ of Ukrainian agencies to conduct EU bordering tasks. These activities are implicated in the EU’s incomplete (and disavowed) attempts to create a ‘buffer zone’, while simultaneously pursuing closer integration with Ukraine. This ambiguity of approach constructed Ukraine as an uncanny borderland; a place that the EU differentiates itself from, but which continues to assert its disconcerting similarity. The chapter concludes by examining the implications of the diverse archipelago that this varied, yet related array of border features comprise. I highlight the successes (however incomplete) of inclusive de-bordering in the Schengen zone and through the LBTAs at the Eastern frontier which helped make the case for the 2017 Ukrainian visa liberalisation. I contrast these successes with the failure to apply their lessons more widely and show how this relates to both the EU’s neighbourhood crisis and subsequent migration crisis.

4.1

Firewalls: Internal Control in a Schengen State

Voltaire [. . .] suggested the possibility of a double Europe, one Europe that “knew” [. . .] and the other Europe that waited to be “known.” That other Europe was Eastern Europe. (Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe, 1994: 91)

Uniquely among the EU-8 states that joined the Schengen-zone in 2007, Czechia was left with neither sea borders nor territorial frontiers shared with non-EUMS, meaning that its only remaining ‘external’ borders were courtesy of its international airports. This did not, of course, mean the end of bordering on its territory. Freer movement (for many) in the Schengen interior came together with intensified ‘internal’ policing and peripatetic mobility controls, which William Walters (2006) has compellingly likened to ‘firewalls’. In this section, I examine these firewalls and the dividing practices they enacted in Czechia and I extend the analysis of firewall bordering to the interactions of TCNs with labour and residence bureaucracies. The de-borderings and re-borderings related to Czechia’s Schengen accession reflected and reinforced the EU’s internal order through its governance priorities of ‘Freedom, Security and Justice’, which mainly, but not exclusively, benefit EU citizens. Firewall borderings create a hierarchy of belonging by differentiating those ‘Eastern-Europeans’ who have to wait (for bordering processes) from those ‘EU-Europeans’ who don’t. These divisions were not incontestable, however, as TCNs including Ukrainians have been able to enact aspects of EU-European subjectivity and thus to effect belonging over time. Contrary to the claims of some scholars, these firewall borderings were overall considered inconvenient rather than oppressive, at least by Ukrainians, as I show below.

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A Diverse Archipelago: Borderscape Features

Mobile Police Controls

The various interactions with police that constituted bordering moments for migrants in Czechia occurred: ‘randomly’ in the course of ‘regular’ police duties, through specific targeted actions or as a result of controls and patrols which ‘compensate’ for the removal of permanent frontier checks and which generally focus on main transport routes. Ukrainians interviewed for the project described how they ‘randomly’ encountered police while not having the correct documentation, which amounted to a bordering moment that elicited a response from the Czech state to their ‘irregular’ status [CZ-I-MF-2]: I was driving the car when the police stopped me and wanted to see my ID and my passport and I didn’t have one so they arrested me. At a control on the street they found I was here illegally [. . .] they just randomly checked me [. . .] in Prague. I was just checked by police and then they took me here [an MoI migration facility]. I was visiting a friend and had been there for a little while when the police came to check something with him. As I was there, they asked to see my documents and that’s how I ended up here.

Representatives of the CZ-MoI and the ‘Foreign Police Service’2 (FPS) confirmed that random document checks are carried out on the street. The latter stated that there was no policy of profiling ‘foreigners’ and that controls mainly occur in the course of traffic policing or public peace and order work by regular (non-FPS) officers, despite instructions having been issued not to do so intensively [CZ-IMoI-3]. However, the CZ-MoI representative disagreed, arguing that a significant proportion of TCN controls were actually (and intentionally) conducted by the FPS [CZ-I-MoI-1]: [They are] showing that [they] are here, protecting you [. . .] you can see it on the news and TV—they have some strong PR. To me—and some of my colleagues—it looks like building on the fright and fear, the xenophobia, the feeling of being threatened and endangered by foreigners so that we need to have these policemen.

The re-organisation of Czech law enforcement agencies in preparation for Schengen accession resulted in the dissolution of the ‘Border Police’ and the transfer of its remaining officers into the FPS, which retained responsibility for ‘inland’ patrolling and controls, as well as border checks at airports. However, the FPS also faced cutbacks and its functions were progressively ‘civilianised’, which points to an element of institutional preservation in the securitizing move described above. While not fully successful in securitizing mobility in Czechia through these practices— partly due to the countervailing influence of the CZ-MoI’s Schengen section—the FPS did influence the mobility and migration climate. It did so through the conduct 2

In Czech—Sluzba Cizinecke Policie—http://www.policie.cz/sluzba-cizinecke-policie.aspx

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of its “biggest task”—the control of the ‘legality of stay’ of foreigners on Czech territory. Alongside random checks (mainly in larger cities), the FPS undertook targeted and well-publicised residence and workplace checks in conjunction with the CZ-MoL. These controls, which further extended potential bordering sites, were generally carried out by specially trained officers, often former border police officers transferred to FPS duties. Such transfers, along with the strengthening of the Schengen external frontier, were seen as “compensatory measures” intended to mitigate the supposedly negative security implications of removing internal AFSJ frontier controls [CZ-I-MoI-1; CZ-I-MoI-3]. In addition to random checks, targeted actions and the permanent controls that remain in place at international airports, police conducted mobility controls on the basis of ‘Risk Analysis’ (RA). Temporary checkpoints and mobile controls on major transit routes facilitated document checks on people travelling in cars, trains and buses. The police services of neighbouring Schengen states also undertook joint patrols in the ‘border belt’ (30 km either side of the frontier) although, in accordance with Schengen rules, which Czechia complied with, these controls could not exceed the intensity of control elsewhere on the state’s territory (as this would constitute a de-facto border) [CZ-I-MoI-1]. Police controls inside Schengen transform a variety of spaces into temporary border places. They also distinguish those who experience the controls as bordering moments (TCNs) from those who do not (Czech and EU citizens). The police controls divide ‘regular’ TCNs, who effectively ‘pass’ these borders, from ‘irregular’ TCNs, who face probable detention and subsequent expulsion from EU territory. These spatially dispersed, peripatetic checks rely on computerised systems to check the documents of individuals against centralised databases to verify their right to be in that place, epitomising the control-type borders that Walters characterised as ‘firewalls’ (2006). Like ‘firewalls’, these checks enabled the authorisation or denial of presence in the AFSJ by checking the level of ‘access’ afforded by that person’s data—in this case the ‘regularity’ and validity of passports, visas, residence and work permits. Following Deleuze (1995), Walters claims that this instantiation of control-type power relies on and reproduces a “dividuation” in which the person is seen only with regard to the particular data relevant for that control (2006). Similarly, Louise Amoore claimed that for TCNs ‘the border is never entirely crossed, but appears instead as a constant demand for proof of status and legitimacy’ (2006). However, this is rather like claiming that citizens of a state never fully belong in their ‘home’ society because their freedom to move and act in it is contingent upon their not committing a crime that would lead to their imprisonment. The critique is at one level somewhat obvious and at another fails to gain traction, particularly given the socially legitimised consensus in the EU and EUMS that inward mobility should be managed rather than entirely open, and that laws should be enforced. Indeed, upholding the Rule of Law is a core value of the EU, even if it and its Member States don’t always live up to their commitments in this regard. More revealingly, research participants, including those in detention centres, did not generally feel that police checks demanding proof of ‘status and legitimacy’ were ‘constant’, oppressive or

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overly intrusive, and saw them instead as a necessary part of the maintenance of the AFSJ, which they valued as mode or governance.3 Life in the AFSJ was (and is), nonetheless, more precarious for TCNs than EU citizens, which shows the bordering work that these firewalls do. This more precarious (though not oppressive) situation was compounded by the limited possibilities (at the time) for Ukrainians to move into as well as to stay in the EU, as well as the unnecessary difficulty of regularisation of stay procedures, as is discussed below.

4.1.2

Inconvenient, But Not Oppressive Bureaucracy

The aforementioned police checks resulted in ‘negative’ outcomes (detentions, expulsions, bans from re-entering Schengen territory) for TCNs who didn’t have valid documentation attesting to their right to travel through, visit, reside or work on Czech territory. These documents were also required to enter Schengen territory, but the majority of ‘irregular’ foreigners who are apprehended actually enter Schengen with all papers ‘in order’. ‘Overstaying’ or changing purpose of stay without permission to do so—and managing these phenomena—means that bordering moments extend beyond mobile police controls to the bureaucratic checks through which the Czech state confirms or denies the TCN’s right to be there, as per its EU commitments [PL-I-FTEX-2; PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8; PL-I-BG-4; CZ-I-MFA1; CZ-I-MoI-2]. The extension of the bordering moment to these points of bureaucratic (ir)regularisation, implicated the offices of the FPS in the border archipelago as part of the two core elements of control-type power in effect: the mobile (in)dividual record (the person and their data) and the static, yet networked referent (the institutional database). FPS offices were key sites for the maintenance or cancellation of regular status for TCNs. They were also notorious among foreigners in Prague for their byzantine complexity, obdurate modi operandi and their staff’s lack of necessary language skills. Significant efforts had been made to improve service and combat queue manipulation, but FPS offices were still not pleasant places for TCNs. The nagging worry caused by a missing document, (potentially) incorrectly filled form or insufficient guarantee from landlord, employer or university was compounded by the perfunctory certainty of a long wait at an out-of-the-way office and the staff’s often unhelpful approach [CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-I-NGO-2; CZ-I-NGO-4; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-MoI-3; CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-2; CZ-O-1; CZ-PO-1].

3

In Czechia, official state ID (citizenship card or passport) is required when accessing public services, medical or dental care, applying for a library card or even picking up a parcel at the post office, perhaps showing how well these systems of control are integrated into the normal circuits of life, but also how people are willing to submit to them as they see it in their best interest. This is of course different to anglo-saxon normal practice regarding ID in e.g. the UK. Some participants claimed that police controls are more oppressive for people who do not ‘look European’, but assessing this claim was beyond the scope of this study (CZ-PO-1; CZ-I-NGO-1).

4.1

Firewalls: Internal Control in a Schengen State

95

If the particularity of our identities are shaped by our paths of attendance and association (see Chap. 2), then we should consider the effects of the firewalls in differentiating between TCNs in Czechia who, to maintain their ‘regularity’, had to attend and associate with the FPS and EU citizens who need not do so in the same ways or with the same potential consequences (Ley, 2002). This argument challenges Walters (2006) claim that control-type power has no ‘interest’ in or effect on subjectivity and identity. TCNs had to engage in socio-temporal as well as sociospatial processes: queuing, waiting for and collecting the signatures, stamps, authorisations, permissions and confirmations that were required to attain and maintain ‘regular’ status. These uses of time (and their opportunity costs) echo the ‘etatization [state-ing] of time’, for example through queueing, which Katherine Verdery associated with the shaping of subjectivity in communist regimes (1996: 39–57). In the AFSJ, unlike in the erstwhile communist states, time is stated for the few (TCNs) rather than the many (EU Citizens), but it is clear that in this regard ‘the Europe [. . .] that waits to be known’ (Wolff, 1994: 91) was again ‘Eastern Europe’ not ‘EU-Europe’ [CZ-I-MF-2; CZ-PO-1]. Even ‘regular’ migrants could rapidly become precarious in the AFSJ, particularly if they lost the job that validates their permits. In the worst case, TCNs in Czechia had one day4 to find new employment or lose their regular status. This echoed the general precariousness of flexibilised labour markets and increased the possibility of exploitative workplace relations, but with uneven social and spatial consequences because TCNs, unlike EU citizens risked becoming ‘irregular’ and having to leave the country. Expulsions would damage the social relations they had formed in Czechia and even the risk of it could also alter TCNs’ horizons of spatial and social possibility. Czech NGOs argue that irregular migrants often avoided medical clinics because of the need to provide documentation, meaning that doctors—like landlords and employers—effectively become agents of the internally bordering Schengen state [CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-2; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-NGO-2; CZ-I-MoI-2]. However, for all the difficulties of negotiating the requirements of regularity, there were consistently more than 400,000 foreigners with regular status living in Czechia in the research period, amounting to nearly 4% of the population. These foreigners were mainly TCNs, with Ukrainians comprising the largest group among them (see Chap. 6 for more details). Moreover, ‘regular’ status in a particular Schengen state, such as Czechia, also opened up the rest of the Schengen-zone for travel. This widened migrants’ horizons of possibility and helped to create a sense of belonging as they enacted a highly valued aspect of ‘EU-European-ness’ [CZ-IOMB-1; CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-PO-1]. In Czechia, TCNs could apply for long-term residency permits—after 2 years of regular stay—and for permanent residency after 5 years. The latter conferred similar

This is the case if the person is sacked or ‘fired’ from a job rather than being made redundant. The way that many Ukrainians find jobs in CR, through agencies or ‘Klients’, makes this an unfortunately common occurrence (see Chap. 6 for more details).

4

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status to, and was often used as a step towards, citizenship. Regular being for a long time approximated to belonging. The availability of these possibilities to enact aspects of ‘EU-European’ subjectivity questions the sweeping critiques that ‘control’ power ‘de-emphasises or abandons [. . .] the quest [to] reform and re-make the individual’ (Walters, 2006). Regularisation processes—involving finding and holding on to programmes of study, positions of employment, sources of income and places to live—often coincided with migrants’ own desires, and in order to achieve them they were generally willing to ‘play the game’ and comply with its onerous rules. Rather than “hacking” (Walters, 2006) the firewall borders by circumventing or tricking the control procedures, many TCNs participated in and used the various channels of authority to their own advantage. Visas and permits obtained for one place or purpose were also used to open up and facilitate others. Migrants’ lives in the AFSJ were neither completely overseen, dominated nor entirely determined by their documentation and TCNs often willingly acquiesced to control-type borders in order to access disciplinary modes of power that allowed them to integrate and belong. These bureaucratic processes that could facilitate belonging—as well as the vibrant civil society and a vigilant Ombudsman’s office—also challenged the characterisation of ‘firewall’ borders as faceless, unknowable and incontestable [CZ-O-1; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-NGO-2; CZ-I-NGO-3]. Despite these positive aspects, things could also have been (much) better. Overzealous policing (motivated by institutional self-interest); unnecessarily abrupt invalidation of permits (among the harshest in the EU); bureaucratic incompetence and obstinacy (albeit less so than in the past) meant that many Ukrainians, even with regular status, could not confidently see their futures in the Schengen zone. Yet, despite this precariousness, the exclusionary effects for ‘irregular’ migrants and bureaucratic inconvenience for regular migrants, as well as police and bureaucratic checks within Schengen did not amount to a ‘society of control’ (Deleuze, 1995). Nor were they overly or overtly oppressive for Ukrainians who, in the research period, faced bigger obstacles to their mobility and EU-European belonging from the overly restrictive visa regime (See later in this chapter and Chap. 5). EU citizens had no such problems but as we will see below, did face other forms of bordering within the Schengen zone, despite being ‘EU-Europeans’.

4.2

Shadows: Bordering Between Schengen States

Achtung, Schengenraum! Hande Hoch!5 (Respekt, 2007)

5

This title is taken from a cover story in the leading Czech political and current affairs magazine ‘Respekt’ (2007) and translates (from German) as ‘Attention—this is the Schengen-zone! Put Your hands in the air!’ It appeared under the headline of Volni Jako Schengen? meaning ‘Free Like Schengen?’ or ‘Freedom, Schengen style?’.

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We are unjust to twilight. (Vaclav Havel, Twilight at Dawn, 1996)

The freer movement for Czech citizens afforded by Czechia’s 2007 accession to the Schengen-zone provided both a tangible benefit of EU membership and a clear sign of their EU-European belonging. Although EU accession had, from 2004, reduced border crossings between Czechia and its neighbours to formalities, the ending of fixed, systematic controls at BCPs symbolised the overcoming of older, more exclusionary divisions, particularly on the former Iron Curtain borders with Austria and Bavaria.6 However, mobile police controls by Czechia’s neighbours along with the remnants of the crossing points and frontier architectures, as well as what replaced them, complicated this picture of enhanced mobility and belonging. Nonetheless, as this section (and parts of Chap. 5) show, the exclusionary or hierarchical relations manifested by policing in the shadows of Czech frontiers were partly overcome by political actions that themselves demonstrated inclusion and belonging. Such mixed messages are also legible in the border architectures that were left behind ‘after Schengen’ (Evangelista & Minkjan, 2014). In this section, I elaborate on these police controls and border spaces and show why they matter for identities and orders in CEE.

4.2.1

Shadow Policing at Intra-Schengen Frontiers

After Czechia’s Schengen accession, as Robert Solich of the CZ-MoI explained, ‘people were expecting totally free movement, they hoped that they would just go shopping and sightseeing without being stopped at all’ [CZ-I-MoI-1]. But soon, the MoI began to receive complaints from Czech citizens who had been controlled by German police. These complaints were frequent and numerous enough for the MoI to conclude that from 2008 to 2010, the level of ‘shadow border checks’ amounted to a replacement for fixed BCP controls. Being ‘randomly’ stopped and controlled ‘very strictly and thorough[ly]’ was deeply unsettling for Czech citizens who were left uncertain both of the Schengen zone’s ‘rules’ and whether they really belonged in EU-Europe after all. Solich even claimed that this left them in ‘a worse position than before’ particularly because of the unquiet ghosts lurking in these ‘shadow’ borders [CZ-I-MoI-1]: [W]e were getting frightening stories. People were being stopped by [unmarked] cars and officers in civil[ian] dress and they were taken off to some parking lot, off the road in the night, forced to get out and their car was searched. Some people had to do a drug test in the parking lot—they had to pee on a paper. Even my [relatives] had their laptops and phones taken away from them for twenty minutes and checked. This topic became very frequent in our bilateral negotiations with their Ministries of Interior—Bavarian, Saxon and Federal. We never got to a point of resolution but agreed that the policemen will, if possible, use uniforms

6

The Czech Republic borders two of the Laende (states) of the Federal Republic of Germany— Bavaria and Saxony—but the latter was in the territory of the DDR up until 1990 and so was an intra-Warsaw Pact, non-‘Iron Curtain’ border.

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and show police identification and [proper] practice. We explained simply that Czech people are not used to dealing with civil[ian] dress[ed] police. For them it means the secret police, like StB 7—it’s not a good feeling.

A former commander of the German Federal Police in the border region acknowledged that these checks took place, but denied they amounted to ‘systematic border controls’. He claimed their intensity stemmed from a combination of ‘geographic and infrastructural conditions’, as well as uncoordinated deployments of officers from different agencies in the relatively cramped 30 km deep ‘border belt’ [PL-IFTEX-8]: If we [had] 50km or 80km, then we would have been more flexible and targeted in surveilling the motorways and big national routes [. . .] We tried to do this in co-operation with the Czech police as we had before, but after Schengen accession, there were so many cuts and organisation[al] changes that there was nobody to co-operate with.

The CZ-MoI rejected this explanation but acknowledged a significant reduction (by 2012) of complaints relating to German police checks of private vehicles, although they also pointed out that approximately seven out of every ten coaches or buses entering Germany from Czech territory were still being thoroughly controlled. Solich again saw other motives for the intense controls, suggesting lingering hierarchies of belonging in the EU [CZ-I-MoI-1]: I think that Western countries are still kind of suspicious [of] let’s say ‘Central European’ countries and the more Eastern the countries are, the bigger suspicion you can feel. [. . .] the most visible opponents were from Germany and Austria, our neighbours, who were afraid of hordes of ‘villains’ coming and doing . . . well, I don’t know what.

These and other kinds of prejudiced or hierarchical discourses were reproduced by some Germans and Austrians living in the border regions in the run-up to the Schengen expansion (e.g. Darley, 2009; Schwell, 2010) as well as by several EU officials who participated in the research, including the (Austrian) Political Advisor to the EU-DU. When asked what the EU was doing to counter the ‘unjustified fear’ of an Eastern ‘horde’ ‘coming in, bringing crime’, his response, was instructive [UA-I-EUD-2]: Is it really completely untrue? [. . .] for those who are victims of burglary, for example, it is not a good explanation to tell them, ‘well, you know, statistically, it’s just 30% more because Schengen borders are open’. I know [this] from only one case, from the city where I have lived—in Vienna there was a real issue with crimes going up.

The former police commander emphasised the need for frequent controls on the bus and train routes that offer ‘the easiest way to illegally enter Germany’. He also asserted that ‘some member states [including Germany] are under bigger (irregular) migration pressure than others’ [PL-I-FTEX-8]. In doing so he used the varying desirability of EU countries as destinations for migrants to justify higher intensities

The Statni Bezpecnost (StB) was the communist-era ‘State Security’ service, the Czechoslovak equivalent of the East German Stasi.

7

4.2

Shadows: Bordering Between Schengen States

99

of policing and even stretching Schengen’s rules, an issue that would return, in another form during the EU’s migration crisis.8 Czech officials concurred with the need to combat cross-border crime and irregular migration, but disagreed that this necessitated or justified any violation of Schengen rules. Demonstrating confidence in their EU-European belonging, the Czech government raised this matter with the European Commission and has supported cases on similar issues in the European Court of Justice. However, Solich saw a ‘perpetual conflict’ between ‘free movement’ and the ‘national sovereign competence over security’ with ‘the Commission and Czechs on one side and Germany, Austria and Spain on the other side’ [CZ-I-MoI-1; UA-I-CZC-2]. It is interesting to note how these alignments shifted in the later migration crisis and how these earlier tensions foreshadow later conflicts over mobility and sovereignty in Schengen. The close monitoring of EU and Schengen accession processes for the EU-8 was intended to underpin the formal equality between EUMS that would allow the removal of frontier controls and extend free movement, while reassuring existing members that the acceding states could be trusted to fulfil their new responsibilities. In turn, accession was heralded as signalling the end of ‘post-communist transition’, as EU-8 peoples and states cast off their authoritarian pasts and enacted their ‘EU-European’ belonging. However, the presence of ‘shadow’ border controls in the vicinity of the old Iron Curtain, as well as the justifications given by Western Europeans for why they take place, complicated this picture. As with the splits over the migration crisis, these borderings summoned the ghosts of these painful pasts— the spectres of Europe’s cold war division. Nevertheless, the Czech MoI’s contestation of shadow controls and their faith in being able to do so at the EU level, enacts EU-European belonging through state political subjectivity. In light of Czechia’s subsequent refusal to take refugees and role in blocking an EU-wide response to the migration crisis, Robert Solich’s commitment to free movement seems particularly elegiac [CZ-I-MoI-1]: Czech Republic is maybe the biggest defender of free movement. We simply insist on respecting free movement over the internal borders at all times, everywhere. Maybe the reason behind this fight is that we were behind the Iron Curtain, and when it finally fell, we had some expectations.

4.2.2

Twilight Zones

Despite the widespread rhetoric of ‘border crossings coming down’, neither the 2004 EU or 2007 Schengen accession meant the immediate removal of BCP infrastructure 8 This relative desirability was turned back against Germany by some CEE countries when they used this argument to justify their refusal to take refugees during the 2014–2017 migration crisis. At the same time, this period also saw a resurgence in anti-‘Eastern’ or ‘Central’ European discourses. Both issues are discussed further in Chaps. 5–8.

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at Czech frontiers (e.g. Tyler, 2004). By 2013, however, the material remains of the BCPs differed greatly in extent and condition, with some removed or ruined, while others had been repurposed or simply overwhelmed by their surroundings. This unevenness created a plethora of variously haunting, humdrum, kitschy and decadent places through which to understand CEE re-borderings and their connections to identities and orders. Although ostensibly obsolescent, the BCPs nonetheless retain their ‘borderliness’ in the ‘traces’ they offer of past, present and potential future border regimes (Green, 2009). Their highly affective materialities convey competing versions of history and memory; of progress and potential tragedy; of here and there; of ‘us’ and ‘them’; now and then. Some Czech BCPs had been explicitly transformed into sites of memory and memorial. For example, the touchingly curated, trilingual ‘Museum of the Iron Curtain’ which commemorates the Czechoslovak-Austrian Cold War border that ran between Valtice and Schrattenberg and the regularly updated photo-exhibition on the bridge between Cizov and Hardegg. At Slavonice-Fratres, the artist Hubert Lobnig sculpted a question into the landscape—Wohin verschwinden die Grenzen? (Where do the borders go?). A cycle path—the ‘Iron Curtain Greenway’—now traces part of the levelled ground that was the last five yards of the superpower standoff and which leads to the Czech-Slovak-Austrian tri-border point where a sculpture, quite literally, represents the chains of the divided past. To the North, the Czech-Polish-German tri-border point offers a sombre reminder of the forced union that preceded Cold War separation [CZ-O-2]. These overt sites of memory emphasise the overcoming of past divisions and the immobilities they enforced, which also makes clear both the scale and importance of EU and Schengen enlargement to Czechs and Czechia (and the EU-8 more widely). The Czech frontier also acts as a trigger to non-curated memories, as Lucie Sladkova of the International Organization for Migration (IoM) explained: My generation and older, we still have a trembling, a discomfort when we cross the point of entry. Mentally, it is very good for young people who do not even recognise where any sort of a fence is or have to see controls, but for us it is still something of a discomfort when you cross it and are looking if there is anyone who will do the check. I never travel with just my ID, even though I know you can—I always take my passport [CZ-I-IoM-1].

The remnant materialities of the Czech frontier amplify these echoes of the past, but also mark the ways in which former divisions and their associated immobilities were overcome. A Czech government poster, displayed in the Museum of the Iron Curtain promotes ‘free movement’ with the slogan, ‘Don’t Stop, in Europe You are Free’, and a museum text claims that in Schengen, borders ‘in fact do not exist’ [CZ-O-2]. Sladkova’s observation that many people simply ignore the BCPs as they pass through is testament to the performative belonging that can be enacted as a result of formal inclusion in the EU and Schengen. Such seemingly blissful ignorance comes easier at the locations where the infrastructure has been removed, even if traces remain visible to a keen eye [CZ-I-IoM-1]. Where infrastructure remained, other material traces of the particular processes of EU and Schengen accession that have facilitated ‘free movement’ are also visible.

4.2

Shadows: Bordering Between Schengen States

101

Having been a single, federal state from 1918 until the ‘Velvet Divorce’ of 1993, the newly separated Czech and Slovak republics had to build and police a border between themselves in order to satisfy the conditions for Schengen entry, which then meant that this control could be relaxed. For Sladkova, this signified EU waste, ‘like buying the most sophisticated and expensive lock for the door which you want to have open’, whereas for Robert Solich of the CZ-MoI and Jan Vycital of the CZ-MFA, it represented the EU’s commitment to standards and Czechia’s commitment to meeting them in order to enact EU-European belonging [CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-IMoI-1; CZ-MFA-2]. The free movement this has brought illustrates one notion of post-89 ‘progress’ through post-communist transition, but others are also visible in the ruined, remnant and repurposed BCPs [CZ-O-2]. In remote areas the BCPs often felt abandoned, especially where nature had crept back in after the border guards marched out, leaving derelict restaurants and boarded-up cafes behind them. Elsewhere, new commercial developments had taken over. On the Czech frontiers with Germany and Austria (but not with Poland and Slovakia) slick, homogenous ‘Travel-Free’ shops, exploiting price differentials on alcohol and cigarettes jostled for space with colourful and somewhat chaotic Vietnamese markets selling plastic ornaments, furniture and clothing. Often a harbinger of an imminent frontier, garden gnomes and outsize plastic animals greeted border-crossers like surreal replacements for the border guards they outlasted. On major transit routes other industries flourished. As Mathilde Darley (2009) showed, gambling and sex-work proliferated after 1989 in Czechia’s German and Austrian border regions. Schengen accession did not derail this trend and in 2013, casinos and brothels were still prominent—and prominently advertised. Contrary to Svetlana Boym’s (2001) observations of shabbiness, however, many were recently renovated with gaudy attention-seeking exteriors. The fantasies that fuel these businesses sit awkwardly next to other fantasy border worlds such as the spectacular—and spectacularly kitschy—‘Excalibur City’ shopping and family entertainment complex [CZ-O-2], even if their aesthetics are rather complementary. Despite conforming to some (neo-)liberal notions of freedom and progress, the effect of these mobility fuelled commercial activities was multivalent. The border had been (re)constructed as an almost archetypal space of consumption, distinguishing between ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ locations and peoples as well as reinforcing old hierarchies in new ways (see e.g. Bohle et al., 2007; Shields, 2006). Even commercially ‘winning’ places traded, primarily, on the relative ‘cheapness’, decadent possibility and perceived permissiveness of the post-communist ‘East’ in comparison to the expensive, staid and judgmental West (Boym, 2001; Darley, 2009). In Czechia this produced a domesticated exoticism that combined reassuring similarity with ‘just-enough’ difference, reproducing hierarchical understandings of what different places are ‘for’. However, the development of cultural, architectural, historical and vinicultural tourism in (some) Czech border regions further blurred this picture. While some BCPs were haunted by ruin, decay and tragic histories, others seemed to carry the hope of (liberal) progress. These crossing points signalled the EU’s success in overcoming past divisions but also lingering hierarchies of

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neoliberal transition. As well as beacons of hope, they could be read as warnings, or even harbingers, of the potential return of division—a spectre that loomed larger during the subsequent migration crisis and the Czech role in it. The BCPs left behind after Schengen retained their borderliness, but in different ways than in their earlier incarnations—reflecting related changes in identities and orders. Their polysemicity made them paradigmatic places of the ambiguous, shadowy yet ‘reflective’ twilight in which Vaclav Havel saw hope for Europe’s future as well as reminders of its past (Boym, 2001: 223). Given subsequent events, the question as to whether this is twilight at dawn or dusk is relevant to ask again. Yet, as Havel (1996) also observed: We are unjust to twilight. We are unjust to the phenomenon that may have given Europe its name. We should stop thinking of the present state of Europe as the sunset of its energy and recognize it instead as a time of contemplation.

4.3

A Filter (Not a Fortress)

In 2008 there was a year of protests on the border because of change in the customs law. [. . .] This caused riots because of the frustration—and because of our work. People that lived from smuggling were eliminated from the system. This is how the Polish border got civilised. (Polish Border Guard Commander in Przemysl, 2012 [PL-I-BG-3])9

In contrast to the shadowy and fleeting border features of the Schengen interior, the ‘fog of [the] border’ seemed to clear at the EU’s Eastern edge (Kurowska & Pawlak, 2012). The external Schengen frontier—in this case the Polish-Ukrainian section—was ostensibly a more ‘traditional’ border site than those constituted by either internal mobile policing or externalised remote-control practices. The frontier had permanent controls at static BCPs, clearly demarcated ‘green borders’ running between them, Border Guard (BG) stations and detention facilities. However, despite this apparent legibility of the socio-political in the spatio-material, this border has been repeatedly misread and wrongly characterised as (the Eastern edge of) ‘Fortress Europe’. Based on fieldwork conducted around the town of Przemysl and the nearby Medyka-Shehyni BCP, as well as at other sites, I show that the architectures, spatialities (and practices) at the Polish-Ukrainian frontier were in keeping with the EU’s particular, liberal brand of governance. Far from militaristic fortification, this bordering feature bureaucratically filtered flows of people and goods to facilitate some movements while frustrating others on the basis of particular knowledge about the people attempting to pass. Thus, I argue that the Schengen external border was more like a filter than a fortress, a conclusion further supported by ‘Local Border Traffic Agreements’ (LBTAs) that facilitated a degree of permeability that no fortress-like border could allow [PL-PO-1; PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3].

9

[PL-I-BG-3].

4.3

A Filter (Not a Fortress)

4.3.1

103

Border Constructions

The ‘Fortress Europe’ metaphor for EU bordering that has proliferated in recent years through media,10 popular culture11 and public intellectual discourse,12 as well as through academia, has tended to focus on fixed border ‘defences’ and patrolling activities that detect, repel and deter irregular migrants entering the European Union (Alscher, 2005; Armstrong & Anderson, 2007; Bigo, 2002; Follis, 2012; Papastavridis, 2010). With notable exceptions (Finotelli & Sciortino, 2013; Jünemann et al., 2017) scholarly work that has highlighted the difficulties and dangers that irregular migrants face in entering the EU has tended to obscure the differences between EU frontiers (particularly the East and the South) and the varying degrees of facilitation as well as frustration of movement they effect. It should be noted though that regionally-particular, Eastern-focused works have also used the ‘fortress’ label (e.g. Follis, 2012). Even allowing for metaphorical licence, the ‘fortress’ characterisation is so strong and pervasive that a researcher could reasonably expect to find it materially manifested at the frontier, to at least some extent. However, there were no ravelins or ramparts, battlements, bastions or casemates at the frontier. Instead, the post-2007 border architecture emphasised volume, rather than mass, which has been the sine qua non of fortress architecture through the ages (Hirst, 1997a, 1997b; Mukerji, 1997; Sebald, 2013: 16–36; Virilio, 2009). The sparse, rectilinear architectures of the Polish road-BCPs, adorned only with state insignia and warnings against inappropriate conduct or violation of conditions of travel, instead exemplified the dual role of the ‘liberal’ border—providing security and facilitating mobility. They also provided shelter for the streamed flows of people and vehicles that passed through them, as well as for the border guards and customs officers who (mostly temporarily) interrupt this motion. These light and spacious structures conveyed a sense of capable professionalism and calm bureaucratic authority amidst the hustle and flow of border traffic [PL-PO-1; PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3]. Several BCPs at the Polish-Ukrainian frontier also had rail crossings where cargo trains were both observed and x-rayed. At Medyka-Shehyni, border guards entered passenger trains via a small platform in a fenced off zone and equipped with mobile passport readers and database access. They temporarily transformed the train compartments into border places as they conducted the Schengen-mandated document and identity checks while the train slowly wounds its way to the station in the nearby town of Przemysl. Medyka-Shehyni was, however, unique among the BCPs on the Polish-Ukrainian frontier in also having a pedestrian crossing: a paved pathway channelled between green wire fences. Although still generally open and spacious, some sections were roofed-over to prevent the illicit transfer of (excise) goods 10 For example (Der Spiegel, 2016; Domokos & Grant, 2014; Grant et al., 2014; Mezzofiore et al., 2016). 11 E.g. British band ‘Asian Dub Foundation’s song ‘Fortress Europe’ (2002). 12 E.g. Matthew Carr’s book and subsequent public interventions (2011, 2012).

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between the lanes, creating a tunnel-like effect that a focus group participant claimed ‘felt like being in prison’ [UA-FG-2]. Polish border guards lamented this situation, which perhaps more closely resembled the controlled entry into a sports stadium more than a fortress or a jail, but it was still an unpleasant exception rather than the norm. Although wire fences—barbed in places—did run around the BCP and the train x-ray took place in a concrete canyon to enhance the images it produced, these secured zones and robustly materialised elements were no more fortress-like than many schools or shopping centres found all across the EU. Likewise, while the border guards were armed, so too are law enforcement officials across Europe [UA-FG-2; PL-PO-3]. The Polish Border Guard Service (PL-BG) were also responsible for surveillance of the ‘green border’ that runs between the BCPs. Unlike their Ukrainian counterparts they did not use watch towers, but instead utilised natural features for mobile surveillance to deter irregular migration and smuggling. The green border with its ploughed strip of land acted as a silent, material witness to unauthorised crossings between the Polish and Ukrainian border posts—and was also distinctly un-fortresslike. There were BG stations every 12–15 km along the frontier, up to 2 km back from the borderline, but they did not ‘militarise’ the border any more than a police station militarises a city. Entry to smuggling-prone border sections was either strictly forbidden or required advance permission. Yet, at other sections, entry was actively encouraged for leisure and recreation—appropriately so, given the extremely low number of irregular crossings: less than 1600 annually along the entire ‘Eastern Land Border’ stretching from Norway to Romania in the period of research (Frontex, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) [PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3]. The supposed ‘fortress’ border is also often linked by academics and activists to the ‘return of the camp’ in the form of migrant detention centres such as those at the EU’s Eastern frontier (An Architektur Collective, 2005; Bigo, 2007; Minca, 2005). Yet, actually visiting these facilities provided a very different picture than one would imagine from reading the critical literature that sees them either as part of an EU-wide network of oppressive ‘waiting zones’ or as Agambenian-inflected evocations of Auschwitz, both of which lack a sense of proportion or perspective. UNHCR Poland had nothing but praise for the clean, new (in 2012) PL-BG detention centres that offered ample exercise space, well-stocked reading rooms and kitchens, and which allowed migrants to go into the towns that hosted the centres including to buy food that they want to cook for themselves. Clearly, detention centres will never be happy spaces for migrants, but these centres close to the Polish-Ukrainian frontier showed the efficient fulfilment of Poland’s AFSJ responsibilities rather than anything more sinister [PL-I-UN-2; PL-PO-2]. Reflecting wider EU-European governance and order, the Eastern Schengen frontier was a bureaucratic rather than militaristic border feature, far more like a filter than a fortress. Significantly, this border-filter was also much more permeable than the walls of any fortress worthy of the name. In 2012, Medyka-Shehyni alone facilitated a third of the 15 million annual crossings from Ukraine into Poland [PL-PO-3] (Frontex, 2013). The nearby remains of older highly-fortified border regimes only reinforce the inadequacy of the ‘Fortress Europe’ label.

4.3

A Filter (Not a Fortress)

105

Hapsburg-era forts, built to cement the dual-monarchy’s grip on outlying Galicia (which straddles the current frontier) provided a salient reminder of what fortress bordering really looks like (e.g. Davies, 2011: 477–479). Similarly, the Molotov Line bunkers in Przemysl itself provide a material-formal link to the site-poured concrete of the original Festung Europa13 which, again, could not have looked more different to the present EU/Schengen border (Virilio, 2009). These ‘traces’ of older border regimes also show the historical fluidity of frontiers in this region. The reversion to the (modified) ‘Curzon Line’ border after the protracted Second World War here, saw Przemysl and Medyka ‘returned’ to the Polish People’s Republic (Lowe, 2012: 212–229). In the last 15 years, this 15-km diversion has meant the difference between ‘free movement’, courtesy of EU citizenship, and being a TCN facing the visa ‘curtain-wall’. However, as the next subsection shows, the fluidity of this border feature did not end with Poland’s EU and Schengen accession.

4.3.2

Local Border Traffic

The “Fortress Europe” label is not only formally and functionally inadequate, but also fails to take account of the measures taken by the EU and EUMS to ameliorate the exclusionary effects of the extension of the Schengen zone on neighbouring countries. Initial post-Schengen developments, such as the ‘civilising’ of the border noted in the epigraph above, may seem to confirm these gloomy assessments, but they actually laid the foundations for subsequent—and significant—facilitations of (Ukrainian) mobility through LBTAs. Thus, I question whether the ‘hardening’ of the EU’s external border regime as a ‘compensatory measure’ for the relaxation of the internal regime is as “untouchable” at the national level and as incontestable at the EU level as its critics have claimed it to be (Snyder, 2005) [PL-I-FTEX-8]. Joining Schengen meant that Poland took on significant responsibility for the EU’s Eastern frontier, particularly in the context of fears about the newly proximate ‘wild’ East and related flows of illicit goods and irregular migrants and amid doubts about the competence and reliability of the ‘new’ member states. Extensive upgrading of infrastructure and equipment as well as intensive training for staff, transformed Polish BCPs into ‘EU-modern’ bureaucratic border management structures, with border guards who were assessed to be performing at EU standards [PL-IBG-1; PL-I-BG-3; PL-I-BG-4]. These changes were, however, accompanied by the ending of certain ‘local’ arrangements for cross-border movement of goods and people in order to bring practices into line with EU rules and the Schengen border code. These new standards and practices of border control thus directly impacted on the lives of Ukrainians living in the frontier region, who now required a visa for even short-term travel to Poland. They also impacted on some Poles’ livelihoods as the

13

The German name for the defences of continental Europe during the Second World War.

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border “got civilised” and petty smuggling was clamped down on [PL-I-BG-3] (see e.g. Follis, 2012; Iglicka & Weinar, 2008; Triandafyllidou, 2009). Nonetheless, it was these improved standards of border control that allowed Poland to sign an LBTA with Ukraine in 2009, which exempted Ukrainians living in the border region (up to 50 km from the frontier) from the visa regime providing they fulfil certain conditions, such as not travelling more than 30 km into Poland. LBT permits were limited to those people who have resided in the designated municipalities for 3 years. This again shows the dynamic relation of time and space in facilitating a social process that has, in effect, moved the border—or at least the territorial referent of the visa regime—for particular routes and rhythms of travel. LBT permits allowed border-crossings without the need for passports to be stamped, thus offsetting the permit fee by saving the (greater) time, expense and effort needed to regularly replace full passports. The regional PL-BG commander emphasised that: ‘This is very popular—about 50% of people crossing the border now travel on this basis’ [PL-I-BG-3]. The electronically readable LBT permits facilitated tighter control of personal customs allowances, which dramatically cut petty smuggling of cigarettes and vodka as quicker and more accurate data-checking freed up time and space in BCP control zones for more stringent checks of people and luggage, which significantly reduced abuse. However, LBTs also spurred the development of other cross-border trades, particularly in: food taken from Poland to Ukraine (often from the supermarket next to the BCP); petrol transported the other way in the large fuel tanks of certain types of cars; and an ‘ant trade’ that broke up commercial goods shipments for conveyance through the pedestrian crossing by individuals (paid per-trip), thus avoiding Ukrainian customs duties before being recombined into a single shipment on the other side of the border. These activities also re-shaped the socio-material experience of the border as the PLBG re-opened a more spacious exit-control facility (without turnstiles) to facilitate easier passage for people with trolleys and large bags to pass through14 [PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3]. As well as changing the border-regime, Schengen accession brought with it a special fund to support Poland’s Eastern frontier regions, which were among the EU’s poorest. The border guards proudly pointed to the results: the new city administration building, renewed transport infrastructure, the beautifully revitalised city park in Przemysl and the development of (cross-border) tourism in the region. Border guards also argued that this investment supported their anti-smuggling work by boosting economic development and creating jobs, highlighting the gleaming, part-EU-funded, ‘Galeria Sanowa’ shopping centre, which also attracted (LBT) shoppers from Ukraine and provided employment for Poles previously involved in smuggling. It would be easy, from afar, to criticise this development as yet more oppressive neoliberal homogenisation, but the international (e.g. H&M) and national chain-stores in the shopping centre have been welcomed locally and provided easier

14 As exports from Poland, these cross-border trading practices are tacitly encouraged by the Polish authorities and have not been clamped-down on by their Ukrainian counterparts.

The Visa ‘Curtain-Wall’

4.4

107

and more affordable access to wider circuits of ‘normal’ EU-European life for Poles and Ukrainians (Burrell, 2010). This made the Galeria Sanowa seem more hopeful than the banal geographies of history’s supposed end are often made out to be [PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3]. The introduction of LBT permits in 2009 did not lead to widespread irregular stay in Poland, or irregular ‘secondary movement’ to other Schengen states. Tens of millions of facilitated border crossings had, by mid-2012, resulted in only 13 detected cases of abuse, reflecting the generally low ‘risk’ of irregular migration at the EU’s Eastern land border [PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3; PL-I-BG-3]. LBTAs proved to be a practical way of decoupling individual mobility from the smuggling of excise goods, which was consistently identified as the biggest ‘threat’ at the Eastern frontier (Frontex, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). While LBT Agreements are, by definition, local in character the limited but flexible and widely used freedom of movement they have provided, and the changes to border flows that have ensued, point to wider possibilities for de-securitising Ukrainian mobility. The limiting of possibilities for smuggling by individuals was accompanied by incentives and possibilities to seek legal forms of income. As local interlocutors noted, these occupations are often preferable to the life of a petty smuggler, which although habitually romanticised from afar, is often dismally precarious and poverty-stricken. The LBTAs and the mobility as well as spatial fluidity they have facilitated further demonstrated the inadequacy of the ‘Fortress Europe’ label applied by critics. However, both EU and Ukrainian interests would have been better served by capitalising on the sophistication of this frontier filter and trusting it to act as a security-mobility ‘membrane’. Instead, the EU and EUMS continued to maintain the counter-productively restrictive visa regime that is discussed below—and which was only relaxed in 2017. The failure to learn this lesson about facilitating regular mobility also haunted EU and EUMS responses to the 2015–2017 migration crisis.

4.4

The Visa ‘Curtain-Wall’

Not all the bits of the Berlin Wall went to the museum . . . it’s a very obvious sign where you are facing the real border. It starts in Kyiv, near the embassy. (Vasyl Cherepanyn, Ukrainian Academic and Activist)

For Ukrainians (and other TCNs) wishing to travel to the EU, their sequence of bordering moments, their border archipelago, begins long before they reach the territorial frontiers of the Union. The 2007 extension of the Schengen-zone required Czechia and Poland to end their (relatively-open) visa regimes with Ukraine. This meant that during the period of this research—and up until 201715—Ukrainians needed Schengen visas for short-term visits, which includes anything from a day trip

15

As noted in the introduction to the book, the visa liberalisation of 2017 changed the mobility regime considerably, but this analysis shows the form and effects of the previous regime. This also

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(excluding LBT) up to multiple stays totalling 90 days in any 180-day period in Schengen states. These visas were applied for through the consular service of the EUMS that the person wished to visit for the first or main part or purpose of their trip, excluding transit to that country through other Schengen states.16 As travellers cannot apply for Schengen visas inside the Schengen zone, they had to deal with the member states’ consulates (or their approved agents) in third countries—normally their home country. This created a group of ‘remote control’ (Walters, 2006) border features outside EU territory that, like the frontier ‘filter’, frustrated but also facilitated mobilities of different types. However, these external features—which I call ‘curtain-walls’—had such negative psycho-social impacts on Ukrainians and such detrimental effects on EU policy goals in Ukraine, that a senior EU official condemned this visa regime as “lose-lose” [UA-I-EUD-2].

4.4.1

Consular Remote-Control

Both Czechia and Poland operated several consulates in Ukraine, which dealt with Schengen visas, longer-term residence and labour permits, as well as other consular matters. During the research period, when Schengen visas represented the bulk of their work, the busiest and most important consulates were in the capital, Kyiv and in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv (the latter due the close historical ties and wellestablished labour migration and tourism routes between Western Ukraine, Czechia and Poland).17 Poland also created additional, outsourced consular centres where supporting documentation could be checked and information entered into the electronic systems for visa processing. The Czech government encouraged and, sometimes, required the use of an e-consular system—‘Visapoint’. Before visiting the consulate, applicants had to collect a series of documents (varying by country) in order to lodge their application. Generally, however, they included an invitation letter (issued by a person, a business or some other organisation), proof of means of travel, proof of accommodation in the stated destination and

reveals logics and politics that would continue to be important after 2017 as well as in both the neighbourhood and migration crises. 16 Thus, if a Ukrainian citizen wanted to travel overland via Poland to visit Germany, but then also visit Austria for a shorter time before returning, they should apply for a Schengen visa at the German consulate. 17 In the research period, the consulate in Lviv was the third busiest Czech consulate worldwide in terms of visas issued after Moscow and Kyiv, issuing around 20–30,000 visas p.a. Even this pales into numerical insignificance, however when compared to the Polish consulate in Lviv, which issues ten times as many visas—200–300,000 p.a.—nearly one quarter of all Schengen visas issued in Ukraine [UA-I-PLC-2] (EC Website—http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/poli cies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy/index_en.htm). Further discussion of related issues can be found in Chap. 6 on the practices of ‘facilitating’ and ‘moving’.

4.4

The Visa ‘Curtain-Wall’

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proof of financial means to support themselves during the trip. Applicants required a clear and plausible explanation for the purpose of their trip, which complemented their documented accommodation, transport and other plans and they also needed a valid Ukrainian ‘external’ (regular) passport and internal ‘passport’ (state identity card). Some consulates further required applicants to submit proof of good health, including a negative HIV test. By contrast, EU citizens wishing to visit Ukraine required only a valid passport—another way in which hierarchical relations between the EU and Ukraine, and the privileges of being an ‘EU-European’ rather than an ‘Eastern European’ are reproduced via bordering and the mobility regime [UA-O-1; UA-O-2; UA-FG-1; UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-PLC-2]. Aspirant Ukrainian travellers or migrants also needed to engage with a series of private and public organisations to show that they fulfilled the necessary criteria to even have their visa application considered. Travel agents, transport companies, hotels, businesses, public doctors, private clinics and banks are “deputised” in these “remote control” bordering processes as they provide or confirm the validity of the applicant’s identity, documents and purpose of travel (Walters, 2006). Like the firewall borders in the Schengen interior these processes take time and require attendance at particular locations as applicants need to arrange doctors’ appointments and invitation letters, have documents notarised and acquire authorised translations of university transcripts. All of this requires both physical waiting in the spaces of the various institutions involved and nerve-wracking psychological waiting for the delivery of the necessary documents, while hoping they are ‘in order’. Applicants also spent time arranging their appointments at consulates and visa centres, or through the e-consular system, and in submitting their passports and supporting documents. If they were required to submit the documents personally or attend an additional interview, further time was spent queuing for and completing these procedures. Delays in harmonising the required documentation across EUMS consulates were lamented by research participants who had experienced the frustration of spending time and money on an application only to be told that yet more documentation was required [UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2; CZ-PO-1]. While the EU and EUMS ‘externalised’ much of their bordering with Ukraine through these remote-control practices, the involvement of consulates and private sector actors in bordering processes was neither novel, nor was it unique to the Schengen-zone. However, Schengen enlargement did intensify this externalisation for Ukrainians wishing to travel to Czechia and Poland and also tightened the mobility regime, thus creating a greater sense of socio-spatial exclusion than before. Even the many successful applicants then faced controls at the frontier, (potentially) in the Schengen interior but also, in a further humiliation, some consulates required them to report in after they returned—‘just to check [that] we come back’, which cost them more money and time [UA-FG-1]. Ukrainians’ border archipelago began outside EU territory with the queuing and bureaucracy of consulates, visa centres and the host of other places where they had to validate their mobility. The ‘social sorting’ and socio-spatial exclusions enacted by these processes were among the most keenly felt by Ukrainians who participated in

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the research. It is understandable that the visa regime attracted labels (generally from outside) such as ‘Schengen Wall’ or ‘Visa Curtain’ but, as I also argue below, these labels were misrepresentations that relied on powerfully evocative, but misleading comparisons to the far more exclusionary and divisive bordering of the Cold War period. These characterisations did not reflect the more nuanced realities of EU bordering or governance in CEE, nor the millions of visas granted in the research period. I therefore suggest a different conceptual metaphor to characterise these externalised border features: ‘curtain-walls’.

4.4.2

Behind the Curtain-Wall: 2nd Class Europe

The difficulty that Ukrainians experienced in travelling to the Schengen-zone during the period of preparation for and in the aftermath of its 2007 extension has frequently been compared to Cold War bordering when characterised in terms such of a Schengen ‘Wall’ or Visa/Gold/Schengen/Belonging ‘Curtain’ that separated Ukrainians from EU-Europe (Bialasiewicz & O’Loughlin, 2002; Boym, 2001; Dansci, 2008; Prozorov, 2008; Snyder, 2005). Neither of these metaphors adequately captures the form, function or effects of EU bordering in Ukraine. They take insufficient account of the possibilities that the semi-permeable border provided for travel to the EU, nor the possibility of return that it offered. Despite the humiliating and inconvenient procedures, many Ukrainians did gain entry to EU and Schengen countries between 2007 and 2013 (as well as up to—and after— liberalisation in 2017). In 2012, for example and consistent with trends since 2009, Ukrainians were the second largest group by nationality (after Russians)18 to apply for Schengen visas, lodging 1.3 m applications—9% of the total and a 53% increase in absolute numbers since 2009, with a refusal-rate for Ukrainians of only 2%. Nonetheless this 2% still amounted to 26,646 thwarted plans and dashed hopes; a number large enough for most Ukrainian research participants to know people who had visa applications denied, or to have experienced this themselves. According to research participants, the possibility of rejection seemed real enough to weigh heavily on the mind of applicants during the nervous and frustrating application process (European Commission, 2013) [UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2; CZ-PO-1]. Nevertheless, the numbers of visas that were granted and entries permitted undermined comparisons to the ‘Berlin Wall’ or the ‘Iron Curtain’ (as well as the Fortress Europe label). However, EU bordering in this period effected its own subtler, yet considerable and keenly felt, psycho-social exclusions. While research participants affirmed a strong and growing Ukrainian desire to visit EU countries, both activists and the Ukrainian MFA were willing to describe the process as ‘consular sadism’

18 Ukrainians were, however, far behind Russians who, in 2012 applied for 6m visas, forty percent of the total (European Commission, 2013).

4.4 The Visa ‘Curtain-Wall’

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[UA-I-NGO-2; UA-I-MFA-1] (Trauner, 2009). For many participants, the very fact of having to apply for a visa signalled their non-belonging. This was compounded by the humiliating consular procedures that confirmed their suspicions that Ukrainians were seen as ‘barbarians’ from a ‘third-world country’ rather than as ‘real Europe [ans]’ [UA-FG-1; UA-I-MFA-1; UA-I-NGO-1; UA-I-NGO-2; UA-FG-2]. Like a harsher version of the bureaucratic processes that underpin the firewall borders of the Schengen interior, consular procedures provide plenty of opportunity to contemplate the injustice of having to wait, while others do not. The frustration of having to apply for a visa when others do not; and of how this feels and what it means to be part of ‘Eastern Europe’—the ‘Europe that waited to be known’ rather than ‘EU-Europe’, the ‘Europe that knew’ (Wolff, 1994). Ukrainian research participants spoke of how this felt: You are looked through first psychologically and then physically [. . .] every visit to the embassy or the consulate is a humiliating procedure [UA-I-NGO-2]. For me it was a terrible experience [. . .] I needed to get a visa and I was interviewed by the staff [and] asked about my travel, my plans and I was really afraid. They wanted to know if I intended to stay [in the EU] it was hard for me. It feels like you are not trusted. It feels like I am a woman of 2nd class [UA-FG-1].

Many research participants were openly critical of, inter alia, corruption, low standards and modes of government and customer service, practices of policing, the condition of roads and public transport in Ukraine. Similar critiques also appeared in formal EU assessments of Ukraine and in the personal opinions of EU staff working there. Significantly, both Ukrainian and EU official participants linked this perceived failure to meet ‘EU standards’ to Ukrainians’ needing a visa to travel to the EU, as they created a mark of difference (and possible danger—as discussed in Chap. 5). However, as Yehor Bozhok of the European department of the UA-MFA argued, ordinary Ukrainians are effectively being punished for the ‘perceived’ ‘sins’ of their government, meaning that they suffer twice from bad governance: once directly and then, again, through restricted mobility [UA-I-EUB-2; UA-I-EUB-6; UA-I-MFA-1]. The divisive effects of this exclusion from ‘real Europe’ provoked artist and activist Nikita Kadan to propose that [UA-I-NGO-1]: One of those parts of the Berlin Wall, so generously presented by Germany to other countries, [including outside the German embassy in Kyiv] should be put on the border between Ukraine and Poland—on the border of Ukraine and Europe. This is the border of ‘real’ Europe: it moves and it changes peoples’ conditions and environment. It really influences our life.

EU Officials such as Frontex Principal Research Officer Tim Cooper argued compellingly that the visa regime was detrimental to spreading EU governance and thus order in the region as well as to the lives Ukrainians could live {5-3; 6-4} [PL-I-FTEX-1]: Well, presumably the idea, if not enlargement, is at least to get [TCNs] to look favourably on ‘our’ way of life and to emulate it in some way [. . .] How do you expect [them] to improve, to become more ‘European’, if you never allow [them] to go to ‘Europe’?

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This drive to create similarity through inclusion and supervision suggests disciplinary power at work in EU neighbourhood relations as well as the control-type power exercised through the visa regime (and in the Schengen interior). This disciplinary power would likely be willingly acquiesced to (and co-opted) by many, if not all, its subjects. One focus group participant most clearly articulated a commonly expressed feeling among Ukrainians in this regard [UA-FG-1; UA-NGO-1; UA-NGO-2; UA-FG-2]: “When we were in Poland, we had a tiny window to look at that life [. . .] and it’s like ‘oh god, why can’t we live like that’?”19. Power exercised as (Border) ‘Control’ can provide access to this desired, disciplinary inclusion but thwarts it when its parameters are set too tightly, as they were in the EU’s visa regime with Ukraine until 2017, which reflected the Union’s confused neighbourhood governance. This had contradictory effects but nonetheless, the possibility to see and experience (but perhaps not fully grasp) EU-Europe that it provided showed the inadequacy of the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall metaphors. Despite earlier having both referred to the pieces of the Berlin wall placed in Ukraine by Germany, academic Vasyl Cherepanyn and artist Nikita Kadan explained the difference in their contemporary situation: We have to somehow face not now the Iron Curtain but a more virtual, electronic or visa curtain [. . .] maybe this kind of control is more successful today because you cannot do your work with hard stuff: it’s more soft, more sophisticated [UA-I-NGO-2]. This new border is [. . .] not as the Iron Curtain, but rather as dirty glass, through which you look but cannot get the form—[you can] look at the West [but] cannot get a proper image of what happens there. It’s ‘look but can’t touch’ [UA-I-NGO-1].

This characterisation of the 2007–2017 visa regime as visibility without tactility reveals its function, as well as its form, to be different to that of the Iron Curtain or the Berlin Wall. In a linguistic and conceptual coincidence this makes it more like a ‘curtain-wall’. A curtain-wall is a characteristic feature of architectural highmodernism, normally made from steel and glass and ‘hung’ around the structural core of a building to provide a (potentially) transparent perimeter. Crucially, the curtain-wall is not ‘load-bearing’, supporting nothing but its own weight, yet it still separates those on the inside from those on the outside. The EU’s curtain-wall visa regime was costly to administer, added little value in terms of security and had an alienating effect on Ukrainians. This compounded the “sadism” of consular procedures by offering tantalising but limited glimpses of the EU-European life that many Ukrainians desired—whether for instrumental, economic reasons or more existential ones connected to living ‘normal’ ‘European’ lives [UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2; UA-I-NGO-2; CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-2] (Burrell, 2010). Curtain-wall bordering hindered the EU’s attempts to spread its order as well as its pursuit of its interests in the region. It also ran contra to elements of EU-European

19

As subsequent events (Euromaidan) and surveys showed, this view was—in different ways— shared by a majority of Ukrainians, but one that is challenged by a substantial minority (e.g. IRI, 2014).

4.5

Twisted Mirrors: EU Bordering in Ukraine

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governance, notably the previous successes of integration and people-to-people contacts through mobility. Curtain-wall bordering also had significant and divisive identity effects, with Ukrainians left to feel like 2nd class, ‘Eastern-Europeans’, even while they were not completely excluded from the EU. These contradictions and complexities are further discussed below in relation to the final border feature that I identified: the twisted mirrors of externalised EU bordering in Ukraine.

4.5

Twisted Mirrors: EU Bordering in Ukraine

The Iron Curtain is only a mirror, in which each half of the world reflects the other. Each turn of the screw here corresponds with a twist there and, finally, both here and there, we are both the screwers and the screwed. [Jean-Paul Sartre (Quoted in Aronson, 2005: 150)]

It may seem strange to begin this section with a reference to the Iron Curtain, having just argued in the previous section that it was an inadequate conceptual metaphor for understanding EU bordering in Ukraine. But then, Ukraine’s a strange place. At least it is for the EU and its member states and this strangeness is mirrored in the borderings they have externalised there. A key premise of this book is that borderings ‘reflect’ (as well as generate) other processes related to identity and subjectivity, (dis)order and governance so to some extent all borderings can be seen as ‘mirrors’. The EU’s bordering in Ukraine are a case in point and very much reflected internal EU developments as well as showing Ukrainians how they were viewed by, and in relation to, EU-Europe. The mirrors of EU externalised borderings became deformed by the tensions the Union and its member states experienced in simultaneously treating Ukraine as both similar to and different from themselves in a variety of ways (see also Chap. 5). Contradictory impulses to both protect themselves from and integrate with Ukraine, pulled their bordering in different directions. Through, inter alia, the EU-Ukraine Readmission Agreement and the activities of the EUDU, EUBAM and Frontex, they constructed twisted border mirrors that have not only distorted their picture of Ukraine but which also reflect an uncanny, unsettling image back to the EU.

4.5.1

Externalised Border Mirrors

From the European Neighbourhood Policy’s (ENP’s) beginnings in anticipation of the eastward shift of EU frontiers in the 2004 enlargement, the EU and EUMS were acutely conscious of perceived risks stemming from their new Eastern neighbours. This was particularly the case concerning ‘mobile’ risks with the potential to spill over into the EU itself such as irregular migration or cross-border crime. As well as ‘friendly’, integrative goals, the ENP and, later, EaP explicitly and implicitly sought to mitigate these risks (Prodi, 2002). Through various initiatives, the EU undertook bordering tasks at sites in Ukraine or deputised them to Ukrainian actors, thus

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(partially) externalising its borders and further extending its archipelago of bordering features (Zaiotti, 2018). One such initiative, the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was launched in 2005, in the wake of the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine and at the invitation of the two countries’ governments. EUBAM was tasked with both monitoring and capacity building activities at the border between Ukraine and Moldova, focusing on the Transnistrian section (Kurowska & Tallis, 2009). Working with Ukrainian and Moldovan Border Guard and Customs Services, EUBAM was ostensibly designed to improve standards of border management with a view to cutting off the (unrecognised) Transnistrian regime’s illicit income stream from smuggling and cross-border crime. This was, inter alia, intended to provide added incentive for the authorities in Tiraspol to negotiate with the Moldovan government and thus to increase regional stability (ibid.). As EUBAM’s work progressed, however, the dynamics of its partnership with the border services in Ukraine20 and the need to engage and influence central-level and senior staff in these services drew the mission into projects and activities beyond its original geographical scope. EUBAM delivered training to officers from other regions of Ukraine, and the practices that it preached were (sometimes) adopted beyond its area of responsibility. The mission became closely linked to other EU projects such as ‘BOMMOLUK’, which provided funds for border management infrastructure and equipment at all Ukrainian frontiers. Together with its local counterparts, EUBAM developed ‘Common Border Security Assessment Reports’ (CBSARs), conducted intensive capacity building work on Risk Analysis and supported Ukrainian participation in Frontex’s ‘Eastern Borders Risk Analysis Network’ (EBRAN). These activities pushed the Ukrainian services to develop similar ‘ways of seeing’ and ‘ways of knowing’, which over time contributed to the alignment of Ukrainian risk assessments with those of the EU [UA-I-EUB-1; UA-I-EUB-2; UA-I-EUB-3; UA-I-EUB-6; UA-I-EUB-7; UA-I-BG-1] (see also Chap. 6). Negotiations on Visa Liberalisation and the EU-Ukraine ‘Association Agreement’ imposed strict border management conditionality, which further oriented Ukrainian action toward dealing with EU concerns over irregular migration. This process was bolstered by the signing of a ‘Readmission Agreement’ committing Ukraine to take responsibility for accommodating and ‘returning’ (to their home country) migrants found to have entered the EU irregularly through Ukraine. Philippe Bories, head of the EUDU Border Management Section, acknowledged the ‘heavy burden’ that this placed on Ukraine, but also noted that this burden was ameliorated by financial support for upgrading migration facilities as well as the surveillance and detection capacities of the UA-BG [UA-I-EUB-1]. Along with such support came ‘advice’, which, as Yehor Bozhok of the UA-MFA explained, was acted upon [UA-I-MFA-1]: ‘we established the new State Migration Service, which only deal[s] with illegal migrants, on the

20

And also in Moldova, but that is outside the scope of this book.

4.5

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recommendation of the EU [. . .] we needed to fight illegal migration and needed a law enforcement unit to deal with illegal migration’. Both the UA-MFA and EUBAM confirmed that this led to intensified inland patrolling—and thus a spatial re-bordering—aimed at intercepting irregular migrants in transit to the EU. This re-bordering created a greater likelihood of bordering moments for non-Ukrainian TCNs taking place in the Ukrainian interior rather than at the EU frontier or inside the Schengen zone [ibid.; UA-I-EUB-7]. The EU’s focus on irregular migration was somewhat strange given that even senior EUBAM officers questioned the extent to which it was actually a problem for Ukraine itself [e.g. UA-I-EUB-1]: ‘it’s a transit country—[irregular migrants] aren’t exactly staying here to live off the generous social payments!’ Another EUBAM officer, who was responsible for mentoring and advising Ukrainian officers, agreed that the EU was primarily protecting its own perceived interests through these activities [UA-I-EUB-6]: This is our back door, so if we can stop someone sneaking into Ukraine or Moldova it will stop them sneaking into Germany in three weeks’ time [. . .] If the border guard [here] says ‘This guy is going to Hamburg: he’ll be out of the country in a day [so] why should I care?’ [. . .] then the onus in on the Polish border to stop them. I see [stopping them] as our unofficial, unwritten job here.

Although enhancing Ukrainian border ‘security’ and the ‘integrity’ of the Ukrainian border regime coincided with the EU’s general promotion of effective governance and the rule-of-law, it also served other purposes. The Readmission Agreement and the combined activities of EUBAM, EUDU and Frontex not only deputised Ukrainian agencies to conduct EU border control tasks, but also sought to remake Ukrainian bordering in the EU’s own image. As well as spatially dispersing EU borders around Ukraine’s frontiers, BCPs (e.g. at Odessa Port) and interior, these borderings also reflected EU concerns and revealed much about the EU and its relations with Ukraine, in which some actors saw attempts to make a ‘buffer-zone’. Ukrainian activist Maksym Butkevych and the German NGO Grenzraum accused the EU of self-interestedly creating such a ‘buffer-zone’ that, in the name of stopping TCNs from elsewhere getting to the EU, required that Ukrainians’ mobility also be restricted [UA-I-NGO-3] (Schumacher et al., 2018). EU staff reacted in different ways to this charge. EUDU Political Advisor Hannes Schreiber dismissed it: ‘Buffer-zones stem from the Napoleonic wars. I don’t think this is something we have today’; but senior EUBAM officers acknowledged that their mission sought to create a ‘first line of defence’. When asked whether Ukrainian agencies are effectively policing the EU border, another EUBAM officer agreed enthusiastically: ‘Exactly—because they are the buffering country. It’s clear’. [UA-I-EUD-2; UA-I-EUB-1; UA-I-EUB-3; UA-I-EUB-7]. Yet this alleged buffering was not the only way the EU and its member states were engaged with Ukraine during the research period and characterising its externalised borderings as buffers obscure the more complex picture of both the EU and its relationship with Ukraine that emerged from my research. This relationship is not only characterised by the differentiation and distancing that buffering

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would imply, but also by the closeness, the similarity of Ukraine to the EU and EUMS and by the desire to make Ukraine similar—including through the convergence of concerns about migration and the mimicking of standards (see also Chaps. 5 and 6). These contradictory impulses leave a disconcerting image in the externalised bordering mirrors that the EU and EUMS have made in Ukraine, haunted by plural pasts, presents and futures.

4.5.2

Twisted Mirrors in an Uncanny Borderland21

Externalising (some) border tasks to Ukrainian territory reflects the ways that the EU constructed Ukraine as a place that is both an external source of threat and as a site for counteracting this threat. As well as being a ‘troubled area’ and supposed route for irregular migration, Ukraine became a place where the threat could be contained and dealt with—and which it was therefore necessary to keep ‘outside’. As Ukrainian agencies took on some of the EU’s border work, it seemed to confirm the instrumental value of keeping Ukraine—and Ukrainians—at a socio-political distance. Geopolitical and border security concerns thus clashed with liberal visions of integration and openness that sought to open the EU up to Ukraine and Ukrainians (further discussed in Chap. 5). The EU’s growing focus on security22 and becoming a security actor also contributed to keeping Ukraine close enough to be a partner, but at a safe distance from membership (until 2022—see Epilogue). Like the visa ‘curtain-walls’, this other externalised bordering features relied on establishing difference between the EU and Ukraine to justify division between Ukrainians and EU-Europeans, in ways complementary to those that I highlight in Chaps. 5 and 6. However, while often being portrayed as different, Ukraine has also been claimed to be similar to EU-Europe due its historical ties as well as its cultural, linguistic and geographic proximity to (some) EUMS. Many Ukrainians have been understandably keen to emphasise these links, particularly in relation to Western Ukraine’s history as part of the Habsburg province of Galicia, which also encompassed parts of contemporary Poland, Slovakia and Hungary—all current EU members (Bialasiewicz, 2003; Davies, 2011: 477–479; Judt, 2010: KL-18000; Le Rider, 2008). When visiting Western Ukraine, the architectural and socio-cultural links to EUMS are readily apparent, but these same connections also recall the region’s history as a borderland. When it was part of the Habsburg empire this region was, even into the twentieth century, often considered as a strange, hybrid place, fraught with difficulty and danger—and was governed accordingly (Brown, 2005; Davies, 2011: 477–479; Roth, 2003: KL-2272–2336) [UA-O-1; UA-O-2].

21 Which is, of course, the commonly translated meaning of the word ‘Ukraine’ (Reid, 2000; Subtelny, 2000). 22 Particularly on what Richard Youngs would later call ‘Protective Security’ (Youngs, 2021: 54).

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Ukraine’s later history also shows both connection to and division from what is now EU-Europe. Consider, for example, Lwow/Lviv’s place as both a significant interwar Polish city and the heartland of the Ukrainian national movement—as well as the conflict that raged between Poles and Ukrainians in that region after the formal end of the 2nd World War (Lowe, 2012: 212–229). That the region around Uzhgorod was part of the First Czechoslovak Republic, still boasts a ‘Czech quarter’ and is a place where meetings have to be specified as being ‘Kyiv time’ or ‘Prague time’ tells a similarly complex story [UA-O-2]. The inclusion of both of these areas in contemporary Ukraine provided a forceful reminder of the Soviet expansion that shaped its current territorial borders (e.g. Davies, 2011: 632–634). Moreover, the promotion of Western Ukraine’s historical and geographical links to EUMS (for good and bad) also highlights the fact that much of Ukraine, notably the areas that were part of the former Russian Empire, do not have these connections. This complexity is apparent in the frequent (although often simplified and exaggerated) claims about Ukraine being a ‘torn country’ with a ‘Huntington line’ running through it, as one Polish MFA official asserted [PL-I-MFA-1] and which appears regularly in academic and media analyses (Barrington & Herron, 2004; Bialasiewicz, 2003; Huntington, 2002: 138; Riabchuk, 2010; Wallerstein, 2014). Research participants questioned the significance of the country’s divisions. They pointed to similar linguistic or religious cleavages in EUMS that are rarely described in the same, troubled terms. Nonetheless, these Ukrainians did see Western Ukraine’s ‘culture’ and ‘values’ as ‘closer’ to Europe’s and argued that urban areas and younger segments of their population were ‘more European’. Echoing some of the EU’s own discourse, they also lamented that Ukraine’s ‘post-Soviet’ standards of living and governance differentiated it from the European-ness that many of them desire [UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2]. The entry of the EU-8, including Czechia and Poland, into the EU and, later, into the Schengen-zone played its own part in this complicated interplay of similarity and difference. While these countries ‘Central-ness’ made Ukraine seem relatively more ‘Eastern’, they also provided clearer and more direct links, through history and experience, between Ukraine and the EU. As I show in Chap. 5, the EU and EUMS often invoked shared values in order to justify closer association with Ukraine. They also engaged in initiatives (such as those mentioned above) that have actively sought to make Ukraine more similar to the EU in its practices and perspectives, including on bordering. Although Ukraine became an official EU ‘neighbour’ and later a ‘partner’, it remained stuck behind the visa curtain-wall until 2017 and remains unlikely to become an EU member anytime soon. Unfortunately for those Ukrainians seeking such a possibility, endorsing a ‘European perspective’ for Ukraine was precisely what EU officials who participated in this research seemed afraid to do, tying themselves in knots as they tried to both affirm and deny Ukraine’s ‘Europeanness’ in relation to the EU (see Chap. 5) [UA-I-EUD-1; UA-I-EUD-2; UA-I-EUB3]. It was these types of contortions that led the artist Nikita Kadan (from whom I take inspiration—and terminology) to describe the EU’s reflection in its Ukrainian mirror as ‘twisted’, distorting its vision of both itself and Ukrainians. The borderings

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that reflect and generate this distortion particularly relate to the EU’s increased prioritisation of security concerns and attendant self-interest, which overshadowed (but not completely obscured) its other impulses toward integration, engagement and openness as ways of overcoming conflict and division—such as its success in enlarging to the EU-8 (see also Freyburg et al., 2009; Scott & van Houtum, 2009; Youngs, 2021). As Svetlana Boym wrote of ‘East-West’ encounters in The Future of Nostalgia: ‘the Eastern mistress returns her western lover his mirror image, only this is an image in a broken mirror; the more Europeanised she appears, the more he fears balkanization’ (Boym, 2001: 244). Ukraine’s similarity to EU-Europe is disconcerting because it threatens the carefully constructed, hierarchical difference that is used to justify the division that is enacted through overly restrictive bordering, but which leaves a nagging sense of guilt and unease. Moreover, it is contradictory to the EU’s other, integrative impulses that would increase mobility and, potentially, help it better pursue its interests and spread its mode of governance in its Eastern neighbourhood. But, as Sartre has it, the twisted border mirrors are double-sided. They are plural too and, depending on which ones the actors are looking at as well as from where and in light of what discourses and practices, they show different faces, different constellations of the Identities-Borders-Orders nexus. Despite the later relaxation of the border regime, Ukraine remains an uncertain and ‘unheimlich’23 [uncanny] borderland; simultaneously European and non-European; an only quasi-reassuring buffer, a conduit of danger, but also a site of possibility, responsibility and quasi-fraternity [UA-I-NGO-2]. These twisted border mirrors sit uneasily, yet necessarily, in the related array, the diverse archipelago of border features that, along with discourses and practices, constitute the CEE borderscape.

4.6

A Diverse Archipelago of Border Features

This chapter has outlined the key features in the CEE borderscape, showing the various sites of bordering that form an archipelago stretching from inside the Schengen-zone, through EU frontiers and into the Eastern neighbourhood. Using the conceptualisation of the borderscape developed in Chap. 2, I was able to link key sites of bordering in this related array but, as well as their connections, this mapping also showed the distinctiveness and variety—in form, function and effect—of the bordering enacted at each location. The diverse archipelago of EU border features includes the firewalls and shadows of the (Czech) Schengen interior, the permeable, membrane-like filter at the Polish-Ukrainian frontier and, in Ukraine, the visa curtain-wall and the twisted mirror of externalised borderings, which each impacted differently on identities and orders in the region.

23 This German term can be literally translated as ‘unhomely’ but more usually as ‘uncanny’ (Kraftl, 2007).

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The firewall borders within Schengen states that, in the Czech case, had been intensified through partial securitisation, enacted social dividing practices between TCNs and EU-Europeans, although these were often contestable. These inconvenient frustratingly administered, firewall borders were not generally seen as oppressive or overly intrusive for TCNs—in this case Ukrainians—who had attained and could maintain ‘regular’ status. Despite this further divide—between ‘regular’ and ‘irregular’ migrants—many Ukrainians willingly acquiesced to these controls in order to access the integrative possibilities that they could bring. They also saw the controls as a necessary part of EU-European governance, which they deemed to be preferable to ‘Eastern European’ governance in Ukraine. These border features were consistent with EU and Schengen governance and reinforced EU-European order. While firewall borders enacted dividing practices between EU-Europeans (who did not experience them as borders) and Eastern-Europeans (who did), they also provide integrative ways for the latter to enact key aspects of EU-European belonging and, over time, to integrate and belong. By contrast, the shadow borders created by policing around Czech frontiers in the years after Schengen accession were not consistent with EU-European order as they exceeded AFSJ rules and undermined Czechs’ sense of EU-European belonging. Nonetheless, these violations also provoked other expressions of this very belonging through enactments of formal governmental political subjectivity in the EU (a point further developed in Chap. 5). This enactment had the effect of reducing controls (until the migration crisis escalated in 2015 when the Czech authorities increased checks themselves). After Schengen accession and despite the police controls, Czechs increasingly made the most of the possibilities to travel provided by Schengen, which also indicated belonging and the performative enactment of a key element of EU-European subjectivity, as Chap. 6 also shows. These practices of mobility demonstrated how past divisions—and the restrictions on mobility they mandated—had been overcome thanks to the extension of the EU-European order through the inclusion of the EU-8, including Czechia. However, the processes of ‘post-communist transition’ through which this extension and inclusion was achieved also reproduced old hierarchies in new ways. Moreover, as the migration crisis of 2015–2017 showed, the re-bordering that was required to include the EU-8 in Schengen and thus allow them to enact ‘free movement’ came, as elsewhere, at the cost of a perceived loss of control over national borders—and migration policy.24 Lingering hierarchies within the EU— and CEE reactions against them—as well as moves by CEE states to ‘take back control’ of migration and other policy areas, including the refusal of relocation quotas for refugees, show the potential for disorder related to a resurgent identity politics (and a resurgence of discourses of ‘Eastern-ness’) within the EU. The tensions this stance created between EU states and the challenge to the EU-European order it posed, also raised the possibility of further re-bordering and,

24 Chapter 6 discusses this issue in more detail with regard to Europeanisation and the Afterword develops it with regard to its political implications.

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potentially, disordering through the weakening of the Schengen zone or the exclusion of CEE states from it (DutchNews.NL, 2020; Sterling, 2015). This ambiguity and uncertainty was mirrored in the twilight zones of the former BCPs at Czechia’s intra-Schengen frontiers. The EU’s filtering borders at its Eastern frontier were neither as fortress-like, nor (for Ukrainians) as totally exclusionary as many critiques of ‘Fortress Europe’ have claimed. The Frontier BCPs and the green border provide material expressions of the EU commitment to its particular conceptions and combinations of Freedom, Security and Justice and, like the internal firewalls thus reinforce EU governance and the EU-European order. Extending EU order to this border reduced irregular movement of people and illicit goods and facilitated increased regular movement without increasing risk. As well as supporting economic development on the Polish side of the frontier, LBT permits allowed Ukrainians to access more aspects of ‘normal’ EU-European life and to effect an increased sense of belonging through enacting aspects of EU-European subjectivity (Burrell, 2010).25 LBTs improved the composition and increased the volume of cross-border flows. Unfortunately, however, the lessons of this increased, yet secure permeability were not fully learned nor transferred to the mobility regime in general. Until visa liberalisation in 2017, this regime limited the benefits of the increased permeability to people who lived and travelled within the frontier regions. The visa ‘curtain-wall’ used forms of power that are similar to the internal ‘firewalls’ it was intimately related to. Although there was still significant excess demand for mobility, the visa regime did allow many Ukrainians to enter the EU and thus offered some integrative potential. Unfortunately, the ways it was administered led to significant psycho-social effects that distinguished between ‘1st class’ (EU) and ‘2nd class’ (Eastern) European identities. Externalised bordering was seen (including by EU actors) to have hindered Ukraine’s alignment to EU-European practices and standards, limiting the effectiveness of EU policy in the region. It also created considerable resentment among those treated as ‘2nd Class’ Europeans, undermining Ukrainian support for closer ties with the EU during the period 2010–2012, when little progress was made on visa liberalisation (IRI, 2014) [UA-I-MFA-1; UA-I-EUD-2; PL-I-FTEX-1]. While the visa-regime excluded many Ukrainians who wished to travel to and stay in the AFSJ, the EU and EUMS ‘included’ Ukrainian border management agencies by deputising them to carry out bordering work on its behalf. Attempts by some EU actors to concretise the difference between the EU and Ukraine by turning the latter into a ‘buffer-zone’ were, however, undermined by the enduring similarities between the two and by integrative and somewhat inclusive policies that complicated the overall picture and revealed the contradictory nature of the EU’s neighbourhood governance.26

25

See also Chap. 6 on practices of movement. Chapter 5 discusses the contradictory aspects of discursive bordering in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood. 26

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The conceptualisation of the borderscape used in this research allowed me to tease out the various and contradictory effects on identities and orders of border features in CEE. Doing so helped to challenge some oft-made but facile critiques that charged the EU with creating oppressive networks of control, building fortress Europe and merely using Ukraine as a buffer zone. Nonetheless, the analysis and interpretation presented in this chapter showed where the real problems with EU bordering in the research period lay: in the failures to fully uphold Schengen governance or to learn lessons from the secure facilitation of enhanced mobility at the Polish-Ukrainian border. This latter failure meant that the EU maintained an overly restrictive visa regime, which hindered the spread of EU governance and the EU-European order. As well as limiting the integrative potential and transformative power of ENP and EaP, the EU’s external bordering also impacted on its relations with other actors in the neighbourhood. Several analyses (e.g. Scott & van Houtum, 2009) claimed that it had made the EU more like a ‘state’ and that it thus engaged in a different kind of geopolitical ordering than it had done previously. Timothy Snyder (2005) emphasised the connections between such ordering and EU bordering: Border control is the unplanned but irresistible shortcut: it is the policy that demands that the EU behave like a territorial state. Present developments suggest that the EU, as a state-like entity, is in the process of being born at its borders.

Some commentators openly welcomed this, seeing the attendant return to or “rise of geopolitics” in the neighbourhood as a spur to the transformation of the EU into a more effective power-projecting actor (Nitoiu & Sus, 2019; Wilson, 2014). However, ‘traditional aspects of geopolitics’ in EU action in the region also had other effects—and contra to some recent claims (Nitoiu & Sus, 2019), did not appear after 2015 but were also present in the period of my research. From 2004 onwards, the EU’s pretentions as a security actor and its related focus on securing itself from its neighbourhood, as well as the limited integrative function of its external bordering suggest a quasi-classical territoriality and approach to geopolitics. This complicated the Union’s actions in its neighbourhood and limited its normative, transformative power. Consequently, the EU found itself dangerously close to becoming embroiled in a potentially disordering geopolitical contest that it was ill-equipped to deal with. Such an approach also ran contra to the Union’s commitment to the values, standards and integrative re-bordering that defined its historical success—notably in creating the Schengen zone and integrating the EU-8—and their corollary in a creative or ‘playful’, rather than traditional, approach to geopolitics (Parkes, 2021). As well as disordering effects in the Eastern neighbourhood and the disordering of relations with other players in the region—notably Russia—the shifting balance within the EU’s ‘hybrid approach’ also affected the Union’s own identity as an actor (Nitoiu & Sus, 2019). In Chap. 7, I further develop the links between the EU’s contradictory and inconsistent bordering and its crises of identity and confidence— and how these in turn provoked or worsened its migration and neighbourhood crises. For now, it is useful to note two key points: (1) the failure to leverage the lessons of integrating the EU-8 and the reluctance to provide sufficient regular, managed

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mobility for Ukrainians, combined with an increasingly narrow and introverted conception of interest foreshadowed the EU’s transformation of migration into crisis—and the disorderly relations between CEE states and their fellow EU members; (2) the EU’s increasing focus on a particular kind of security—similar to what Youngs (2021) later called ‘Protective Security’—and on ‘becoming a security actor/provider’ (Tallis, 2022) imbalanced the Union’s approach in its Eastern neighbourhood and worsened the crisis it—and Ukrainians—faced there (see also Epilogue). Yet, against these points, we must also consider the visa-liberalisation of 2017 which meant that Ukrainians could travel more freely into the EU and the Schengen zone. Moreover, the shift toward a more fully classical geopolitical approach remains contested. Thus the contradictory and ambiguous nature of EU bordering continues. The uneven entanglements of border features with orders and identities outlined here are echoed in the multiple—and again contradictory—discourses that reflect and generate EU bordering in CEE and which are the subject of the next chapter.

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Iglicka, K., & Weinar, A. (2008). Ukrainian migration in Poland from the perspective of polish policies and systems’ theory. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 6(3), 356–365. https:// doi.org/10.1080/15362940802371580 IRI. (2014). Public opinion survey: Residents of Ukraine. International Republican Institute. Judt, T. (2010). Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. Retrieved May 24, 2020, from https:// www.overdrive.com/search?q=6C28D606-BC4A-4341-85CE-E037A64152DE Jünemann, A., Fromm, N., & Scherer, N. (Eds.). (2017). Fortress Europe? Challenges and failures of migration and asylum policies. Springer VS. Kraftl, P. (2007). Utopia, performativity, and the unhomely. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25(1), 120–143. https://doi.org/10.1068/d397t Kurowska, X., & Pawlak, P. (2012). The fog of border: The fragmentation of EU’s border policies. In C. Kaunert, S. Leonard, & P. Pawlak (Eds.), European homeland security: A European strategy in the making? (pp. 126–144). Routledge. Kurowska, X., & Tallis, B. (2009). EU border assistance mission: Beyond border monitoring. European Foreign Affairs Review, 14, 47. Le Rider, J. (2008). Mitteleuropa, Zentraleuropa, Mittelosteuropa: A mental map of Central Europe. European Journal of Social Theory, 11(2), 155–169. https://doi.org/10.1177/ 1368431007087471 Ley, D. (2002). Social geography and social action. In M. J. Dear & S. Flusty (Eds.), The spaces of postmodernity: Readings in human geography (pp. 68–76). Blackwell Publishers. Lowe, K. (2012). Savage continent: Europe in the aftermath of World War II. Viking. Mezzofiore, G., Martin, D., Slack, J., et al. (2016, January 25). Fortress Europe: Brussels shuts borders and calls for refugee camp for 300,000 to be built in Greece in last-ditch bid to stop a flood of migrants. Mail Online. Retrieved May 29, 2021, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/article-3415405/Calls-Britain-send-Army-protect-Europe-s-borders.html Minca, C. (2005). The return of the Camp. Progress in Human Geography, 29(4), 405–412. https:// doi.org/10.1191/0309132505ph557xx Mukerji, C. (1997). Territorial ambitions and the gardens of Versailles (Cambridge cultural social studies). Cambridge University Press. Nitoiu, C., & Sus, M. (2019). Introduction: The rise of geopolitics in the EU’s approach in its eastern neighbourhood. Geopolitics, 24(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2019. 1544396 Papastavridis, E. (2010). ‘Fortress Europe’ and FRONTEX: Within or without international law? Nordic Journal of International Law, 79(1), 75–111. https://doi.org/10.1163/ 157181009X12581245929640 Parkes, R. (2021, October 5). The other Frontex debate: How border geopolitics will define the future of Schengen. Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy Policy Brief BRIEF. VUB Brussels School of Governance. Retrieved May 30, 2021, from https://brussels-school.be/sites/ default/files/CSDS%20Policy%20brief_2105.pdf Prodi, R. (2002). A wider Europe: A proximity policy as the key to stability. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-02-619_en.htm Prozorov, S. (2008). Book review forum: The discourse of conflict and the possibility of dialogue: A response to Haukkala. Cooperation and Conflict, 43(1), 123–127. https://doi.org/10.1177/ 0010836707086741 Reid, A. (2000). Borderland: A journey through the history of Ukraine. Westview Pr. Respekt. (2007). ‘Volni Jako Schengen?’. Respekt, 45. Riabchuk, M. (2010, April 3). What’s left of orange Ukraine? Eurozine. Retrieved May 30, 2021, from https://www.eurozine.com/whats-left-of-orange-ukraine/ Roth, J. (2003). The Radetzky March (Trans. M Hofmann). Granta. Retrieved May 30, 2021, from http://books.google.com/books?id=n3lcAAAAMAAJ Schumacher, T., Marchetti, A., & Demmelhuber, T. (Eds.). (2018). The Routledge handbook on the European neighbourhood policy. Routledge.

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Chapter 5

Euro-renovations: Borderscape Discourses

Along with features and practices, the borderscape is constituted by discourses. Bordering discourses are understood here (see Chap. 2) as the narratives and ideas that underpin, legitimate, express or emerge though policies, practices and features that combine elements of both (in)security and (im)mobility. They are the imaginaries of bordering, the stories that are told about it—and the claims made for or against it. They are also hierarchical, yet contestable, structures of signs that, together with features and practices, co-constitute (border) power relations that affect and are affected by identities and orders and the hierarchies between them (Dopita, 2015; Hansen, 2006: 17–36). In this chapter I present the complex picture of conflicting and competing tendencies, hopes and fears, appeals to noble ideas and retreats to narrowmindedness that are reflected in and generated by the discourses of the CEE borderscape. The tensions between these different discourses, as manifested in EU bordering, are highly significant for the delineation of identities—and, relatedly, of European belonging—as well as for the different types of order that ‘EU-Europeans’ and ‘Eastern-Europeans’ experienced during the time of my research. Bordering discourses had significant impacts on how people in the region could live as well as on the orientation and effectiveness of EU and EUMS governance within the Union and in its Eastern neighbourhood. They also had both ordering and disordering effects that were felt in the EU’s migration and neighbourhood policies. As the Conclusion (Chap. 7) and Epilogue (Chap. 8) discuss in more detail, these discursive effects (and affects) continued to reverberate in ways that questioned the very belonging of some EU-8 countries in the EU and the Schengen zone. They also continued to drive the EU’s confused approach to Ukraine. In this chapter I first examine the fused discourses of freedom-security-andjustice and their importance for the internal functioning and external demarcation

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of the EU’s Schengen zone.1 At the time of my research, this ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’ (AFSJ) was a key site for the performative enactment of EU-European governance and subjectivity. While creating a highly valued and desired ‘inside’ (albeit not without problems and dissenters), it also required territorial bounding and differentiation from an ‘outside’ that implicitly became seen as an area of un-freedom, insecurity and injustice. In CEE this outside was seen by participants as an area of ‘Eastern-European’ (rather than EU-European) governance and subjectivity. It was constructed, including discursively, as being different from yet also both proximate and potentially threatening to the AFSJ. This amounted to a discursive bordering that implicated security and mobility in the creation of an exclusionary hierarchy of belonging and possibility to the advantage of ‘EU-Europe’ over ‘Eastern-Europe’. I then look at how this type of exclusionary place-making proved amenable to change over time, particularly via the re-borderings of the 2004 EU enlargement and the 2007 extension of the Schengen zone. I highlight the key discourses relating to the challenges and opportunities that faced Czechia and Poland as part of the ‘EU-8’ group of ‘post-communist’ states that became ‘new’ members of the EU in 2004 and Schengen in 2007. I show how these countries—and their citizens—overcame the lingering hierarchy they encountered and exercised their belonging as EU-Europeans. Transforming hierarchy into belonging challenged the discursive construction of Czechs and Poles as ‘non-core Europeans’ and saw them start to play key roles in certain policy areas relating to Schengen and the Eastern Neighbourhood. However, as the Epilogue discusses, schisms within the EU including over the migration crisis later re-opened questions about the belonging of these states in the EU. While EU and Schengen enlargement allowed Czechs, Poles and their governments to enact a considerable degree of EU-European belonging, these re-borderings also created newly proximate—and thus more keenly felt—exclusions for Ukrainians. In the third section of this chapter, I explore how the EU sought to ameliorate the divisive effects of its new borders through its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP). I look particularly at how discourses of shared values and shared interests were deployed to encourage integration with and opening to this new ‘ring of friends’, including Ukraine (Prodi, 2002). In this section I also look at how the EU’s difficulties in combining its proclaimed values with its increasingly assertive pursuit of its interests and ambitions strained this politics of friendship. I then draw out the counter-discourses that challenged narratives of shared values and shared interests and their use as justifications for the EU’s opening to and integration with Ukraine. These counter-narratives styled the EU and Ukraine as having divergent rather than shared interests, particularly regarding labour mobility.

The formal name of which was, for some time, the ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’ (AFSJ) until this name was expanded to deal with other aspects of justice and home affairs policy and then dropped altogether. 1

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This divergence was linked to differences in values that were seen to be evident in Ukraine’s failure to meet certain ‘European standards’, thus reflecting a performative Eastern-ness that contrasted with the performative EU-European-ness of the Schengen zone. I show how Ukraine’s perceived lack of capacity or commitment to meet these standards was used to frame it as both different and threatening to the EU, which helped underpin the latter’s overly restrictive mobility regime for the former. Lastly, I examine the discursive construction of threats to EU security and the integrity of the Schengen zone (or AFSJ) that were claimed to stem from Ukraine. I show how these discursive securitisations, including of inter alia Ukrainian mobility (European Commission, 2003: 6, 11), went beyond the difference and divergence mentioned above: they were also related to fears (which I distinguish from threats) that Ukraine’s newfound proximity to the EU inspired. These fears combined concerns over geographic proximity to ‘troubled areas’ (European Union, 2003: 8) with anxieties over the re-emergence of unsettling aspects of European pasts. While EU countries may have overcome or repressed such fears in their dealings with each other, opening up to the neighbours also opened up the prospect of their return. Such misgivings exacerbated the ‘uncanny’ nature of EU-Ukraine relations discussed in Chap. 4 and, compounded by prejudice and ignorance, these discourses helped keep the overly restrictive EU mobility regime in place (until 2017). Thus, Ukrainians were hindered in making the very contacts with EU citizens that could have helped them overcome these ‘devils which live in Western minds’ [UA-NGO-1]. I conclude that the related array of discourses in the Central and East European borderscape was characterised by its variety and the way in which competing and often contradictory narratives, ideas and imaginations were repeatedly and unevenly layered, removed and re-layered atop each other. This created an overall impression of indecision, hesitance and uncertainty on the part of the EU and many EUMS despite considerable entanglement, residual desire on both sides for further integration and latent possibilities for progressive development. I use the conceptual metaphor of Euro-renovations to characterise the EU’s discursive bordering in the region as a whole and to explore its relations to identities and orders.

5.1

An Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

The Europe without borders is one of the great achievements of European integration. All the member states and all the citizens benefit from it [. . .] In our European democracies, freedom is secured by the rule of law. Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor (2014)

Many of the stories that the EU tells about itself foreground the development of the Schengen zone as ‘an area without internal borders’ ‘created to ensure the free movement of persons and to offer a high level of protection to citizens’ (European

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Commission Website)2 and to make the ‘Europe of Free Movement’ (European Commission, 2011c) and the ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’.3 They begin with the 1985 agreement between Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and its 1990 implementing convention (both signed in the Luxembourg town of Schengen). Next comes the removal of permanent frontier controls between these countries (1995), incorporation into EU treaty structures—the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (2008)—and specific programmes on Freedom, Security and Justice: Tampere (1999–2004), Hague (2004–2009) and Stockholm (2009–2014). Successive enlargements have meant that: ‘The Schengen area has grown rapidly [and, by 2012, covered] an area with 42 673 km of sea and 7 721 km of external land borders, where over 400 million Europeans from 26 European countries can enjoy passportfree travel’ (European Commission, 2012a: 2). But Schengen had grown in more than just size. Linked to an ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’, it came to represent much of what the EU claims to stand for and has sought to embody through its governance and ordering. The AFSJ thus became a key site for the mutually reinforcing discursive construction and performative enactment of EU-European-ness, which the EU (and others) often conflate with ‘European-ness’—and which of course excludes many Third Country Nationals (TCNs), including Ukrainians. The confluence of discourses of freedom, security and justice that have helped produce the Schengen zone—and these inside/ outside distinctions are outlined below along with their implications for—and in— identity and order.

5.1.1

Freedom: Mobility in Security

The European Commission has repeatedly emphasised that the opportunities for ‘free movement’ provided by the Schengen-zone are key aspects of ‘European’ life: Free movement is a defining principle of the European Union and the ability to move within [it] without facing border checks at internal borders is one of its most successful achievements (European Commission, 2011e: 2). The right to free movement of persons is a cornerstone of the European Union and the Schengen area without internal border control is one of the most valued achievements of EU integration (European Commission, 2012a: 2). We make over 1.25 billion journeys as tourists every year [. . .] The creation of the Schengen area is one of the most tangible, popular and successful achievements of the EU—an

2

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/chapter/23.html Although this name was later dropped and references to it no longer appear on the EU’s websites as they did during the time of the research.

3

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achievement that we should cherish, protect and, where possible, improve (Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom writing in (European Commission, 2011c: 3).

Moreover, this is not just the official line: many research participants, including activists working with irregular migrants, as well as migrants themselves also emphasised the AFSJ’s desirability [CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-NGO-2; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-PO-1; CZ-O-1; UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2]. The European Internal Security Strategy also explicitly linked free movement to understandings of ‘EU-European-ness’, asserting that ‘as Europeans we enjoy the right to live, work and study in European countries other than our own’ (European Union, 2010b: 7). Frontex Senior Research Officer Tim Cooper agreed that freedom of movement and inclusion in or access to Schengen were ‘key indicator[s] of European belonging’ [PL-I-FTEX-1]. The equation of free movement with European-ness created conditions for some people to performatively enact key aspects of ‘EU-European’ identity, while others could not. This implied a hierarchy of belonging between EU citizens and TCNs. Even though this distinction was not incontestable (see Chap. 4), Yehor Bozhok of the UA-MFA noted its significance: ‘Freedom to move—of course that is a basic freedom. [. . .] We hope that Ukrainian people [will] enjoy the same basic right for free movement and establishing people to people contacts—as EU nationals enjoy’ [UA-I-MFA-1]. The disparity created by the different possibilities to enact EU-European-ness had been repeatedly recognised in ENP and EaP communications, but Ukrainian activists still pointed to the obvious conclusion that if ‘the very fundamental basic European right is mobility’, then Ukrainians are not recognised as Europeans, at least not on the EU’s terms [UA-I-NGO-2] (European Commission, 2003, 2006, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2011a, 2011b). Linking ‘freedom’ to ‘security’ provides a key justification for tighter bordering and restriction of entry into the AFSJ, as a ‘compensatory measure’ for freer movement within it. Frontex Operations Director Klaus Roesler echoed official documents (quoted here first) in this regard: EU citizens expect to be able to enjoy the right of freedom of movement and to travel freely in a safe, border-free Europe. Criminal, terrorist or other threats should not be allowed to put this in jeopardy (European Commission, 2011e: 2). Of course there is a connection between freedom and security. Life in freedom means free movement, free trade [and] free development of markets and society—and requires security. Border controls at the outside mitigate the risks that are coming from outside [but] to be able to facilitate real freedom requires you to join the club, which means that you first need to meet some security requirements [PL-I-FTEX-8].

As well as encouraging the use of bordering as a security tool, the freedomsecurity discourse reproduced the notion of a safe ‘inside’ falling under one order and distinct from a dangerous ‘outside’, under a different order. AFSJ bordering had clear spatial effects, most crudely in externally bounding its Area. This discourse and its divisive effects were also entangled in the temporalities and logics of postcommunist transition as it generated (and reflected) hierarchical socio-political

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distinctions between ‘real’ EU-European-ness and Ukrainians’ ‘Eastern-Europeanness’ [UA-I-NGO-1]. Many of the policymakers and security-practitioners whom I interviewed also highlighted the security implications of ‘freedom’ in the Schengen zone [UA-I-EUD-2; PL-I-BG-1; PL-I-BG-2; CZ-I-MoI-1]. Frontex’s Klaus Roesler put it succinctly: ‘without border controls there is more tangible, visible freedom of movement, but this is also used by criminals’ [PL-I-FTEX-8]. EU actors saw greater vulnerability to certain security threats because of the very freedoms facilitated by the AFSJ. Nonetheless, they also re-affirmed the importance of both security and freedom to EU-European subjectivity and order (e.g. European Commission, 2010c). ‘People in Europe expect to live in security and to enjoy their freedoms: security is in itself a basic right’. Such symbiotic understandings reject zero-sum analyses or a simple ‘balancing act between security and freedom of movement’ (Frontex, 2010: 75). In these discursive constructions, freedom and security were not opposing concepts but were, rather, mutually reinforcing and linked to notions of justice. As Roesler put it: ‘If you don’t have a legal frame and your life is not secure, then your life is not free’ [PL-I-FTEX-8].

5.1.2

Justice: Ruling and Bounding

Justice, like freedom (of movement) in security, is intimately related to selfunderstandings of EU-European order and its performative enactment through governance, which also distinguishes it from Eastern-European order and governance. Particular discourses of justice complemented and were enmeshed with discourses of freedom and security by emphasising individual rights and governmental responsibilities, fairness and integrity as well as legality and regularity. In turn this combination foregrounded the ‘rule of law’ and the role of law enforcement agencies. Mari Juritsch, the head of Risk Analysis for Frontex, along with her colleagues Jeff Schlentz and Ewa Moncure (as well as other EU-official participants), linked various aspects of justice to the desirability of EU order—and EU bordering: [I]t’s the prospect of life, the quality of life, it compares favourably to CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries where criminals get rewarded and others don’t” [PL-IFTEX-5]. [A]s an EU citizen you have rights and you can exercise these rights [PL-I-FTEX-3]. For example, if your daughter was raped, you would not want the person who committed that crime to just get on any plane or drive through any border and disappear. We as Europeans want to have a system that protects us [PL-I-FTEX-4].

Ukrainian focus group participants in Odessa and Lviv were also keen to emphasise this difference in approaches to justice between their own society those of the

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EU and EUMS (which several of them refer to as ‘Europe’), particularly in dealings with authority: [In] any [Ukrainian] government service, no matter what—hospital, tax department—you meet people who feel like they are the boss, not a service for you, that’s a great difference between Ukraine and the EU [UA-FG-1]. Even at university we feel the difference between those who are in power and normal people [. . .] I believe in Europe it’s not that common [UA-FG-2]. [Europeans] know they have rights and that no one will violate them [UA-FG-2]. The police in Poland and in Germany are really polite [. . .] In Ukraine, the police [. . .] can do anything they want because they are police and they have the power. It’s very hard to prove they were wrong—they protect each other [UA-FG-2].

Another Ukrainian research participant—who had been detained for irregular stay in Czechia—specifically stated that he came to ‘Europe’ because of ‘the mentality [. . .] there is more humanism—I mean human rights and the rule of law’ [CZ-I-MF1]. These distinctions between the EU and Ukraine echo the idea, mentioned in Chap. 2, that bordering is related to the bounding of ‘communities of justice’. Activists (as well as being, respectively, an artist and an academic) Nikita Kadan4 and Vasyl Cherepanyn linked issues of justice to subjectivity and governance, particularly regarding perceived injustice in labour markets and working conditions. They argued that the lives of ‘people in transition’ are shaped by ‘the invisible hand of the market as well as [the] very visible hand of uniformed power’ [UA-I-NGO-1]: For small money they will work at night, they don’t have insurance, don’t have to go through the bureaucracy, they will never struggle for their rights, they have no trade union. It’s a description of why it is good to employ Ukrainian illegal workers . . . [an] illegal person is a perfect worker, totally unprotected [UA-I-NGO-1]. [the EU] would rather have illegal migrants [because] they have no protection, no voices [. . .] with proper legal background you have to pay more and provide this. [Ukrainians] are not treated like real Europeans [UA-I-NGO-2].

This interpretation was strongly challenged by government officials from the Czech Ministries of Interior (CZ-MoI) and Labour and Social Affairs (CZ-MoL), who spoke of the need to protect workers’ rights and ensure regularity and legality of working for two main reasons: firstly to guard against exploitation of the workers themselves and, secondly, to prevent Czech workers from unfair competition in the Czech labour market, which they saw as another form of injustice [CZ-I-MoL-1; CZ-I-MoI-1]. The CZ-MoL, which is influential in Czech migration policy, was primarily tasked with minimizing unemployment among Czech citizens. While EUMS are prevented by law from discriminating against EU citizens and are legally bound to protect the fundamental rights of TCNs, the latter group remains 4 Kadan is an artist and specifically discussed his works ‘Corrections’ and ‘Superproposition’ in this regard. The latter is a spoof advert promoting the benefits of hiring irregular workers.

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precariously dependent on changeable mobility and residence regimes and is often (at least) second in line for support [CZ-I-MoL-1; CZ-I-MoI-1; CZ-I-MoI-2]. Regarding justice and the presence of TCNs in the AFSJ, CZ-MoI officials were clear: If it’s legal, it’s no threat [CZ-I-MoI-1]. If it is illegal, it is a threat to the system—not a security threat—but a threat because it is illegal. It is a threat to integrity and obeying of the law. All activities that are not in accordance with the law are, to a certain extent, a threat because they are illegal [CZ-IMoI-2].

EU and EUMS discourses consistently conceptualise justice as legality and link it to upholding the rule of law through rigorous law enforcement to ensure the ‘integrity’ of the EU-European order (including in EU citizens’ and TCNs’ interactions with it), thus supporting the points made by the Ukrainian focus group participants quoted above. Many research participants emphasised that the commitment to legality through law enforcement as well as the accountability that generally governs contacts between citizens and authorities both underpin EU-European order and make it desirable. They also used this to differentiate EU-Europe from Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, which had the effect of casting Ukrainians as both different and potentially threatening to EU-Europe, making it more difficult for them to enter, work and stay in the AFSJ. Filtration and firewall borderings helped enforce regularity of entry and stay, while the overly restrictive 2007–2017 visa regime provided only limited possibilities for regular mobility (see Chap. 4) [PL-IFTEX-4; PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8; UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ-IMoI-1; CZ-I-MFA-1; UA-I-CZC-2]. However, Klaus Roesler of Frontex was clear when defending the EU’s particular (discursive) combination of freedom, security and justice [PL-I-FTEX-8]: Freedom? Freedom certainly. Freedom of movement and trade for those that follow the rules, freedom for those that can be sure that the authorities of border control and police do their work properly: that is why millions of others can live in freedom and security.

It is unsurprising that leading figures charged with enforcing the border regime should advocate such logic. But the same arguments were also made by people who had been excluded by it or fallen foul of this very enforcement. Many Ukrainian research participants argued that the EU was a ‘better place’ to live than Ukraine [UA-I-FG-2], in large part because of the notions of freedom, security and justice that its order embodies and provides, although also for economic reasons [CZ-I-MF1; CZ-I-MF-2; UA-I-NGO-2; UA-I-FG-1; UA-I-FG-2]. There were, therefore, considerable although not insurmountable, barriers for Ukrainians who wished to live ‘EU-European’ lives, underpinned by the EU’s particular configuration of Freedom, Security and Justice, but who found themselves on the wrong (‘Eastern’) side of the AFSJ’s border. Yet, as shown in the next section, rather than being fixed in perpetuity, this border had changed in the recent past. When the EU-8 states, including Czechia and Poland, joined Schengen in 2007 it allowed Czechs and Poles to enact a key performative element of EU-European

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subjectivity—and required their governments to partake in the maintenance of this aspect of EU-European order. Nonetheless, these changes did not come easy.

5.2

From Hierarchy to Belonging

There were buoyant and emotional scenes in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, where old border crossings came down, eliminating the divides that symbolized the last remnants of the cold war. Down the boulevards and across the squares where people power overcame the tyrannies of the Soviet era, Eastern Europeans extolled their new sense of arrival. The New York Times, 02/05/2004 (Tyler, 2004)

Between 1994 and 1996, ten of the CEE countries in which communist regimes had collapsed in 1989 or 1991 applied for membership of the European Union. Czechia and Poland, along with six other post-communist countries joined the EU on 01 May 2004.5 In media commentaries 6 and the statements of leading European politicians of the time accession were seen to mark the ‘end of [post-communist] transition’ (Prodi, quoted in BBC News, 2003), thus ‘completing a unification process that began after the collapse of the Soviet bloc’ (Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). While commentaries of the time captured the mood, important facts often got lost in the euphoria. Although the ceremonies at places such as Zittau—the tri-border point between Czechia, Poland and Germany—were indeed symbolic, the frontier controls were not actually removed until Czech and Polish accession to Schengen in 2007 and, even then, much of the infrastructure remained in place (see Chap. 4). But these were not the only barriers that the ‘new’ EU members still faced. As the first sub-section below shows, post-communist transition had sustained or created hierarchical relations between the EU (and the EU-15 ‘older’ member states) on one side and the countries that became the EU-8 on the other. However, in the second sub-section I discuss how the citizens and governments of Czechia and Poland managed, to a significant extent, to overcome these hierarchical legacies and enact EU-European belonging in the period to 2014.

5 This group is known as the ‘EU-8’ as even though Malta and Cyprus also joined the EU on that day they are not counted in this group as they are not post-communist states. 6 See, for example, British newspaper The Guardian’s 2004 EU enlargement special series—the links here are to the Czech (Traynor et al., 2004b) and Polish (Traynor et al., 2004a) sections and include translations of the phrase ‘Welcome to the family of European nations’.

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Hierarchy: EU Members but Non-core Europeans?

Wade Jacoby (2001) described the relations between the West and the postcommunist states as akin to that of ‘tutors and pupils’, a view that was echoed by several research participants: The dissidents were appreciated as the heroes [but] as soon as they won, they became the pupils—during the seventies and eighties we admired you, but now we will teach you how to do economics and politics [CZ-I-NGO-1]. When I was with the Border Police, we had training [given by ‘Western experts’] and they started by saying: ‘This is a passport’—we each had twenty years of experience working with passports! [CZ-I-IoM-1]. Before we joined the EU I was speaking to a Greek colleague and he told me ‘you do not understand certain things: you are not in the Union so you do not know about it’ (PL-IBG-1].

Hopes that concluding membership negotiations in October 2002 would quickly equalise these hierarchical relations were dealt a severe blow in the divisive run up to the 2003 Iraq conflict (Menon, 2004). Each EU-8 state publicly expressed support 7 for the American proposal to militarily engineer ‘regime change’ in Iraq, prompting US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld to distinguish between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Europe, despite the fact that five EU-15 states also did so. French President Jacques Chirac dismissed the EU-8 countries as ‘infantile’ and claimed that: ‘[i]t is not responsible behaviour. It is not well brought-up behaviour. [The EU-8] missed a good opportunity to shut up’ (CNN, 2003). This division and the attitude toward the EU-8 showed the persistence of de facto hierarchies, despite de jure equality (Case, 2009: 112; Kuus, 2004). Western European public intellectuals, even some of a ‘leftist’ or ‘critical’ persuasion, soon got in on the act. A now infamous open letter, drafted by Juergen Habermas and signed by Jacques Derrida (and others) in May 2003, drew a distinction between a ‘Core Europe’—that should lead the way in developing a European public sphere and European foreign policy—and the rest, including the EU-8, that should obediently follow (Case, 2009: 112). The Hungarian philosopher Peter Esterhazy (2005: 75) described this experience: Once I was an Eastern European; then I was promoted to the rank of Central European . . . Then a few months ago, I became a New European. But before I had the chance to get used to this status—even before I could have refused it—I have now become a non-core European. [W]hile I see no serious reason for not translating this new division (core/non-core) with the terms “first class” and “second-class”, I’d rather not speak in that habitual Eastern European, forever insulted way.

7

Five states that were already EU members—Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK—and three members in waiting—Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary—signed the ‘Letter of the Eight’ on 30/01/2003. This was followed on 16/02/2003 by the ‘Vilnius Letter’, which was signed by five members in waiting—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia—as well as two countries that would join the EU in 2007—Bulgaria and Romania.

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The patronising attitude of ‘old Europeans’ trying to pull rank seemed to imply that Central and East Europeans were there to be seen (as evidence of the EU’s attractive power and successful management of transition) but not heard as equal political actors. In some places, EU-8 citizens were not even supposed to be seen—at least not as workers: twelve of the EU-15 imposed restrictions on labour market access for the accession countries, which triggered a flood of migrants, most notably Poles, to those EU-15 states that did not impose restrictions—the UK,8 Ireland and Sweden (e.g. Guild, 2009). However, even where they were not actually seen, migrants from the newly internalised East, embodied by the legendary ‘Polish Plumber’, were discursively securitised as a threat to ‘local’ jobs and indeed to the ‘Europe’ that had been so carefully built by Western Europeans over the previous half century. Pascal Lamy, former EU commissioner and head of the WTO commented that ‘plumber phobia’ may have been ‘cunningly manipulated’ but resembled ‘xenophobia, pure and simple’ (quoted in e.g. Tampa Bay Times, 2005). Despite this lingering prejudice, the accession of Czechia and Poland to the Schengen zone on 21 December 2007 opened up participation—for both governments and citizens—in a key EU policy area that, along with the Eastern Partnership (EaP), has contributed most to the two countries overcoming the hierarchical relations described above. The ways in which Czechs and Poles have made the ‘transition’ from merely being members of the EU to belonging in it as political subjects at individual, professional and governmental levels provide a socio-political corollary to the territorial re-bordering effected by the 2004 enlargement. These processes, which are described below, were also linked to the ongoing bordering policies and practices of the EU in CEE—as well as to later controversies in relation to the migration crisis.

5.2.2

Belonging: Enacting Political Subjectivity in the EU

For Czech government officials and for former Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cyril Svoboda, 9 as well as for Przemyslaw Bobak the Political Director of the Polish MFA, there was little doubt that participation in one policy area above any other changed how Czechs and Poles are viewed and how they view themselves in relation to Europe and the EU: Schengen is very important for us politically to demonstrate that we Czechs are part of Europe. This is very important—to really be in one space and have the free movement of goods, services, finance and people. It’s the full stop after the sentence [CZ-I-MFA-1]. The presence of large numbers of ‘Eastern Europeans’ was a consistent and controversial feature of UK migration discourse for the next decade (BBC News, 2008; Burrell, 2010; Maryniak, 2006; Mason, 2013; Meardi, 2007; Sherwood, 2014). 9 Svoboda was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic at the time of the conclusion of negotiations on EU membership (2002), the referendum that leant it popular approval (2003) and the actual accession (2004). 8

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We have free movement; and it’s great! We don’t need visas. We don’t have to queue. But it’s also about how other people recognise us—maybe in the 1990s we were seen as different, as being somehow strange, but not now [CZ-I-MoI-3]. The tolerance of the majority of Polish youth towards the foreigners [. . .] this is thanks to the open border policy. These young Poles, they probably travelled much more than some people in the West and they are simply European with a capital ‘E’ [. . .] It’s not like it used to be: we still remember Westerners being afraid of Poles, you know [PL-I-MFA-1].

Several of the senior Polish Border Guard (PL-BG) representatives interviewed (including those working on the ground at the Medyka-Shehyni BCP) as well as Lucie Sladkova of CZ-IoM agreed, but they also emphasised the transition from ‘pupils’ to ‘tutors’ that enhanced their sense of EU-European belonging through, inter alia, participation in Frontex [also PL-I-BG-3; PL-PO-3]10 (see also Kurowska, 2014 for a nuanced discussion of the politics of border guards’ teaching and learning in and through CEE): We gain experience and this cannot be overestimated how good it is for our officers to go somewhere for a mission. Not only because they gain new experience and learn new things but because it helps to build their image in their own eyes. Sometimes we underestimate ourselves, a kind of inferiority complex [. . .] that everything that is foreign is better [. . .] which is absolutely not true. Of course we learn new things, but we can also teach a lot [PL-BG-I-1]. We used the twinning projects provided by the Germans, the Dutch and now we can also say that we are experts, so we can go to [teach in] those countries—Ukraine and the Balkan countries [PL-I-BG-2]. We did so much training, under foreign co-operation—all the officials here went through all the training during the accession period. We remember what it is like and now Czech experts are going to Moldova [to teach] [CZ-I-IoM-1].

Robert Solich of the Czech MoI took this line of argument a step further, indicating that the transition from participation in, to taking responsibility for, enforcement of principles; from simply adopting to potentially adapting EU policy in practice, had provided a way to act politically, by holding EU authorities accountable to the letter of their own law11: The main task before joining Schengen was the preparation for the evaluations and I was part of the team who took care of the evaluation committee. Now we take part in the evaluations—I evaluated air borders in Romania, as well as in Italy, Iceland, Austria and Denmark. The standards are actually higher in the applicants than in the older members [. . .] but the criteria are harder—we were in the same situation and we didn’t like it [. . .] We want it to remain coherent, to be fair to everyone in terms of access but also in enforcing compliance. If I go to the old member states I want it to be the same strictness as we had

10

(See also Kurowska, 2014 for a nuanced discussion of Border Guards’ teaching and learning, and roles as tutors and pupils, in and through the EU and CEE.) 11 This approach echoes the classic Charter 77/Helsinki committee model of holding socialist regimes accountable for the agreements they signed up to on topics such as human rights.

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and [they have] when we go to Bulgaria or Romania, I try to keep the rest of the group from being too strict [CZ-I-MoI-1].

Taking responsibility for these aspects of ‘Justice’ underscores Solich’s previously quoted assertion that ‘the Czech Republic is the [EU’s] biggest defender of free movement’ and was further evidenced by the MoI’s assertive support for legal cases, brought against ‘older’ EUMS which have failed to ensure free movement [CZ-I-MoI-1]. Solich asserted that being part of Schengen meant acting in solidarity with fellow members, but also demanding solidarity from them (a point I return to in Chap. 8). For the PL-BG, the slogan ‘Safe Poland, Safe Europe’ clearly expressed this responsibility, which was taken seriously and proudly by the Polish authorities [PL-I-BG-4; PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3]. Like their Czech counterparts, the PL-MoI Schengen section emphasised their active participation and influence in Schengen governance, succinctly stating that: ‘We are a full member of the Schengen zone; we are policy makers, not just policy takers’ [PL-I-MoI-1].12 Poland also became a key player in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) of the ENP, which has impacted on EU bordering as well as on Polish belonging in the EU. The Polish consul in Kyiv, Rafał Wolski, affirmed that Poland was ‘proud’ to be ‘the leader’ of EaP and that ‘Brussels and old member state capitals learned very soon that the united Europe is enlarged not only on paper but in fact too’ [UA-I-PLC-1]. Przemyslaw Bobak of the PL-MFA agreed: ‘Poland is very engaged in strengthening the ENP [. . .] a well-balanced neighbourhood policy is key for the EU’. He added that Poland brought an additional dimension to EU engagement in its Eastern neighbourhood: ‘We can understand [the Eastern neighbours] because we [too] were part of the communist system—France wasn’t. Some things we can feel better’ PL-I-MFA-1]. This different ‘feeling’ highlights the effect that the specific histories, memories and experiences of the EU-8 began to have on the EU’s collective attitude towards its Eastern neighbourhood (and which would eventually be significant for visaliberalisation for Ukrainians). But EU-European belonging also had domestic impact as Czechs and Poles became increasingly comfortable reflecting on, rather than disavowing their histories and collective memories. Radoslaw (Radek) Sikorski, then Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that: I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say this, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear its inactivity (2011).13

12

Czechia’s position as a strong defender of free movement and Poland’s assertion of being a policy maker both came into question during and in the lead up to the EU’s migration crisis, as is further discussed in the Conclusion and the Epilogue—as are many of the points in this section. 13 This remark attracted allegations of treason and provoked serious internal political tension, which at the time seemed to be decisively resolved in Sikorski’s favour (Lucas, 2011). This new Polish ‘clout’ seemed to be apparent in Sikorski’s role in EU responses to the neighbourhood crisis yet, as discussed in the Conclusion and the Epilogue, similar tensions later arose in relation to the migration crisis, with a different outcome.

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Media commentators saw this as a turn away from (Poland’s and Sikorski’s) previous ‘hawkish ‘British’ Atlanticism’ and ‘a sign of Poland’s new clout on the world stage’ (Lucas, 2012b). This second transition—from the ‘new Europe’ position, attacked by Chirac, Habermas, et al. to being at the heart of EU internal and neighbourhood policy—was significant for Polish belonging and political subjectivity in EU-Europe, although as discussed in Chaps. 7 and 8, the picture became more complex and troubling after 2015. For Czechs, more secure EU-European belonging allowed for deeper reflection on and re-consideration certain aspects of the communist period, rejecting the blanket condemnation that had been the dominant post-communist politics of collective memory—although again the plot later thickened once more [CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-O-1; CZ-PO-1] (Case, 2009; Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008; Tallis, 2019). Discursive leadership as well as practical participation allowed Czechs and Poles to assert their EU-European belonging and to reflect more securely on their own histories, which has led to socio-political contestation of some aspects of postcommunist transitions. From 2015 onwards, the two countries pursued discursive courses that put them in conflict with the EU and several EU-15 states in relation to the migration crisis. The related return of ‘Eastern Europe’ discourses (from other EU states) questioned their EU-European belonging and has implications for EU-European order (discussed in Chaps. 7 and 8). Nonetheless, the way that Czechia and Poland were able to transform hierarchy into belonging between 2004 and 2014 shows the importance of discourses in confirming and contesting bordering. The next section explores the EU’s discursive bordering with Ukraine in the wake of the 2004, EU-8 enlargement which, initially at least, took inspiration from the re-borderings discussed above.

5.3

Shared Values and Shared Interests in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood

The Eastern Partnership is based on a community of values and principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. All countries participating in the Eastern Partnership are committed to these values. Joint Declaration of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership Summit (2011) The European Neighbourhood Policy is founded on the premise that by helping our neighbours we help ourselves. Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner (2005b)

Despite the lingering hierarchy described above, EU actors were justifiably proud of the speed with which they had formally included the EU-8, without apparently compromising the Union’s standards. According to then Commission President Romano Prodi, the 2004 enlargement would be ‘the greatest contribution to sustainable stability and security on the European continent that the EU ever made’, and

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also ‘one of the most successful and impressive political transformations of the twentieth century’, and ‘all this’ happened in ‘less than a decade’ (2002). Yet even at this moment of triumph, Prodi was acutely aware of the challenges that this re-bordering presented: ‘we could not convince our citizens of the need to extend the EU’s borders still further east. [Therefore] we need to find solutions that will allow us to share the advantages of enlargement with our neighbours’ (2002). To avoid drawing ‘new dividing lines’ (European Union, 2003: 8) the EU launched the ENP of which Ukraine was a founding ‘neighbour’ and, later, the EaP in which Ukraine became a ‘partner’. This section shows how EU actors used discourses of shared values and shared interests in order to justify enhanced engagement with the Union’s new neighbours and how this developed into a form of neighbourhood governance and ordering.

5.3.1

Shared Values Among a ‘Ring of Friends’

Both ENP and EaP combined the EU’s commitments to the values it sees as essential to its own identity—specifically democracy, freedom and the rule of law—with the pursuit of interests, broadly categorised as ‘peace’ and ‘prosperity’. These values and interests were used to discursively garner support for enhanced engagement, association and integration with the (Eastern) neighbours among hesitant European publics and potentially sceptical EUMS [UA-I-EUD-1; UA-I-EUD-2]. Significantly, the EU as well as its partners and neighbours repeatedly declared that they shared these values and interests (e.g. Council of the European Union, 2011—and see below). This amounted to a discourse of similarity that functioned as a ‘mantra’ to reassure the EU and its member states that they were doing well by doing good—that they were doing the ‘right thing’ and in a way that lived up to their self-image (see also Kurowska & Tallis, 2009). The ‘Wider Europe’ strategy document that fleshed out Prodi’s notion of the ‘ring of friends’ signalled early on that the ENP was founded, inter alia, on respect for ‘democracy, human rights and the rule of law’ (European Commission, 2003: 4). These terms re-appear in various combinations—as well as separately—in many subsequent ENP and EaP communications (e.g. European Commission, 2005, 2006, 2008a, 2010b; European Council, 2009) and resonate with the reasons that Yehor Bozhok of the UA-MFA gave for seeking closer association with the EU (quoted last): [t]he values on which the European Union is built—namely freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law—are also at the heart of the process of political association and economic integration which the Eastern Partnership offers. These are the same values enshrined in article 2 of the European Union Treaty and on which articles 8 and 49 are based (European Commission, 2011b: 14). [w]hat we are aiming for together is a democratic, prosperous and stable region where more than 800 million people can live [. . .] confident that their freedom, their dignity and their rights will be respected (European Commission, 2011b: 21)

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To ensure democratic developments inside the country; to ensure fundamental rights of people. To ensure progressive economic development according to the most modern standards. To fix [the] proper position of Ukraine in the international arena and to promote [a] positive image of Ukraine all over the world [UA-I-MFA-1].

In ENP and EaP documents, freedom is referred to in the context of liberty, dignity, democracy, the rule of law and respect for rights, but also in terms of mobility and free movement—as it is primarily understood in the AFSJ (see above). The ‘Wider Europe’ paper (European Commission, 2003: 10) advocated ‘liberalization to promote the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital (four freedoms)’ to ensure that ‘the new external border is not a barrier to trade, social and cultural interchange or regional co-operation’ (ibid.: 11). The ‘Strengthening ENP’ paper also emphasised the importance of mobility as part of the wider neighbourhood strategy, again relating this to the EU’s own, ‘internal’ experience (European Commission, 2006: 5): Even from the earliest days of the European Community, the ability of the citizens of our Member States to travel within the Community [. . .] has been vital in promoting internal trade and investment, in building mutual awareness and encouraging economic, social and cultural contacts. Mobility of persons is of the utmost importance also for all ENP partners.

Echoing the desires of Ukrainian officials: ‘freedom to move, of course, that is a basic freedom’ [UA-I-MFA-1]; and activists: ‘the very fundamental, basic European right is mobility’ [UA-I-NGO-2]; Jan Vycital of the CZ-MFA’s ‘Consular Conception Unit’ drew on the Czech experience and, echoing the points raised in Chap. 4 regarding ‘second-class’ European-ness, argued that: What we can offer is free movement [. . .] you don’t necessarily need to have so much money, but the feeling that you can travel is enough, it is what our citizens wanted straight after the velvet revolution [in order] not to feel like a second category [CZ-I-MFA-2].

The neighbours’ and partners’ desires for—and the benefits of—freer movement were repeatedly recognised in ENP and EaP documents. Until 2017, however, they were only acted on to a limited extent for Ukrainians, thus reproducing some of the very dividing lines that ENP was intended to mitigate (European Commission, 2006: 5, 2010b: 4). The higher awareness of such exclusions and their psycho-social impacts in the EU-8 states, compared to the EU-15, came across very strongly in interviews with the Czech and Polish officials. This prominence reinforced the argument that the 2004 enlargement brought additional perspectives to the EU and its dealings with its Eastern neighbours [CZ-I-MFA-1; PL-I-MFA-1; UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-PLC-2]. While EU officials were comfortable to talk about extending and intensifying friendly relations and co-operation with Ukraine in general terms [UA-I-EUD-1; UA-I-EUB-2], Marcin Zachowski of the PL-MFA was clearer about the need to reach out and open up to Ukraine in order to achieve ENP/EaP goals: We try to push the EU institutions to develop the policy in this way [because] the border that we have now between the EU and ‘Eastern Europe’ is still a kind of obstacle. Somehow it stops or deteriorates these relations [PL-I-MFA-2].

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It would be easy to dismiss the ‘ring of friends’ as naïve or, conversely, to assume it to have been the application of a cynical gloss onto self-serving motives. Yet both in official documentation and in the interviews with research participants, there was plenty to suggest not only the desire to create friendly relations with the Eastern neighbourhood and recognition of the importance of doing so, but also a genuine sense of the shared values in which to ground such friendship. These perceptions of similarity in values provided justifications for the spread of EU-European governance, even in a limited form, to the neighbourhood, but so too did a perceived confluence of interests.

5.3.2

Shared Interests: Friends with Benefits?

In addition to ‘friendship’ based on shared values, the other pillar of legitimacy for the ENP and EaP was the prospect of mutual benefit through the existence and pursuit of shared interests. Again echoing the EU’s own historical development, these interests were seen to fall under two main categories, as Philippe Bories of EU-DU explained: ‘the name of Europe is peace and prosperity so this should apply to Ukraine as well’ [UA-I-EUD-1]. Based on interviews with research participants and EU documentation, I include notions of ‘security’, and ‘stability’ under ‘peace’ and sustainable economic ‘development’ in prosperity, as does (e.g.) the ‘Wider Europe’ strategy document: Over the coming decade and beyond, the Union’s capacity to provide security, stability and sustainable development to its citizens will no longer be distinguishable from its interest in close cooperation with the neighbours (European Commission, 2003: 1).

Subsequent ENP and EaP documents also emphasise the mutual interest in creating ‘or sharing stability, security and prosperity (varying the order of words)’ (European Commission, 2004a: 2, 2007a: 2, 2008a: 2, 2009: 2, 2010b: 2). The first European Security Strategy (ESS), which was developed concurrently with ENP, also highlighted the need for the EU to ‘promote a ring of well governed countries to the East of the European Union and on the borders of the Mediterranean with whom we can enjoy close and cooperative relations’ (European Union, 2003). The 2008 follow-up to the ESS, the ‘Implementation Report: Providing Security in a Changed World’, advocated ‘greater engagement with our neighbourhood’ and saw the EaP as ‘a real step change in relations with our Eastern neighbours [. . .] to strengthen the prosperity and stability of these countries, and thus the security of the EU’ (European Union, 2008: 10). The Implementation Report also cited Ukraine as an example of ‘significant upgrading of political, economic and trade relations’, noting that in comparison to other EaP countries, with Ukraine ‘we have gone further with a far-reaching association agreement which is close to being finalized’14 (ibid.: 6). 14 This is the association agreement that, after much delay, was ready to be signed at the 2013 Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit and which Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to

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The EU’s ostensible security interest in fostering closer co-operation with the neighbourhood was in countering threats to its own peace and prosperity but also to its ability to govern and to maintain its order in accordance with its values, including through the AFSJ. However, the EU also had another interest: becoming a security actor with a view to living up to its (self-proclaimed) responsibility ‘for global security and building a better world’ (European Union, 2003: 1) and thus, somewhat hubristically, taking a step towards becoming a ‘global player’ (European Commission, 2010b; Prodi, 2002). The 2004 enlargement seemed to affirm the efficacy of the EU’s ways and means and simultaneously provided both the opportunity and the perceived need to replicate this success in a (more) ‘troubled area’ that could further demonstrate the value of EU approaches. The neighbourhood thus came to be seen as a space of opportunity to ‘spread the benefits of political and economic co-operation’ (Prodi, 2002) and act as a catalyst for the mutually reinforcing pursuits of peace (security and stability) and prosperity (economic development) for both itself and its partners. It also came to be seen as a place for the EU to boost its own international standing and (global) influence. In the same vein, the inaugural Eastern Partnership declaration stated that the EaP ‘will advance the cause of democracy, strengthen stability and prosperity, bringing lasting and palpable benefits to citizens of all participating states’ (European Council, 2009). The UA-MFA also emphasised the potential for mutual economic benefit from closer integration and co-operation—‘because we have a huge market, but also we have labour’ [UA-I-MFA-1]. Several PL-MFA officials also saw this as a ‘huge opportunity’ [PL-I-MFA-1] for both the EU and Ukraine in economic, socio-cultural and strategic terms [PL-I-MFA-2; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-PLC-2]. However, EU actors primarily considered such mutual benefit through ‘market opening’ (European Commission, 2003: 10) and the establishment of ‘Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs)’, which was reflected in the Association Agenda signed in 2010 (European Commission, 2010a: 3). This emphasis on open markets and free trade as drivers of the prosperity that was seen to underwrite peace reflects the EU’s own history (by this point taken on by EU-8 countries as their own) and points to the sharing of ‘means’ as well as ‘ends’ with the Eastern partners. Both EU staff and official documents linked free trade and open markets with free movement of people [UA-I-EUB-2; PL-I-FTEX-1]—a Ukrainian priority—but also raised concerns over such freedom: The Eastern Partners want freer trade and easier travel (Ferrero-Waldner, 2009). Labour mobility is an area where the EU and its neighbours can complement each other. The EU’s workforce is ageing and labour shortages will develop in specific areas. Our neighbourhood has well-educated, young and talented workers who can fill these gaps (European Commission, 2011b: 11).

sign at the last minute, provoking mass demonstrations on the streets of Kyiv and, eventually, the overthrow of the Yanukovych government.

5.4

Justifying Division Through Divergent Values and Interests

145

On the EU side there are legitimate concerns that the extension of freedom of movement in particular should not lead to lessened security within the EU itself [. . .] we need to take a fresh look at how we can promote mobility in spite of the political difficulties surrounding this issue (European Commission, 2011a: 37–38).

Significantly, this brings one of the supposedly mutual interests—security—into potential conflict with free movement, which was also seen as an important way to achieve both peace and prosperity by increasing people-to-people contact as well as by supporting free trade and the free movement of labour. That the EU found itself threatened by the very processes through which it was opening-up to and integrating with its neighbours also called into question the EU’s competence as a security actor in the neighbourhood—both in the international community and among its own citizens, as discussed below. Moreover, the spread of EU governance and, with it, the putative extension of the EU-European order into the neighbourhood created a situation in which the EU had taken on responsibility without having the necessary capability to act and which also troubled other ordering powers in the region, notably Russia. The EU’s willingness to act in sufficiently open and progressive ways to trigger the positive cycles of development, reform, integration and security needed to make ENP successful was also hindered by counter-discourses of divergent values and interests, which are outlined below. Even while discourses of shared values opened up this politics of friendship, discourses of shared interest relied on a contradictory politics of gain and ambition that prioritised EU peace and prosperity (narrowly defined) and the EU’s ambitions to become a security actor.15

5.4

Justifying Division Through Divergent Values and Interests

Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle. Robert Cooper, senior EU advisor (2000: 38) Trust, but verify. Russian Proverb

Despite the many aforementioned statements claiming that the EU and Ukraine have shared values, when asked about this in the context of the 2011 EaP summit joint declaration which proclaimed a shared ‘community of values’, EU-DU Political Advisor Hannes Schreiber was clear that ‘this is a political declaration, not an actual one’ [UA-I-EUD-2]. Schreiber’s comment points to the discourses of divergent values and of divergent interests that ran concurrently with those claiming that the EU and Ukraine shared both. This section discusses these counter-discourses of divergence and difference, which were used by EU actors to justify on-going 15

Related to what Richard Youngs would later term ‘protective security’ (2021).

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division from, rather than opening to and integration with, Ukraine and which challenged the more positive discourses of shared values and interests outlined above. As Schreiber and others were at pains to point out, the values that the EU politically declares that it already shares with its neighbours are in many EU minds ‘actually’ related to reaching and upholding certain ‘standards’ in areas such as good governance, policing, border management and the judicial system. Crucially, these standards were deemed to be ‘European standards’, which as in the processes of post-communist transition for Czechia and Poland, made the EU (and EUMS) the ‘model’ to be emulated as well as the arbiter of success in doing so. This hierarchical positioning showed the endurance of the distinction between the ‘Europe that knew’ and a ‘Europe that waited to be known’ even if they now had a new border between them (Wolff, 1994: 91). I argue below that, for Ukraine, meeting these standards would have demonstrated a performative EU-Europeanness in governance, but being judged to have failed to do so had the opposite effect and instead demonstrated a performative Eastern-ness that reinforced notions of difference from the EU. This difference was used to justify overly restrictive forms of bordering between the EU and Ukraine that contributed to counterproductive neighbourhood governance and the emergence of a precarious hybrid order in the neighbourhood.

5.4.1

Different Standards, Different Values

ENP was inspired—and necessitated—by the 2004 enlargement. It is therefore unsurprising that it reproduced and extended the hierarchical relations of the ‘telos of transition’ (Chap. 2), resulting in an ‘imbalanced partnership’ between the EU and Ukraine. However, the lack of a membership perspective for Ukraine raised serious questions about whether the successes of enlargement could be replicated without actually enlarging [UA-I-MFA-1; PL-I-MFA-2; UA-I-EUD-2]. Nonetheless, mimicking the tropes of transition and accession, ENP and EaP relied heavily on measurements of progress towards pre-set standards which facilitated comparisons between neighbouring countries. Echoing the division of transition countries into ‘success stories’ and ‘laggards’ (Chap. 2), the European Commission (2009: 10) explicitly labelled some partners as ‘front-runners’ and thus more deserving of the integrative ‘rewards’ that the EU offered under the ‘more-for-more’ approach outlined in a key ENP document: Increased EU support to its neighbours is conditional. It will depend on progress in building and consolidating democracy and respect for the rule of law. The more and the faster a country progresses in its internal reforms, the more support it will get from the EU [. . .] including increased funding for social and economic development, larger programmes for comprehensive institution-building (CIB), greater market access, [. . .] and greater facilitation of mobility (European Commission, 2011b: 3).

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Despite this explicit mention of ‘facilitation of mobility’, Philippe Bories of EU-DU claimed (in 2012) that, with regard to mobility, which is highly significant for perceptions (and self-perceptions) of EU-European belonging, Ukrainians had unrealistic expectations: There was a continuous misunderstanding from the Ukrainian side. When they started negotiations four or five years ago they thought that in a month, everything would be done and they would have free access. And they gave free access to EU citizens more than five years ago and of course every other month they say: ‘How come we don’t get the reciprocity?’ It was never considered [UA-I-EUD-1].

While reciprocity may never have been considered, the tantalising prospect of visa-free travel (eventually granted in 2017) was held out to Ukraine if the country could fulfil its ‘Visa Liberalisation Action Plan’, (VLAP)—a key part of EU-Ukraine relations since 2010 (European Union, 2010a). Hannes Schreiber claimed that this would allow the EU to say, ‘Now you have done everything. Now you are up to our standards. Please be welcomed: you don’t need visas anymore’ [UA-I-EUD-2]. The VLAP, along with other aspects of EU-Ukraine relations covered by the ‘Association Agenda’ adopted in 2010 (European Commission, 2010a) was subject to rigorous monitoring. Regular VLAP Implementation Reports regularly assessed Ukraine’s ‘progress’ in: ‘Document Security, including biometrics; Irregular immigration, including readmission [and border management]; Public Order and Security [including Judicial matters and the fight against corruption] and; External Relations and Fundamental Rights’ (European Commission, 2011d: 1). These detailed supposedly ‘technical’ assessments allowed the EU to disavow political responsibility for a visa regime which meant that, in practice, Ukrainians were not ‘welcomed’, while offering considerable room for political interpretation— to deny progress or, indeed to affirm it as when visa liberalisation was eventually granted in 2017. This pseudo-technocratic governance echoes concerns (raised above) about the inconsistency of Schengen evaluations, and meant that the EU could ‘move the goalposts’ for countries such as Ukraine, while maintaining its bureaucratic, depoliticised façade [UA-I-EUD-1; UA-I-EUB-2; CZ-I-MoI-1]. In this scenario, the notion of ‘tutors and pupils’ re-emerged: EU and EUMS officials were happy to talk about the ‘tasks’ assigned to Ukraine as ‘homework’ [PL-I-MFA-1; UA-I-EUB-7; UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2; CZ-I-MFA-2]. Czech and Polish officials’ willingness to talk in these terms reflects their own experience of these processes, but also further confirmed their transition from ‘pupils’ to ‘tutors’ enacting their own EU-European belonging to the detriment of that of Ukrainians [PL-I-MFA-2] (Jacoby, 2001). Yehor Bozhok of the UA-MFA argued that ‘being a pupil’ is not ‘uncomfortable, improper or dangerous’, but noted that some EUMS seemed to have forgotten that ‘the process of studying is a two-way street—and is never-ending’ [UA-I-MFA-1]. Despite actively campaigning against the inadequacies of the justice system in Ukraine, activist and academic Vasyl Cherepanyn was also critical of the EU’s negative ‘assessments’ in this area, particularly regarding accusations of ‘selective justice’ in the trial and imprisonment of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia

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Tymoshenko, which both EU officials [UA-I-EUD-1; UA-I-EUD-2] and EUMS politicians16 had highlighted as being of particular concern: This doesn’t mean that [they] are dealing with the real problems, it’s more like a ritual, more like a mantra, trying to express in front of the world that you are Europe, defending democratic values and so on, but it is not a solution [UA-I-NGO-2].

The repeated ‘technical’ evaluations through which the EU highlighted deficiencies in Ukrainian governance, border management, judicial and policing systems were, ostensibly, intended to provide a spur towards meeting ‘European standards’. These assessments also clearly differentiated the EU as a place where ‘European’ values were upheld from Ukraine, where they were not. This created a distinction between different types of order through the type of governance that is enacted in each place. The performative EU-European-ness that was recognised through the enactment of ‘European’ standards, as a measure of commitment to European values, had its corollary in a performative ‘Eastern-ness’, of unrealised or incomplete post-communist transition when standards were not met. Indeed, many EU staff, particularly at Frontex, were happy to equate the EU/non-EU distinction with a Europe/Eastern Europe17 distinction [PL-I-FTEX-3; PL-I-FTEX-4; PL-I-FTEX-5]. A Polish member of Frontex’s staff argued that Poland, where the agency is based, ‘used to be Eastern Europe’ [PL-I-FTEX-4]. Ukrainian and Polish government officials also discussed how such judgements are made, by whom and with what effects. One lamented that ‘Europe is still seen in two parts’ [PL-I-MFA-2] although others also reproduced this same ‘nested orientalism’ (Bakić-Hayden, 1995) (see, for example, the third quote below): Ukraine is fully European, despite some deficiencies—its only a matter of time when they overcome [this stigma] [UA-I-MFA-1]. I wouldn’t call them Eastern Europeans: we also get called that [and] its offensive for us [. . .] but I understand that for many people from Western Europe there is this distinction [PL-IBG-2] Ukraine, as a post-communist country, is still in this Eastern world with, to some extent, Eastern values, thinking and so on [PL-I-MFA-1].

Significantly, government officials and focus group participants saw that the marks of difference, including those attached through equation of standards with values, underpinned the overly restrictive and counterproductive bordering and mobility regime. This, in turn, prevented the type of people-to-people contact and ‘two-way’ learning that could address ‘Western’ perceptions, which were often based on ignorance rather than knowledge, despite intrusive assessments. Yehor

16

This critique culminated in the boycott of the Ukrainian part of the Euro 2012 football championship by EU and EU member state politicians and officials (e.g. Harding, 2012b; Walker, 2012). 17 When this was discussed further, several interviewees reflected more deeply on this distinction— as well as what it does—but others dismissed such concerns as being ‘too philosophical’ or ‘semantic’ and argued that this was simply a pragmatic differentiation that made their work easier.

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Bozhok of the UA-MFA saw this as a significant ‘obstacle’ to the ‘spreading of EU values’ and one that punished Ukrainian citizens for the failures of the Ukrainian state, whose officials already tended to benefit from visa-free travel [UA-I-MFA-1; CZ-I-MFA-2; UA-I-CZC-2; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-PLC-2; UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2].

5.4.2

Divergent Interests: Justifying Bordering, Delineating Belonging

While discourses of shared values were undermined by hierarchical relations based on counter-discourses of (unmet) standards, discourses of shared interests were challenged by counter-discourses that emphasised the threats and costs of the EU opening-up to Ukraine, rather than its benefits. As Klaus Roesler, Head of Operations at Frontex somewhat ruefully observed: the picture is created that the threat mainly comes from those who do not share common values, those who do not share the common legal basis” [PL-I-FTEX-8].

This statement shows the link between these two sets of counter-discourses: failure to meet common standards and demonstrate shared values contributes to understandings of threats that are seen to stem from the diverging interests and conduct that this difference creates. Guarding against these perceived threats contributed to the overly-restrictive mobility regime and divisive bordering between the AFSJ and the neighbourhood that is described above and below. The potential downsides of key aspects of ENP and EaP—particularly freer inward movement of people—were often framed as threats to EU prosperity. Significantly, however, they were also framed as threats to the integrity of the AFSJ and, thus, to the possibility of enacting EU-European subjectivity and governance, as well as to other referent objects of security. This sub-section looks at some of the key threats that were reproduced or re-iterated by research participants that particularly relate to the divergence of interests between the EU and Ukraine. The next section inquires further into the discursive construction of these threats, while the next chapter looks, inter alia, at threat construction through practices. A key threat discourse that was recited by participants concerned the negative implications for EUMS labour markets of increased inward mobility from Ukraine. The distinction, made by Czech (and other) officials between beneficial, ‘legal’ migration and threatening, ‘illegal’ migration for labour purposes collapsed when both regular and irregular access to labour markets were seen to threaten EU prosperity, as some senior EUBAM staff claimed: European countries are overloaded with the migrants [they] are flooded with people [coming] from the East [. . .] Of course inside EU and Schengen area we have a right to move to other countries, finding the work, the good positions, but migrants coming from outside means reducing the place for our people. That’s the point. The market is not big enough for the others. There is just enough for the community [UA-I-EUB-8] (my emphasis).

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People would like to receive higher income [so] they are going for work abroad. But there is less work on the EU market—during the crisis there are less jobs [so] why should we have people from [outside the EU] stealing our jobs [UA-I-EUB-2] (my emphasis).

The use of the term ‘stealing’ explicitly connects migrant workers with illegality and illegitimacy. Using less pejorative rhetoric, CZ-MoL officials reflected upon why Czech citizens should have priority over TCNs in the Czech labour market, concluding that Czechia is ‘our place’ and that the Czech government’s first responsibility is to the citizens who have elected a government committed to getting as many Czechs into work as possible [CZ-I-MoL-1]. CZ-MoI and CZ-MFA officials emphasised the need for migration to be ‘beneficial’—i.e. that it should not pose a threat to the employability of Czechs or cause problems because of migrants failing to ‘integrate’ [CZ-I-MoI-1; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-MFA-2]. EU commitments prevented formal distinctions being made in the treatment of Czech and EU citizens and showed the extent to which some of these us/them distinctions had been overcome in the past. With regard to TCNs including Ukrainians, however, the EU/non-EU distinction created a clear hierarchy of belonging that was openly and directly acknowledged by Czech officials [CZ-I-MoI-2]. The CZ-MoL staff specifically identified illegal or irregular working as a threat to the Czech labour market as well as to migrants themselves (see also Chap. 6). In discussing the use, as well as the abuse of the benefits system by TCNs, they echoed the claims of senior EUBAM staff that TCNs are a ‘drain on resources’ to which they were not ‘entitled’ [UA-I-EUB-6; CZ-I-MoL-1]. These narratives ignored or downplayed migrants’ contributions to the economy, society and culture of the host country. They also ignored the considerable and compelling body of research which shows that (many) migrants are often less likely than native citizens to use state services or claim social security or other state payments (Dustmann et al., 2010; Dustmann & Frattini, 2013; Goldin et al., 2011; Guild, 2009; Salt & Dobson, 2013). Calculations of opportunities and benefits were also excluded from the riskdominated EU and EUMS assessments of migration and mobility. This was despite claims by several participants, which echoed the research noted above, that migrants were not only no threat to employment in EUMS, but could also bring substantial economic as well as socio-political benefits, through exactly the processes of encounter, approximation and integration that the EU itself describes in the positive discourses of ENP [CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-MoI-1; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ; PL-IMFA-1; PL-I-FTEX-4]. Hindering these processes harmed the EU’s ability to enact governance in its neighbourhood, where it had a disordering effect. It also revealed the self-harming anti-migration dynamics that would characterise much of the Union’s response to the later migration crisis. As the next chapter shows, the EU’s focus on risks and threats rather than opportunities and benefits of inward migration and mobility stemmed partly from the practices of law enforcement agencies that dominate the field of EU border knowledge. This practice-based securitization played a part in skewing the picture regarding mobility for Ukrainians and others from the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood. Significantly, however, these analyses gain greater traction in a context that was

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shaped by more general narratives of fear and threat which are discussed in the next section of this chapter.

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Threats and Fears: Discursively Securitising Ukraine

The integration of acceding states increases our security but also brings the EU closer to troubled areas. European Security Strategy: A Secure Europe in a Better World, (European Union, 2003) History [. . .] is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s Ulysses (2013: 32)

In addition to supposed harm to labour markets, other perceptions of danger stemming from Ukrainians’ difference—and, particularly, their ‘Eastern-ness’— contributed to the ‘criminalisation’ and ‘securitization’ of their mobility, as Czech human rights lawyer Pavel Cizinsky put [CZ-I-NGO-1] (Buzan et al., 1998). In this section I look at how discursive constructions of threats and fears contributed to securitization processes which helped legitimise the overly-restrictive border and visa regimes that undermined EU discourses of openness, integration and friendship in its Eastern neighbourhood. The key threats identified by EU actors as stemming from Ukraine or from Ukrainians’ mobility are discussed in relation to the ‘difference’ that was seen to cause them. This difference primarily related to standards of border management and law enforcement, and Ukraine’s relatively poor economic development (compared to EUMS). However, as the second part of the section shows, there were also other factors in this (partial, yet significant) securitisation of Ukrainian mobility, primarily a ‘fear of the East’, born of Western EU-European ignorance and prejudice as well as fears of the return of aspects of the European past that the EU was supposed to have buried for good.

5.5.1

Threats of Difference: Organised Crime and Disorganised Migration

Several influential EU documents explicitly link the neighbourhood with multiple threats to the Union. Together they can be seen as (partial) securitizing moves, aimed at driving neighbourhood policy in particular directions, as well as trying to gain buy-in from the EUMS for the more positive aspects of ENP. Even the ‘Wider Europe’ document, that laid ENP’s foundations highlights threats from ‘illegal immigration, trafficking [and] organised crime’ and notes that in relation to the EU’s Eastern land borders, ‘particular attention should be paid to drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, smuggling of migrants, fraud, counterfeiting, money laundering and corruption’ (European Commission, 2003: 11–12). These threats all

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relate to the mobility of people, goods and capital that would be facilitated through opening up to or integrating with, inter alia, Ukraine and thus helped partially frame the policy in these terms from the outset. The 2003 European Security Strategy asserted that ‘Europe is a prime target for organised crime [such as] cross-border trafficking in drugs, women, illegal migrants and weapons’ (European Union, 2003: 4–5). The ‘Implementing and Promoting ENP’ paper specifically highlights the need to ‘fight against organized crime and corruption [and] co-operat[e] on migration and border management [. . .] to tackle illegal migration’ and it notes that Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) is a particular priority (Ferrero-Waldner, 2005a) (see also Chap. 6). A publicity document produced by the European Commission to promote the ENP added that ‘trafficking, corruption, drugs, money laundering and THB’ are problems but also claims that ‘Illegal migration must also be tackled, which means helping the EU’s neighbours to improve their border management’ (European Commission, 2007b: 9). The ‘New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood’ report confirms that ‘[p]artner countries are important countries of origin and transit for irregular migrants’ (European Commission, 2011b: 12). Helping Ukraine to tackle such threats (which in the perception of EU actors mainly threatened the EU)—was a consistent theme in country specific documents and policy. The first EU-Ukraine Action Plan explicitly linked these threats to bordering and mobility by including ‘migration, border management, money laundering and trafficking in human beings, drugs as well as corruption and fighting sexual exploitation of women’ among its priorities for action (European Commission, 2004b: 30). Subsequent country-specific reports linked threats from migration, asylum, organised crime and terrorism to the need for further co-operation on ‘Freedom, Security and Justice’ to improve Ukraine’s judicial and border management capacities, as pre-conditions for further opening and integration (European Commission, 2007a, 2012b). Research participants also identified the ‘difficult economic situation in Ukraine’ as a potential threat factor because it was seen to push Ukrainians into seeking work abroad. Given the limited possibilities for regular entry, employment and stay in the EU, it also pushed Ukrainians toward irregular mobility and stay and, potentially, into illegal activity to support themselves (see also Chap. 6) [UA-I-EUB-2; A-IEUB-6; UA-I-EUD-2; UA-I-PLC-2; UA-I-CZC-1]. Frontex consistently highlighted incentives for cross-border crime and smuggling stemming from differences in economic opportunities and the prices of excise goods in the EU and Ukraine. EU and EUMS officials working in Ukraine also subscribed to these threat perceptions. Philippe Bories of the EU-DU claimed that: ‘THB, trafficking of Drugs, trafficking of weapons, financial crime and financial flows and smuggling [of] cigarettes [which], like all excise goods, are subject to heavy smuggling’ [UA-IEUD-1]. Both the Polish and Czech consuls in Lviv argued that high unemployment created incentives for irregular working and smuggling [UA-I-PLC-2; UA-I-CZC1]. EUBAM Deputy Head of Mission, Slawomir Pichor, concurred with Frontex’s Eastern Borders Annual Overview Reports (2011, 2012, 2013), which repeatedly identified (in various phrasings) ‘the smuggling of excise goods, especially

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cigarettes and fuel’ as ‘the single largest threat’ to border security at the common borders between EUMS and EB-RAN18 countries [UA-I-EUB-2]. The Frontex reports are extremely clear that the magnitude of threat from cigarette smuggling is actually far higher at the Eastern borders than that of irregular migration, yet in EU discourse—and practice—there remained a focus on restricting the movement of people as well as contraband goods, reflecting the greater potential to ‘dramatise’ the former for security effect [PL-I-FTEX-1] (Wæver, 1995). This approach also ignored the EU and EUMS’ past successes in decoupling mobility from smuggling as through the Local Border Traffic Agreements at the Polish-Ukrainian frontier (see Chap. 4)—and the potential to replicate this more widely. Additionally, Frontex Principal Research Officer Tim Cooper pointed to flaws in Risk Analysis19 creating uncertainty which had been exploited for political purposes—‘it’s not evidence-based policy-making, its policy-based evidence-making’ [PL-I-FTEX-1; PL-I-UN-1]. All of this helped securitise inward mobility from the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood and underpinned the maintenance of the Union’s overly restrictive mobility and border policy in the region. Even the visa liberalisation enacted in 2017 only applied to the ‘Schengen’ visas required for short-term travel as EUMS remained in control of the permits required for longer term residence or work. The EUMS’ sophisticated and effective border controls (both at the Eastern frontier and in the Schengen interior) would have enabled the enforcement of a border regime capable of increasing regular mobility while clamping down on irregular mobility and with little increased security risk. That this did not happen—and not even for short-term Schengen visas until 2017—meant that that there was a significant surplus demand for mobility from Ukrainians. It also pointed to the other factors that influenced EU threat perceptions. The desire to become a security actor—and the attendant focus on security—certainly played a role but as a senior PL-MFA official put it: ‘Most people feel a fear but it is not a threat. A threat is something real. Fear is unreal, it is psychologically motivated’ [PL-I-MFA-1].

5.5.2

Fears of the East: The Devils in Western Minds

Building on this last comment, I now examine how fears of Ukraine and ‘Eastern Europe’ influenced EU bordering. While the two are clearly linked, I make a distinction between: (1) threats as being more specific, potentially endangering a particular object which becomes a referent for security discourses and practices; whereas I see (2) fears as more general, underlying psycho-social constructions that influence the environment into, and from, which threat discourses are spoken. These

18 Frontex’s Eastern Borders Risk Analysis Network—Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. 19 For more on the problems with Risk Analysis see Chap. 6.

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underpinnings may help provide the necessary ‘felicity conditions’ for securitisation by influencing particular audiences and thus increasing the likelihood of successfully securitising a particular issue as a threat to be reckoned with, as well as impacting on the context in which security practices are enacted (Buzan et al., 1998). I identified two key sources of fear, which both imply difference and are both related to the past. First, Ukrainian history, particularly the Soviet period, was regularly cited as having significant influence on the present, particularly with regard to ideas of incomplete transition and an ingrained ‘Eastern-ness’ that was resistant to ‘full’ Europeanisation (Kuus, 2004). Second, certain understandings of the Ukrainian present, commonly held in Western Europe, provided discomforting reminders of aspects of European history that the EU prided itself on having overcome. With regard to the soviet past, EUBAM officers working in Ukraine claimed that while “[Ukrainians] are perfectly capable, they have chosen not to take that ‘big leap forward’” and change their ‘bad habits’ which leaves them suffering from a ‘Soviet hangover’ [UA-I-EUB-1; UA-I-EUB-6]. EU-DU staff also lamented the ‘on-going influence of communist and Soviet times’, the ‘Soviet-style show trial’ of Yulia Tymoshenko and a prevalent, yet ‘terribly old-fashioned, centralist attitude’ that encouraged corruption, but hindered delegation of tasks and pro-activeness, thus preventing Ukrainians from reaching ‘European standards’ [UA-I-EUD-2; UA-IEUD-1]. Other participants offered a ‘hierarchy of luck’ as an explanation, in which a country’s ability to adapt to EU ways and means is inversely related to the duration of communist rule and to whether it was ‘post-socialist’ (or ‘occupied’), rather than ‘post-Soviet’: The Iron Curtain was not only on the Elbe but also on the Bug River [which runs along part of the UA-PL border]. We were lucky on this side. Ukrainians were unlucky—they were part of the USSR [PL-I-MFA-1]. Poles were lucky because here only two generations lived under communist rule, but in Ukraine three generations did—nobody remembers ‘normal’ times, which is a big difference [PL-I-MFA-1]. Certain EU officials and politicians consider Europe as something which ran up to the Iron Curtain and that their ‘enlargement’ dealt with states which they consider to have been occupied by the USSR. Unfortunately, our state is not considered to have been occupied [UA-I-MFA-1].

A picture cumulatively builds up of ‘unfortunate’ Ukrainians being pushed by circumstance into illegal activity, which inadequate judicial and law enforcement institutions, hindered by their ‘Soviet hangover’, cannot prevent. This creates an impression of a ‘Wild East’ that threatens to spill over into the ‘EU-West’ through both petty crime but particularly through organised crime, THB and people smuggling, irregular labour and sex work, all of which fuel fears related to legality,

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morality20 and health [UA-I-NGO-1; UA-I-NGO-2] (see also Chaps. 4 and 6). The example of EU bordering with Ukraine thus supports Claudia Aradau’s (2004) argument that the intersection of the ‘politics of pity’ with the ‘politics of risk’ can limit both migrants mobility and their enactment of political subjectivity. However, in other narratives of the ‘Wild East’, relating to the dark sides of Europe’s past, the Easterners are cast squarely as perpetrators rather than victims. This was the case in the run-up to the ‘Euro 2012’ football tournament that was jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine and which coincided with my fieldwork. For example, an influential BBC Panorama documentary—Stadiums of Hate—made allegations of widespread, unpunished racist and anti-Semitic violence in both countries, prompting a call from a former England football captain for fans to ‘stay at home. Don’t risk it—you could end up coming back in a coffin’. A feeding frenzy ensued in British (and other Western-European) media which claimed (e.g.): ‘racial thinking is socially endemic’ (Daily Mail, 2012) in these ‘distant cousins in the family of football’,21 ‘notorious for their extreme yobs’, (The Sun, 2012) and ‘thugs [who organise and train in] ruined buildings and weed-covered parade grounds’. The relatives of an England player refused to travel to Ukraine, asking ‘why hold a competition of this magnitude in a place that cannot police itself’ (Mackay, 2012). Even a reputable academic blog claimed that while ‘the continent’s Easterly nations clamour for a place at the table of European modernity’, the ‘cosmopolitan atmospheres’ of previous tournaments were unlikely to be repeated in countries ‘with limited histories of multiculture [sic.]’ (Burdsey, 2012). Research participants generally agreed with critics22 of the documentary, which they saw as typical of ignorance and prejudice towards ‘Eastern Europe’. Both Yehor Bozhok of the UA-MFA and Polish Consul Rafal Wolski deplored the use of individual cases, taken out of context, to give a distorted and negative picture, but argued that the ‘reality of the tournament’ destroyed these ‘myths’ [UA-I-MFA-1; UA-I-PLC-1]. However, a Ukrainian research participant who works as a tour guide thought the damage was already done: ‘[tourists] heard awful stories—[that] if you come here you will be killed or raped [. . .] it is a pity for my country because it is not true’ [UA-FG-2]. Marcin Zachowski of the PL-MFA added: ‘It was very sad and strange—especially because it is the BBC—because the journalists did not know enough about Poland and Ukraine’ [PL-I-MFA-2].

20 Elspeth Guild (Guild, 2009: 5) notes that the 2003 edition of Stanley Cohen’s classic ‘Folk Devils and Moral Panics’ makes specific reference to migrants. 21 BBC Panorama, Stadiums of Hate—first broadcast 28/05/2012, ten days before the tournament kicked-off. 22 The documentary was condemned by people featured in it: Jonathan Ornstein, head of the Krakow Jewish Community Centre, was ‘furious’ to have been ‘exploited’ for a ‘sensationalist’ programme, and Polish anti-racism campaigner Jacek Purski called the programme ‘one-sided’, as did Polish MP Jon Godwin (who is black), while Ukrainian football journalist Yuri Bender, whose wife is of afro-Caribbean descent, criticised the selective reporting (Harding, 2012a; The Economist, 2012).

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Bohdan Rajcinec of the Czech NGO ‘Ukrainian Initiative’ saw this as a classic example of ‘fear [of] the unknown’, while Jan Vycital of the CZ-MFA noted that Ukraine was more unknown to Western Europeans than to Czechs or Poles because of their ‘common history with Ukrainians’ [CZ-I-NGO-3; CZ-I-MFA-2]. Veteran CEE commentator Edward Lucas (2012a) condemned the documentary’s ‘orientalism’ in its portrayal of “eastern ‘backwardness’ and Western ‘progress’ [and] the belief that ‘ex-communist’ is synonymous with ‘poor’, ‘nasty’ and ‘ignorant’”. Yet Stadiums of Hate resonated with other, later Western commentaries on Ukraine and ‘Eastern Europe’, which associated carving out a post-Soviet national identity with racism and fascism (for examples of such commentaries and critiques of them, see Applebaum, 2014; Snyder, 2014). This context of fear helped underpin overly securitised bordering that was incommensurate with assessed threat levels and which unnecessarily limited Ukrainian mobility. In turn this hindered the achievement of EaP goals, undermining EU effectiveness in ordering its neighbourhood and thus hurting EU citizens as well as Ukrainians. Moreover, The EU has long acknowledged the need to challenge the negative stereotypes of the Eastern neighbourhood that its own activities help to create—for example in the Wider Europe paper (European Commission, 2003). Nikita Kadan noted the role played by Poland in ‘fighting the devils which live in Western minds’ [UA-I-NGO-1], but Ukrainians are painfully aware of how they are seen by many EU-Europeans. As one young focus group participant put it: ‘Outside the cities are barbarians, so the city builds walls to protect itself from these so-called barbarians—this can be used as an allegory for Schengen’ [UA-FG-1]. These observations, juxtaposed with those relating to overcoming hierarchy and enacting belonging as well as to shared values and interests—and the continued desirability (for Ukrainians, as well as EU citizens) of the AFSJ point again to the complex discursive environment in which the EU makes borders with Ukraine. Caught between hope and fear, between opening-up-to and protecting-from and only hesitant in its embrace of its neighbour, Ukraine was left in limbo and the neighbourhood suffered from a lack of effective governance, a void that could easily be exploited by others, such as Russia (Nitoiu & Sus, 2019; Wilson, 2014). In the conclusion to this chapter, below, I argue that the contradictory EU bordering discourses in CEE themselves constitute an overall discourse which manifests itself in a continual re-making and re-modelling of the EU and its relations with Ukraine in a process of ‘Euro-renovation’.

5.6

Discursive ‘Euro-Renovations’ in EU-Ukraine Relations

Our history reminds us that we must protect [the European Union] for the good of future generations. For that reason we must always renew the political shape of Europe in keeping with the times [. . .] time and again [. . .] so that Europe can continue to fulfil its promise to ensure peace, freedom and prosperity.

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Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor (2014)

This chapter has shown the importance of a number of key discourses for EU bordering in Central and Eastern Europe: freedom-security-and-justice; hierarchy and belonging; friendship, shared values and shared interests; differing standards and divergent interests; as well as threats and fears. The overall picture that emerged was one of tension, conflict and confusion between: (1) the EU’s proven ability to deliver what Europeans (including Ukrainians) want in terms of freedom, security and justice, which it successfully spread to the EU-8; and (2) the ‘lose-lose’ limiting of integration and the maintenance of overly restrictive mobility and border regime with neighbours, including Ukraine. The spread of EU governance to the EU-8 strengthened as well as extended the EU-European order. Czechs and Poles (and others from EU-8 countries) were able to enact EU-European subjectivity and belonging, albeit somewhat precariously as later events (discussed in Chap. 8) show. Nonetheless, the continued attraction of the EU-European order including through its mobility governance in the Schengen zone was apparent. The picture in the neighbourhood was less clear. The EU’s hesitant embrace of Ukraine and its prioritisation of ‘protective security’ (Youngs, 2021) imperatives over more progressive modes of pursuing peace and prosperity left Ukrainians in limbo. The discursive elements of the borderscape thus point to similar conclusions as the features discussed in Chap. 4. Ukrainians were left feeling unwanted by EU-Europe in a strange limbo of limited access, despite some good EU intentions; Ukraine was constructed as an uncanny borderland of hybrid governance, beholden to and desiring closer integration with the EU but with only limited capacity to achieve it and without the necessary support or encouragement to do so. Moreover, other actors in the region, notably Russia, began to take exception to—or see opportunity in—the EU’s increasingly security focused, yet underpowered re-ordering, leading to subsequent disorder. Despite notable exceptions, such as the discourses of friendship, shared values and interests and Poland’s positive and progressive approach to dealing with Ukraine, the EU and EUMS had seemingly failed to take on board the lessons of their previous integrative and re-bordering successes. EU bordering in Central and Eastern Europe which, in the period from 2004 to 2014 was characterised by both vision and indecision, by the repeated and uneven layering, removal and (re)layering of the different discourses noted above This layering happened over time, in successive reports and statements, but also nearsimultaneously, within reports and even within single statements by politicians and practitioners, which concurrently opened-up and closed-down relations—and bordering. This repeatedly—and cheaply—remade and remodelled relationship is reminiscent of the post-Soviet design style known as ‘Euro-renovation’, as described by Ukrainian artist and activist Nikita Kadan: This style [involved] using very cheap materials and imitating designs from Western magazines, but in a cheap way, to do it quickly and temporarily, not for a long time [. . .] I often use this term: ‘Euro-Renovation’. This very ‘special’ style of interior design, which

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emerged in post-Soviet countries in the early 90s when people wanted to somehow become part of the winners’ world, part of the West, but they started from the surface only, not with deep institutional changes, they didn’t establish new relations, but only changed the surface. We use this term, which all people know, about interiors, but [also] about social conditions, about social construction23 [UA-I-NGO-1].

The flimsy construction of ‘Euro-renovations’ allows for easy alteration, removal and replacement but the equal flimsiness of the new or supplementary design will be unlikely to completely or perfectly cover the traces of older versions.24 Their poor construction also means that while they might look the part for a short time, Eurorenovations will quickly decay and again need refurbishing. As they deteriorate they begin to reveal the older structures beneath (Shevchenko, 2008: 128). Ukraine’s post-communist ‘transition’ and its perceived failure to come up to ‘European standards’ were linked by research participants to the shortcomings of its elites, who were charged with engaging in socio-political ‘Euro-renovation’ or were agreed to be undertaking ‘Potemkin Europeanisation’25 [UA-I-NGO-1; UA-I-NGO2] (Kurowska & Tallis, 2009). These facades of reform facilitated initial engagement and mutual opening with the EU but, once the lack of real change was revealed, they hindered further progress on visa liberalisation (until 2017) but also on a membership perspective or other forms of closer integration (until 2022). However, the EU also engaged in its own processes of ‘Euro-renovation’, as it sought to re-new and re-shape both itself and its relations with its Eastern neighbours. Fear, threat and the desire to become a security actor were layered over freedom, integration and friendship. The calculation and pursuit of narrowly defined self-interest was layered over the openness and sharing of both values and the benefits that allowed the EU to build peace and prosperity in the past. A narrow meaning of material prosperity—as an end in itself—was layered over the notion of prosperity as a means to the richer ends of peace and cosmopolitan human flourishing. Cynical verification and cautiousness were layered over support, confidence and vision. These trends reflect EU internal politics as much as those of the neighbourhood, but they have had specific effects in the neighbourhood. They left Ukrainians excluded (to a significant extent) and the EU unable to exert significant influence for change, with neither EU-Europeans nor Ukrainians demonstrably more secure or economically better off as a result. Being Euro-renovations however, glimpses of the earlier designs (more positive discourses) are regularly revealed, most clearly with regard to the question of a membership perspective. Despite Prodi’s (2002) attempts to be ‘clear’ he stated that

Euro-Renovation is translated from the Ukrainian and Russian word Евроремонт (Evroremont). Anyone who has tried to rent an apartment in Ukraine or Russia will be familiar with this style. Nikita Kadan described Euro-renovations as being made of ‘Gypsum walls that you could put your elbow through by being expressive in conversation’—[UA-I-NGO-1]. 25 Referring to the specially constructed ‘Potemkin villages’ constructed by Count Grigory Potemkin, supposedly to fool Empress Catherine the Great of Russia into thinking that the life of the Russian peasantry was distinctly better than it was, although more likely aimed at foreign dignitaries travelling with the Empress (Davies, 1997: 658). 23 24

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ENP would neither ‘promise’ nor ‘exclude’ membership and that while any ‘European state’ could apply for it, they could not be certain to succeed. EU officials in Ukraine also reproduced this uncertainty: [S]ometimes I tell them there is no membership perspective . . . that there is no membership perspective currently . . . but at the same time, the Treaty of Rome stipulates that any European country has that, as long as they fulfil the criteria [. . .] so based on that logic there is such a prospect [UA-I-EUB-3]. No. Not at all. It has never been considered, never. Well, in theory, in principle, all European countries should be possible candidates for membership of the EU, but [. . .] at the moment Ukraine is definitely not being considered. Take the example of Turkey—it has been a candidate for more than 50 years—is Turkey a member of the EU? [UA-I-EUD-1].

Comparisons to the Turkish experience did not reassure Ukrainians anxious for recognition of their European belonging and saddened to be made to feel ‘second class’ (Chap. 4) or ‘Barbarians’ (this chapter). Nor did they comfort EU boosters who sought to extend liberal governance into the neighbourhood. The second official quoted above also made this comparison regarding visa liberalisation: It’s a long-term perspective. For the moment we cannot even think of any timetable for a partial or total liberalisation of the visa [. . .] Long-term can be interpreted as three months or twenty-five years—look at Turkey—sixty years later, it is still a long-term perspective! [UA-I-EUD-1].

EU actors were well aware of the importance to Ukrainians of visa liberalisation and a membership perspective, but their hesitance created ‘obstacles which prevent the promotion’ of the values the EU seeks to spread, according to Yehor Bozhok of the UA-MFA. It also gave Ukrainians cause for uncertainty about further integration with the EU and of their prospects of being able to enjoy ‘Freedom, Security and Justice’ rather than being seen as a threat to it. Some Ukrainian research participants questioned whether integration with and eventual membership of the EU were still the best way to achieve ‘European standards’, while others worried that ‘Europeanisation will just mean neoliberalisation’ but nonetheless still felt that ‘the very idea of the EU is essentially good’ [UA-FG-1; UA-I-NGO-2]. Many participants agreed that European standards should mean something better than those Ukraine had at the time and that the EU should embody and guarantee those standards and the values that underpin them. They did not see the removal or replacement of the later, more negative discourses as likely. The EU’s continued hesitancy even after the Euromaidan was a bitter blow for many (IRI, 2014) even if the later visa-liberalisation (2017) again gave reason for hope, which rose again amidst the horror of Russia’s war on the country in 2022 (see Chap. 8). The EU’s Euro-renovations in Ukraine continued as it sought to further remodel its neighbourhood policy, but up to 2022 the signs were that it had not learned from the failures of prioritising security and self-interest, with these elements becoming more prominent in its ‘hybrid approach’, which is characterised by what it calls ‘Principled Pragmatism’ (European Union, 2016) and what others have termed ‘Protective Security’ (Nitoiu & Sus, 2019; Tallis, 2022; Youngs, 2021) (Also see

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Chap. 8). The questions and contradictions raised in this chapter will still have to be reckoned with as the EU struggles to make sense of its Eastern neighbourhood and the new ‘European Political Community’ in light of Russia’s war. The sense of elegiac confusion, of achievement and possibility but, more strongly, of wasted opportunity that characterised EU discursive bordering is also apparent in the bordering practices that are the subject of the next chapter.

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Chapter 6

Limiting Europe: Borderscape Practices

This chapter describes and analyses the practices that constitute the CEE borderscape along with the features (Chap. 4) and discourses (Chap. 5) that were discussed above. Practices are understood in this study as the activities and tasks of bordering, but also the logics, including institutional logics, that these actions arise from and those they give rise to (see Chap. 2 and Bueger & Gadinger, 2015). I analyse bordering practices in CEE in the period from 2004 to 2014 and explore their spatial, temporal, and social underpinnings and effects, with a particular focus on the ways in which they relate to identities and orders in the region. The ‘master practice’ of EU bordering in the last decade has been Europeanisation. This refers to the transformation of bordering from the sovereign preserve of EUMS, enacted at their own frontiers, to an EU (or Schengen) level activity carried out at—and in relation to—‘common’ frontiers as well as in the expanded Schengen interior. The first section of the chapter examines how the creation and extension of the Schengen zone manifested a ‘European border imaginary’ through certain practices of mutual solidarity and support which themselves further ‘Europeanised’ EUMS frontiers. The creation of the EU border agency, Frontex, spurred Europeanisation through the harmonisation and standardisation of key aspects of border guarding as well as the introduction of mutual surveillance over border guarding standards. Europeanising practices have not, however, fostered sufficient or sufficiently effective measures to share the burdens nor, crucially, to seize the opportunities of increased inward mobility (hence the EU and EUMS turned increased inward migration into a crisis in 2015). Nonetheless, Europeanising practices did extend and intensify several of the other practices discussed in this chapter. Among those other practices was Risk Analysis (RA), which is the focus of this chapter’s second section. RA emerged as the key practice of knowing about borders, migration and mobility in CEE. I discuss concerns over the integrity, interpretation and use of RA but I also show that it was not balanced by any comparable way of knowing borders that estimated the possible and probable benefits and opportunities of inward migration and mobility. This imbalance created a distorted view of these © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_6

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issues that were largely determined by those who ‘see like border guards’ (Follis, 2012). I argue that RA’s façade of technical and operational credibility allowed border guards and other law enforcement actors to rise to a position of dominance in EU border policy and practice, which negatively skewed EU views of migration and mobility. This practice of knowing, via RA, thus had a substantial and, I argue, negative impact on the EU’s overall approach, limiting Europeanisation as well as the effectiveness and value of EU-European order internally and, particularly, in the neighbourhood. In the chapter’s third section, I look at how these distorted views of migration and mobility were compounded by the promotion of Fundamental Rights and the prioritisation of the need to protect migrants from the dangers of their own mobility. This section shows that ‘humanitarianisation’ of migration and ‘victimisation’ of migrants combined with securitization and criminalisation (see Chap. 5), to limit mobility for TCNs, including Ukrainians. However, this section also argues that another, related practice of protection somewhat counter-intuitively provided a platform for increasing TCNs’ mobility. Practices of protecting both ‘the border’, and the integrity of the Schengen border regime were improved to the extent that they provided the potential for freer movement for (e.g.) Ukrainians, without increased risk. This was not fully capitalised on at the time, but later underpinned the (2017) visa liberalisation. In the fourth section, I show that, this improved border protection did facilitate freer movement for Ukrainians into Poland (in contrast to other EUMS). It formed a key aspect of the then Polish government’s strategy of increasing regular, managed migration—partly to deter irregular migration, in a way similar to the LBTAs discussed above. This was an exception, however, and most practices of facilitation applied only to particular groups of people or for particular purposes of travel. Unlike Poland, Czechia used facilitation as a way to limit Ukrainian labour migration while maintaining an image of openness. But Ukrainians also made their own, informal and sometimes illicit facilitations of mobility. These practices helped them negotiate the complex and opaque visa, labour and residence bureaucracies that held the key to their inter-EU mobility. Yet the difficulty of negotiating ways through these bureaucracies often pushed people into seeking irregular or illegal ways to enter and stay, reflecting the imbalance between an excess demand for mobility and insufficient supply of regular, manageable routes to access and residency, conditioned in part by the skewed views noted above. I then look at key practices of mobility, including migration, that influenced and were influenced by EU bordering in CEE more generally. The chapter’s fifth section examines the different uses that Czechs and Poles made of the possibilities for free movement in Schengen and argues that this freedom was also used and highly valued by TCNs (with regular status). I also highlight the importance of practices of movement for tourism within the EU and from the EU to Ukraine. I discuss the ways that these practices, as well as the labour migration of Ukrainians to the EU, affected perceptions of the EU-European-ness or Eastern-European-ness of Czechia, Poland and Ukraine and, relatedly, how they impacted on bordering. These practices of mobility facilitated the types of contacts between people that helped overcome

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divisive borders in the past and I argue that because of their greater possibilities for and practices of mobility, Czechs and Poles had been able to overcome prejudices and enact belonging to a greater extent than Ukrainians. The chapter concludes by looking at the ways in which EU bordering practices, overall, limited the effectiveness of EU ordering as well as Ukrainians’ mobility and their possibilities to enact (EU-)European-ness. I argue that while some bordering practices helped to further (EU-)‘Europeanise’ the Schengen zone and bolstered EU-European order through harmonisation and extension of its governance, they were not able to complete the job. This left a gap between the potential to enact bordering practices and both the extent and cohesion of the EU’s bordering community, something that became glaringly obvious in the face of increased migration flows from 2014 onwards. I argue that, overall, EU bordering practices (in CEE) blinkered the EU’s view of migrants and their mobilities, while also limiting the EU’s own potential to govern effectively, in accordance with its values and the lessons of its history, within the Union as well as in its Eastern neighbourhood. These problems contributed directly to the neighbourhood crisis and prefigured the EU’s migration crisis, which is discussed in the conclusion and the Epilogue, and show the disordering as well as ordering potential of bordering practices.

6.1

Europeanising: Capacity Without Community

There is one phenomenon, which is not totally perceived by Czech citizens—that we Europeans have a new borderline: the border between Poland and Belarus, between Slovakia and Ukraine—and that there is a common responsibility for this. (Cyril Svoboda, former Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs1)

Bordering practices in CEE were transformed by the accession of the EU-8, including Czechia and Poland, to the EU (in 2004) and Schengen zone (in 2007), as their national frontiers were included in ‘Europeanised’ borders. As well as the extension of Schengen frontiers to the newly joined states, there was an intensification of the Europeanisation of all Schengen borders in preparation for and in the wake of the accessions of the EU-8. However, while practices of border management may have been considerably Europeanised, this did not go far enough to create an effective community for sharing the burdens or seizing the opportunities of migration and mobility. This section looks at the practices of Europeanisation (and their limits) that acted as the ‘master practice’—a ‘practice of practices’ that organises and shapes the other bordering practices discussed later in the chapter. It particularly focuses on the creation and operation of Frontex, which led to the emergence of a common EU-European border imaginary, albeit an incomplete one. However, I also show how Europeanising processes affected standards and practices of border

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[CZ-I-MFA-1].

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control rather than policy on and management of migration more generally, which created gaps and tensions that became inflamed in the 2015–2017 migration crisis.

6.1.1

Europeanising National Frontiers

Europeanisation, as used here, refers to the transfer or transformation of bordering practices from the ‘level’ of the EUMS to that of the EU—or the Schengen zone— and how this relates to the emergence of a ‘European’ border imaginary,2 distinct from national border imaginaries but still linked to the practices of EUMS. Such Europeanisation was strongly connected to the increased interdependence between Schengen states and, particularly, the need to rely on other states to control what had become common external frontiers, as Frontex’s head of Strategic Risk Analysis, Mari Juritsch, confirmed: There is a common border so there is a legitimate common interest and a reliance on other countries doing their job right. It’s right that Finns want to know and have a right to know that things are being done right in Greece [. . .] it really is a common border [PL-I-FTEX-5].

This ‘European’ border imaginary reflected and reinforced the discourses of common interest and shared risk in relation to the AFSJ (Chap. 5), but also the increasing institutionalisation of border management at the EU level. With some EU-8 states, such as Poland, having to police newly common borders, older EUMS sought to ensure that these ‘newer’ states were up to the task by introducing monitoring and oversight mechanisms. This desire for knowledge of—and reassurance about—the standards of border control in other EUMS was reflected in Schengen evaluation mechanisms and a system of mutual inspection by EUMS border agencies. These inspections were overseen and organised by the European Commission and took place both in the lead-up to Schengen accession and at fiveyearly intervals afterwards. Accession preparations, primarily through training and infrastructural improvements, funded and facilitated by the EU, were credited with significantly improving standards and conditions of border control at Polish ‘external’ frontiers. Participants agreed that extensive efforts to meet the Schengen criteria had ‘paid off’, as Poland could claim it was ‘as responsible as possible’ for its ‘part of the external border of the EU’ not only to ‘Polish people, but also to those living further West’, reflecting the PLBG slogan—‘Safe Poland, Safe Europe’—and demonstrating Polish belonging in the EU [PL-I-BG-1; PL-I-BG-3; PL-I-BG-4; PL-I-UN-2]. Prior to the formal evaluation of Poland’s ‘Schengen-readiness’, capacitybuilding programmes were provided by other EUMS’ BG services in order to support and guide the changes to border infrastructure and border control procedures. Regular monitoring visits raised awareness, understanding and compliance 2 In fact it is an EU or more specifically Schengen border imaginary, but participants tended to refer to a ‘European’ level, rather than either of the other two options.

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with the Schengen Acquis (legal framework), the Schengen Catalogue (of best practices) and the Schengen Border Code (regulation of border control procedures). In co-operation with EUMS’ BG agencies, handbooks were created to assist border guards in translating these principles and standards into practices and procedures, which resulted in considerable harmonisation across the various EUMS, including Poland [PL-I-BG-1; PL-I-BG-2]. However, harmonised border control also required harmonised understanding of the EU’s conceptions of security and mobility regarding its specific type of border management, which depended on filtration of flows on the basis of Risk Analysis (Neal, 2009). The centrality of Risk Analysis also had institutional impacts on Schengen border governance, as demonstrated by the changes that took place in Czechia even though it no longer had land frontiers with non-Schengen states. Pavla Novotna of the CZ-MoI explained how Schengen accession led to the establishment of the cross-ministerial analytical centre, involving the CZ-MoI, CZ-MFA and CZ-MoL: What we do is a result of accession to the Schengen zone . . . because in the evaluation it was commented that we should have a more co-ordinated approach and now we have the centre and a body for the ‘co-ordination of border protection’ at the level of deputy ministers [. . .] It’s about everyone having the same information [. . .] now we speak with the same words, and it helps create the policy [CZ-I-MoI-2].

Novotna’s colleague in the analytical centre from the CZ-MFA, Jan Vycital, agreed that Schengen accession had driven internal governmental harmonisation with regard to border and migration policy. Both officials referred to Czechia’s ‘responsibility’ to its AFSJ partners concerning ‘secondary movement’3 and other risks relating to irregular mobility within the Schengen zone [CZ-I-MFA-2]. Robert Solich of the CZ-MoI also highlighted the need for Czechia to fulfil its responsibilities if its defence of free movement were to remain credible, but was clear in emphasising the responsibilities of other member states: Some of our colleagues [from other EUMS] would like to have the opportunity to re-introduce border checks anytime when they feel there is a migratory threat [but] why should we pay [suffer] for the inability of someone in the South to protect their border? [CZ-I-MoI-1].

Solich’s words seem like a fore-echo of the tensions that would threaten the Schengen zone from 2015 onwards, but he acknowledged that the migratory pressures in ‘the South’ were both greater than in ‘the East’ and more than some states could cope with on their own. He argued that this very unevenness required Schengen states to show solidarity with fellow members experiencing difficulties and that support should be provided to help them maintain the standards they signed up to, thus underpinning mutual commitments to ‘free’ movement. Such ‘solidarity’ was considered to be of the highest importance to the European border imaginary in order to prevent regression to narrowly defined national self-interest—as happened 3

People entering one Schengen state and exploiting free movement to enter or stay in another Schengen state without the necessary permissions.

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to a considerable extent in the 2015–2017 migration crisis. Frontex was created, in part, to promote such solidarity but has also had other significant impacts on both the Europeanisation of EU bordering and the limits of this master practice.

6.1.2

Limits to Europeanisation

The creation in 2005 of a new ‘European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union’ (Frontex) was driven by the need for harmonisation of standards of border management and the need for solidarity between Schengen states that had differing levels of capacity and dealt with uneven levels and types of mobility. From its operational beginnings in 2005, Frontex was routinely referred to in public discourse as the ‘EU Border Agency’ (e.g. Bowcott, 2010; Easton, 2007). However, as Andrew Neal (2009) noted, and agency staff were at pains to emphasise, Frontex was not (at the time of my research) an EU Border Guard Service or EU Border Police Force and ultimate responsibility for border control remained with EUMS authorities [PL-I-FTEX-3; PL-I-FTEX-4; PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8; PL-I-BG-1]. The strengthening of Frontex’s mandate in the wake of the migration crisis is discussed in Chaps. 7 and 8 but, even before that, in the period between 2005 and 2014, it had become a key player in EU bordering. This was particularly the case as it was a deliberate ‘European’-level border management institution that has facilitated the spread and entrenchment of bordering practices. Frontex acted as a Europeanising mechanism between 2005 and 2014, particularly in: the formalisation of Schengen solidarity mechanisms (however, inadequate they proved to be); promoting deeper harmonisation between member state BG agencies; as well as fostering what the agency itself termed the ‘European community of border guards’; and spreading common ways of understanding mobilities and how to manage them (Frontex, 2010). ‘Joint Operations’ (JOs) were one of the key ways in which Frontex helped to promote solidarity in the Schengen zone. They arranged and funded the deployment of border guards, experts or technical equipment from one EU country to another in cases of ‘significant pressure’ or in light of a pre-planned need. JOs also targeted specific phenomena by co-ordinating the actions of EUMS, for example in getting several states to focus at the same time on irregular migration at the Polish–Ukrainian frontier. JOs involved officers from many Schengen countries, deployed for up to six months and thus demonstrating solidarity and co-operation. Of course, these deployments also allowed for ‘informal’ oversight and information gathering by EUMS on one another [PL-PO-1; PL-PO-2; PL-PO-3; PL-I-FTEX-8]. Frontex also developed a rapid reaction mechanism to support member states experiencing ‘extreme migratory pressure’ and thus to mitigate threats to the integrity of the Schengen border regime and diminish the risk of ‘secondary movement’. Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) were first deployed in 2010 in response to sudden and significant increases in irregular crossings of the Greek–Turkish

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border at the Evros river. Rather than relying on ad hoc voluntary provision of resources and personnel by member states, RABITs drew on a pre-designated pool to be used in ‘exceptional’ and ‘urgent’ situations [PL-I-FTEX-3]. The perceived success of RABIT deployments (before 2015) prompted the expansion of this pool, allowing it to be used for regular JOs. This success also led to the amendment of the Frontex regulation to allow the agency to procure and possess its own assets. Jeff Schlentz, head of Frontex’s Pooled Resources Unit explained the significance of this development: These officers are not on standby, so the member states have to manage their absence and their work [. . .] the co-financing by Frontex, operational co-ordination and policy of course, which is the starting point, are all in place. These are all elements for a European Border Guard system and, more concretely, there are now these European Border Guard Teams [EBGTs] and there is equipment—common equipment [PL-I-FTEX-3].

Schlentz also emphasised that the development of RABITs had shown the need for enhanced interoperability, which led Frontex to develop comprehensive harmonisation and gap-filling training. This training was later rolled out to the wider EBGT pool, which was made easier by the fact that, as Frontex Operations officers from Portugal and Austria put it: ‘we learned from the same book—the Schengen Border Code’ [PL-I-FTEX-2]. Frontex’s Research Unit collected and disseminated best practices and Frontex also developed a ‘Common Core Curriculum’ for border guard training across EUMS. This was accompanied by a codification of ‘Common Core Competences’ for border guards, which, as senior staff from the Training Unit agreed, amounted to ‘defining what European border guarding is’ and had a ‘European flavour’ that took account of ‘European Level’ interests [PL-IFTEX-6]. JOs, RABITs and EBGTs also had other Europeanising effects as border guards were able ‘make contacts’ and ‘maintain networks’ across different national authorities. These contacts and networks facilitated information sharing and more effective co-operation, which in turn also bolstered the EU-European belonging of the national authorities involved [PL-I-FTEX-2; PL-I-FTEX-4] (see also Chap. 5). Frontex actively encouraged ‘socialisation’ effects of the type that have driven Europeanising processes in other spheres (e.g. Howorth, 2012), not only on missions but, from 2010 (until 2017), through its annual ‘European Day for Border Guards’. This event saw officers from across the EU (and beyond) gather in Warsaw for a conference, exhibition and social evening. Frontex thus called into being a ‘European Border Guard Community’, with a fraternal esprit beyond national corps [PL-I-FTEX-1; PL-I-FTEX-3; PL-I-FTEX-4; PL-I-FTEX-8]. The intended cumulative effect of these Europeanising practices was expressed by several Frontex staff in the concept of ‘European Border Guardianship’ a label devised by the first Frontex Executive Director (2005–2014) Ilkka Leitinen [PL-IFTEX-6]. This idea reflected widespread (although not unanimous) views in Frontex (and beyond) that AFSJ bordering would be best provided by a common border management service or system. As Neal (2009) showed, this could not be agreed upon at the time of Frontex’s creation, which led to the agency becoming something

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of a compromise, with an unusual governance and oversight structure split between EUMS and the European Commission. Tim Cooper, Frontex Principal Research Officer, explained this as follows: It’s a standard operating procedure for the Commission. When you hit a political issue you can’t resolve, you make it a technical issue and then change the facts on the ground so that, ten or twenty years later when you come back, you can then resolve it politically [PL-IFTEX-1].

While Europeanising practices could be seen as preparing the ground for or influencing the context of any future formal Europeanisation of EU border control, the member states remained ‘in charge’ and there was no consensus on this at the time of the research [PL-I-FTEX-1; PL-I-FTEX-3; PL-I-FTEX-4; PL-FTEX-I-8; PL-I-BG-1; PL-I-FTEX-2; PL-I-BG-3; UA-I-PLC-2]. Frontex’s powers were upgraded in 2016 and again subsequently but, while this reflected a growing recognition of the need for Europeanised border policing, that extrapolated from the trend visible between 2004 and 2014 there was far less Europeanisation of mobility and migration policy. As one Frontex operational officer put it—and was borne out in the 2015–2017 crisis—‘migration is anything but a police issue’ which made this imbalance between Europeanised practices of border policing and ongoing national control of migration policies all the more troubling [PL-I-FTEX-2] [PL-PO-4]. The political sensitivity of migration and mobility in the post-2008 economic climate limited (or was used to limit) the Europeanisation of key issues such as asylum burden-sharing, let alone the development of a balanced migration policy that would consider the potential benefits as well as costs of inward mobility [PL-IFTEX-4; UA-I-NGO-2; CZ-I-NGO-1] (Common European Asylum System: challenges and perspectives—Speech by Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, 2014). The dominant power of these discourses shows the limits of practices in shaping politics. Despite the institutionalisation (through practices) of a European border imaginary and the spread of common border control practices, there was no complementary or comparable development of European border(ing) community that could manage migration and mobility at the European level. Political disavowal of the benefits of migration and lack of willingness to equitably share its costs was at the heart of the EU’s migration crisis in 2015–2016, the ramifications of which have still not fully played themselves out (see also Conclusion and Epilogue). Even though Europeanising bordering practices only had a limited effect on the overall politics and discursive framing of migration and mobility policy, they helped spread and reinforce other bordering practices, including the practices of knowing through Risk Analysis discussed below. These other practices tended to bolster EU-European order but had a limiting effect on Ukrainians’ mobility and thus reinforced hierarchical differentiation between EU-European and ‘Eastern-European’ subjectivities as will be seen below.

6.2

Knowing: Risk Analysis and the Distortion of EU Bordering

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Knowing: Risk Analysis and the Distortion of EU Bordering

Practices of ‘Europeanising’ helped to spread and enhance the influence of other practices and institutional logics, including practices of knowing: the ways in which the EU and EUMS created knowledge about borders, bordering and mobility. Europeanisation allowed a particular kind of ‘Risk Analysis’ (RA) to become the predominant mode of border knowledge at the national and EU levels, reflecting the twin imperatives that infused these ‘liberal’ border regimes: security and mobility. The need and desire to facilitate (certain types of) mobility while also providing security meant that neither fortress-type sealed borders nor completely open borders (without control) were viable options at EU’s external frontiers nor in the Schengen interior. Finding appropriate combinations of security and mobility depended on getting bordering right, as borders were required to filter out harmful or unacceptable types of movement from generally beneficial or acceptable flows, and vice versa. To do so, EU and EUMS’ liberal bordering required particular knowledge about populations and moving people, as well as about the benefits and opportunities they bring—and the threats they may pose. Certain mobilities, subjectivities and identities were thus constructed, variously, as: normal, abnormal, safe or threatening, welcome or unwelcome, in place or out of place (see Chap. 2). In the research period for this study, RA became the key way, the key practice through which these subjectivities were constructed. As such, it became highly significant for both governance and subjectivity in CEE and for EU-Ukraine relations, as well as EU ordering [PL-IFTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8; PL-I-MoI-1; PL-I-BG-4].

6.2.1

Risk Analysis as Dominant Mode of Border Knowledge

RA, in various forms, has always been part of bordering, but in the EU context it became increasingly formalised, standardised and influential in the past 20 years. These processes were driven by: the EU’s development as a (protective) security actor and its heightened security focus after 9/11; its increasing involvement in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) issues; and the mixed blessings that it saw in its post-2004 proximity to the Eastern neighbourhood (see Chaps. 4 and 5). However, these influences were tempered by the EU’s existentially important commitment (in principle and often in practice) to certain values—internally in the AFSJ, as well as in ENP. This made a blanket security approach that would entirely disregard freedom, justice, trade or neighbourly relations unacceptable (as well as unfeasible). Thus, risk and RA became defining features of EU attempts to combine security, mobility and its values in complementary ways. Through the process of Schengen enlargement and the evolution of Frontex, RA become further developed and entrenched [CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-MoI-3; PL-I-BG-2;

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PL-I-BG-4]. Frontex staff, as well as external interlocutors, confirmed that ‘risk analysis is the starting point for all Frontex activities’ [PL-I-FTEX-5]. Mari Juritsch, head of Strategic Risk Analysis, explained that the Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model (CIRAM) 2.0, employed by Frontex, was specially adapted to suit the agency’s needs and role, as well as the specifics of EU bordering [ibid.]. CIRAM 2.0 defines Risk as a function of Threat, Vulnerability and Impact, which ‘reflects the spirit of the Schengen Borders Code and the Frontex Regulation’ (FrontexWebsite4). [PL-I-FTEX-4; PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8; PL-I-UN-1] Juritsch justified this approach, saying: When we do RA it is supposed to serve decision-making so there is a very instrumental information need behind it. There are a lot of things that it is nice to know, but whatever we do should strictly serve a purpose—an operational purpose or a decision-making purpose [PL-I-FTEX-5].

Echoing the agency’s website, Juritsch noted that Frontex conducts operational RA to prioritise its activities and allocate resources, but also undertakes strategic RA to ‘inform decision makers and key stakeholders, [. . .] senior management, member states, BG agencies, the Frontex Management Board, the Commission and the Council’. RA thus not only influenced border control practices, but also the overall border regime, mobility policy and neighbourly relations through both EU bodies and the EUMS represented on the management board. The enhanced role in EU bordering for technical or expert knowledge (particularly from law enforcement agencies) established Frontex as the source of European-level border knowledge and RA as the way of knowing it. These developments were further bolstered by the adoption and harmonisation of RA practices across EUMS border management services, including in the EU-8. This allowed the ‘European Border Guard Community’ to ‘speak the same language’, according to Frontex’s Head of Operations Klaus Roesler [PL-I-FTEX-8]. A senior officer in the Czech ‘Foreign Police’ described Risk Analysis as ‘the magic words’ for both the European Commission and the Czech ‘Analytical Centre for Border Protection and Migration’, which was led by the CZ-MoI department for migration and asylum policy. Czech officials also stressed the importance of unified analyses, from comparable data, for formulating policy at national level and having influence at EU level as well as for shaping consular practice [CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-IMoI-3; CZ-I-MFA-2; UA-I-CZC-2]. The PL-BG fully adopted CIRAM 2.0 as its own RA system and made it integral from the strategic level, where ‘the migration situation in the whole of Poland’ was analysed, to the PL-BG posts where it guided inland patrolling, green border surveillance and checks at BCPs [PL-I-BG-4]. Polish embassies and consulates also fed into and used the system, and the PL-MoI confirmed that PL-BG RA informs their practice and policymaking. As in Czechia, RA facilitated—and drove—a more integrated, inter-ministerial, multi-agency approach [PL-I-BG-3; PL-PO-3; PL-I-MoI-1; PL-I-MoI-2; PL-PO-3]. 4

Frontex website—http://frontex.europa.eu/intelligence/risk-analysis—page now removed

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The pervasive influence of Europeanised RA practices could also be seen in Ukraine. The UA-BG participated in Frontex’s ‘Eastern Borders Risk Analysis Network’ (EBRAN), which analysed risks to and through the borders that the EU ‘shares’ with its Eastern neighbours. This required the UA-BG to adopt particular methods of collecting, collating and exchanging information. Both the EU-DU and EUBAM engaged in considerable persuasion and mentoring on RA’s benefits and conducted extensive human and technical capacity building as well as donating hardware and software to facilitate the implementation of RA in Ukraine. Significantly, Ukraine’s adoption of RA, as well as its participation in border and law enforcement information exchange networks, was tied to its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) and EU Association Agreement (see Chap. 5). EUBAM RA expert Janos Meszaros concurred with the UA-BG’s assessment that their RA system had become very similar to CIRAM 2.0 [UA-I-EUB-7]. The importance of this similarity is clear in Meszaros’ claim that ‘we [EUBAM] are a technical mission: we are just teaching [the UA-BG] how to think’ (my emphasis) [UA-I-EUB-7; UA-I-BG-1].5 EUBAM’s ‘technical’ mission was guided by its Analytical and Operational Support Unit (AOSU), which also conducted ‘political analysis’ to ‘drive planning’ by supplying EU, EUMS and Ukrainian authorities with analysis on ‘what is happening’ regarding borders, migration, mobility and security in Ukraine. EUBAM’s (then) perceived success made it highly influential in EU border policy and practice, as a senior EU-DU official confirmed: ‘EUBAM is our pride [. . .] and our think tank’ [UA-I-EUD-1; UA-I-EUD-2; UA-I-EUB-2] (Kurowska & Tallis, 2009).

6.2.2

Opportunity Cost: Limitations of Risk Analysis

As law enforcement agencies taught other actors ‘how to think’, RA became the way of knowing about borders, mobilities and migration. RA’s veneer of quasi-scientific objectivity was the foundation of Frontex, EUBAM and national BG services’ legitimacy of both expertise and action. However, serious doubts were raised over the integrity of the data that underpinned RA. Moreover, even improved statistical accuracy would not have addressed serious issues in the ways RA data was interpreted and used—and how it affected mobility, governance and subjectivity in CEE. Frontex officials, such as Mari Juritsch, were proud of the scope and depth of their RA, claiming that it was: ‘really detailed and sophisticated—I don’t think that anyone else has such data’ [PL-I-FTEX-5]. Yet, Principal Research Officer Tim Cooper revealed that in the same year (2012) Frontex had only recently established

5

Xymena Kurowska (2014) provides a nuanced and illuminating discussion of the politics of teaching and learning—and Polish border guards’ roles as pupils and then tutors—in and through the EU and CEE.

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‘basic bloody facts’ on ‘stocks and flows’ of migrants or even on the number of border guards working in the EU, which he had calculated to be about a quarter of previously used figures. Emphasising the distorting effects of erroneous figures on policy, Cooper cited the FP6 ‘Clandestino’ Report, which challenged previous estimates of ‘stocks’ of irregular residents in the EU, claiming that the European Commission had based ‘millions of dollars’ worth of policy actions’ on a figure of eight million irregular migrants, a number which had effectively been ‘made-up’ by the French newspaper Le Figaro [PL-I-FTEX-1] (Triandafyllidou, 2009; Vogel et al., 2011). The Clandestino Report provided comprehensive evidence and methodological transparency for its estimates of there being between 1.8 and 3.3 million, while the Le Figaro figure was unreferenced and unsupported (Triandafyllidou, 2009). In other cases, RA seems to be used as ‘window dressing’ given that several Frontex and EUBAM priorities were not actually supported by the analysis that they ostensibly put such trust in. Mari Juritsch claimed that there were ‘a lot’ of ‘illegal’ border crossings at the Slovak–Ukrainian frontier, but Frontex reports showed only 900–1500 a year along the entire EU Eastern Land Border of which SK-UA is only a small part. Even at the upper end, the figures were minuscule in comparison to statistics that Frontex presented for both regular flows at this border (69 million crossings a year in 2012) and illegal crossings elsewhere in the EU (72,437–141,051 annually between 2009 and 2012). In its reports, Frontex consistently identified smuggling (particularly of excise goods) rather than irregular migration as the biggest threat in the region at that time [PL-I-FTEX-5] (Frontex, 2011a, 2011b, 2012a, 2012b, 2013a, 2013b). Janos Meszaros of EUBAM also claimed that ‘illegal migration’ was a significant problem, but even some other EUBAM officers dismissed this as ‘a total talk up’ of already shoddy data. Meszaros was, however, following a long-standing EUBAM trend6 of ‘dramatizing’ particular issues, including THB, that according to other EUBAM staff were not supported by ‘the numbers’ [UA-I-EUB-1; UA-I-EUB-6; UA-I-FTEX-7]. Meszaros explained that ‘the main reason to start the [EUBAM] mission [was] to stop the migration flow from Ukraine and Moldova to EU member states’. Awkwardly, however, this supposed threat that provided an (unofficial) reason for EUBAM’s existence was not even supported as being significant by EU organisations’ own analysis. Crucially, the perception that Frontex and EUBAM’s activities were based on RA gave credence to the claim that irregular migration was a threat—despite neither organisations’ statistics justifying this claim. Echoing Steve Smith’s (2004) argument that “the facts” cannot speak ‘for themselves’, Piotr Fialkowski, deputy head of RA for the PL-BG, argued that 6

Initial justifications for the mission had included suspicions of widespread arms trafficking, smuggling of radioactive materials, illegal migration, THB and even organ trafficking. However, the most significant issue that EUBAM identified in its AoR in its first year of operation (at the time I worked there) was the smuggling and “re-export” of chicken meat into Ukraine via Transnistria (EUBAM, 2006). Mission management at the time noted that although serious and having public health implications, this issue did not carry the political cache of those mentioned above.

6.2

Knowing: Risk Analysis and the Distortion of EU Bordering

177

analysis ‘can’t only be based on statistical and quantitative data, but also [on] qualitative data’, which he readily agreed ‘involves the imagination’ [PL-IBG-4]. Behind RA’s pristine, statistical façade thus lay considerable scope for interpretation. Mari Juritsch of Frontex acknowledged that the interpretation of law enforcement professionals is ‘focus[ed] mainly on the threats. [. . .] that’s what we are traditionally good at [. . .] and it still is’. Juritsch (and others) claimed that this was due to the structural influence of the legal framework—‘law enforcement doesn’t have the luxury to say what is right and wrong’ [PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-IFTEX-8]. However, other factors, related to negative discourses on mobility—and on Ukraine—also played a significant role (see Chap. 5). If an important, but unofficial, the reason for launching EUBAM—irregular migration—proved not to be backed up by statistical evidence, this could have put the mission’s budget and even its continued existence in question. Mission staff, including those who believed in the value of EUBAM’s work (and of preserving their own positions), therefore had an incentive to ‘dramatize’—particular issues behind a façade of technical expertise, regardless of the statistical or interpretive validity of doing so. Other mission staff (quoted above) clearly felt that these claims were not justified, but they did fit with other imperatives, such as ‘stopping migration’. Meszaros’ previously quoted view that ‘migrants coming from outside means reducing the place for our people [sic]’ and Deputy Head of Mission Slawomir Pichor’s assertion that migrants ‘steal our jobs’ point to other agendas that were masked by the supposed objectivity of RA [UA-I-EUB-2; UA-I-EUB-7]. The Europeanisation of Risk Analysis thus provided technocratic cover for discursive securitisations of mobility, which were compounded by practice-based securitisations stemming from the imbalanced focus on threats rather than opportunities. Similarly, it was easier for the EU to justify its overly restrictive mobility and visa regime on the basis of a ‘talked up’, illusory threat because irregular migration resonated in the public consciousness in ways that smuggling did not. This approach was also expedient for the EU because of its general hesitancy over Ukrainian mobility, the leverage it gained from holding back on visa liberalisation and its wider security concerns regarding its neighbours. It is little wonder that the EU-DU official quoted above referred to EUBAM, with its useful, RA-based veneer of technical credibility, as ‘our think tank’ could also describe the head of its Analytical unit as ‘a man of global vision’7 [UA-I-EUD-1]. Tim Cooper, Principal Research Officer at Frontex was most damning about the role of RA in obscuring policy preferences (and prejudices) behind a technocratic façade: ‘it’s policy-based evidence-making, not evidence-based policy-making’ [PL-I-FTEX-1]. Yet, a better functioning RA system could have supported the creation of a genuinely ‘liberal’ border regime that combined, freedom, security and justice internally and externally. Moreover, in the EU’s mode of liberal governance, it is appropriate that law enforcement agencies (including border guards) should enforce the law as it is, being constrained by it rather than taking it into their

7

He subsequently took up an important role at Frontex.

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own hands. RA conducted by these agencies should thus focus on threats defined in law. However, the law enforcement actors’ near monopoly on the production of border knowledge, largely through RA, resulted in an imbalance in this knowledge. ‘Proper visualizations’ and ‘situational pictures’ of ‘what is happening’ were mainly produced and interpreted by those who ‘see like border guards’ (Follis, 2012) [PL-IFTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8]. As Mari Juritsch noted: There might be a fantastic impact of a person who comes and contributes to the economy of [e.g.] the Czech Republic and buys this and that, [. . .] is young and working hard, [. . .] is a major innovator and may start a business, [that] could be, but [analysing] that is not our role [PL-I-FTEX-5].

The problem is that analysing the positive aspects of migration and mobility was nobody’s role, as CZ-MFA, PL-MFA, CZ-MoL and CZ-IoM officials admitted, leading to a negative imbalance in knowledge of borders and mobility. The dividuation effected by only focusing on negative aspects of migration and mobility smacks of Control-type power exercised through practice (see Chap. 2). The lack of any countervailing knowledge let alone a comparable form of ‘opportunity analysis’, led to distorted pictures of and policy on mobility and migration. This distortion helped construct Ukrainians and their mobility as threatening and hindered EU governance in its neighbourhood, which in turn contributed to disorder there. It would also come back to haunt the EU in the migration crisis and its substantial and potential disordering effects. Yet, if the later visa liberalisation for Ukrainians also shows the relative weakness of practices in the face of political will exercised through discourse, the power of practices to influence the everyday lives and experiences of people is not in doubt, especially in the short to medium term, as the next section on practices of protecting shows.

6.3

Protecting: Borders and Migrants

Protect me from what I want. (Jenny Holzer, Artist.) You do not have a fundamental right to illegally enter the European Union. (Senior Frontex Official)

The dominance of ‘knowledge-based’ approaches meant that the EU’s external frontiers became a prime site of security practices that aimed to counter perceived mobile threats, but the frontiers themselves also became objects of protection. AFSJ governance and policing relied on the gathering and verification of particular knowledge about the people moving into and out of the EU, as well as those residing and moving within the Schengen zone. Maintaining the ‘integrity’ of the border regime was therefore essential to the credibility and even the existence of the Schengen zone and so practices of protecting the border emerged as significant elements of the borderscape. Such protection primarily entailed border checks at Border Crossing Points (BCPs), surveillance of the ‘green borders’ that run between

6.3

Protecting: Borders and Migrants

179

them and inland patrolling, which are discussed below. These practices relate to but, as the analysis presented in the section shows, also diverge from influential understandings of the EU’s turn to ‘Protective Security’ (Youngs, 2021). However, other practices of protection also became increasingly relevant for EU bordering in CEE. Specifically, the practices of protecting migrants and other moving people from fundamental rights violations and physical harm as well as from labour or sexual exploitation, with a particular focus on preventing THB. In this section, I show the (perhaps counter-intuitive) potential for enhanced mobility created by highly efficient and effective border protection practices, which remained underused by the EU and EUMS during the research period. As well as underuse, however, the potential for freer movement for TCNs was also undermined by practices that sought to protect migrants from the dangers of their own mobility.

6.3.1

Protecting the Border

BCPs were the prime sites for protecting both the border and the integrity of the border regime. It was at BCPs8 that Ukrainians (and others) seeking to enter the EU had to present their passports and visas, residence and work permits. Their details were entered into computerised systems and checked against the Schengen Information System (SIS) and national databases. Depending on their travel history (indicated by passport stamps and database entries) and the stated purpose of the current travel, border guards asked questions about the details, duration and conditions of their entry into and stay in the EU. Those travelling as tourists were often asked about their reasons for visiting a particular place or what they planned to see when they got there. People travelling for work could expect questions about their employer, salary and conditions of accommodation, with a lack of knowledge of these details considered as suspicious. Questions may also have been prompted by the luggage the person had,9 the vehicle that their journey was being made in, or the other travellers10 in their group. Vehicle, luggage and document checks were conducted in close co-operation with customs officers and, where infrastructure permitted, the Polish authorities implemented ‘one-stop’ controls to facilitate faster movement through concurrent

8 Working BCPs in Czech Republic were, after 2007, exclusively at international airports. While these airports were also sites of border protection, the focus here is on the road, rail and pedestrian BCPs at the ‘land border’ between Poland and Ukraine, which were by far the most significant channels for Ukrainians seeking to enter the EU. 9 A weekend tourist trip made with a car packed full of domestic possessions, or a student travelling with work clothes and equipment may prompt further inquiries. 10 A group of young female travellers with relatively recently issued passports travelling for waitressing jobs in Western Europe in a minivan with a male driver with an older passport, may face some questions as to how much they know about the exact nature and conditions of their future employment.

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checking of documentation, transportation and possessions. All vehicles passed through radiation detectors at the BCP, while goods vehicles and cargo trains were also X-ray scanned to detect and deter smuggling of both people and contraband [PL-PO-3].11 The documents of incoming EU citizens were also checked, although PL-BG officers confirmed that there are ‘two different levels of checks: minimal for people who enjoy community rights of free movement and full, thorough checks for TCNs’. Like the checks performed inside the Schengen zone, this differentiation performed a social sorting function. This sorting was also expressed spatially at BCPs where (as at airports) flows of TCNs were separated from EU citizens, with the latter enjoying lower average checking times—a key performance indicator for BG services [PL-I-BG-4; PL-I-FTEX-2; PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-BG-3; PL-PO-3]. The frequency and extent of deeper border checks (‘second-line’ controls) conducted on both EU and Ukrainian citizens passing through the BCP were generally driven by the ‘profiles’ generated by RA, which focused on key indicators considered to warrant closer examination [PL-I-BG-4; PL-BG-3; PL-PO-3; PL-IFTEX-2; PL-FTEX-5]. Frontex ‘guest’ officers deployed—on request—for periods between 3 and 6 months were also on hand to provide expertise on, for example specifics of national documents or the detection of stolen vehicles [PL-PO-3]. Border guards and customs officers augmented risk profiles with their professional experience, expertise and local knowledge. They operated within the rules set out by their national agencies and the Schengen acquis, but behaved neither as temporary sovereigns nor unthinking executors of repressive discourse as they have been described elsewhere (see Chap. 2). Ensuring that people and vehicles do not avoid controls was central to the integrity of the Schengen border regime, which required that documented data be ‘fixed’ to particular people, so it could be assessed for risk, irregularity or abnormality in their mobility (Amoore, 2006; Salter, 2007). Information submitted during visa application processes was verified and documents were evaluated in relation to the types of movement the border guards assessed to be taking place. This process required moving people to pass through BCPs, where the checks and verification could take place thoroughly and professionally, their rights could be respected and proper consideration could be given to travellers safety as well as broader security concerns [PL-PO-3; PL-I-BG-4; PL-I-FTEX-2]. Channelling flows through BCPs was therefore essential to the maintenance of the integrity of the EU’s filtrationbased border regime (see Chap. 4). This regime depended on border surveillance to prevent crossings outside BCPs and thus maintain the credibility of the management of EU and Schengen borders by EUMS authorities. The freedom of movement mandated by Schengen membership significantly increased the pressure on states with external borders to ensure that they ‘know’, check and, thus, manage flows into (and out of) the AFSJ. EU-8 states, such as Poland, were under particular pressure to show that they could meet EU standards in

11 These detection devices are installed at major Polish–Ukrainian BCPs, which are also equipped with ‘mikrosearch’ capabilities that detect concealed people or animals [PL-PO-3; PL-I-BG-4].

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this regard. The PL-BG conducted extensive border surveillance based on risk analysis-driven patrolling of the areas in and around the green border and the border belt. Vehicles, including Land Rovers, quad bikes and vans equipped with longrange night vision equipment, as well as light aircraft and helicopters, expedited mobile patrolling as well as observation of the border region and inland transport routes [PL-I-BG-3; PL-PO-3; PL-O-4]. The PL-BG’s practices of border control were praised by Frontex officials for facilitating mobility while providing security; by representatives of the UNHCR for respecting people and their fundamental rights; and by focus group participants for being ‘kind and polite [. . .] not cruel’, even when denying people entry. Focus group participants contrasted this with Ukrainian controls and also compared the experience of entering the EU favourably to crossing the Ukrainian–Russian frontier [UA-FG-2; PL-I-FTEX-3; PL-I-FTEX-8; PL-IUN-2].

6.3.2

Protecting Migrants, Limiting Mobilities

As well as practices of protecting borders, and despite numerous violations, practices of protecting migrants and their Fundamental Rights (FR), became increasingly central to EU bordering between 2005–2014. This trend, driven to a large degree by Frontex, was accompanied by increased efforts to prevent migrants from being exploited, both sexually and in the labour market. While ostensibly well-intentioned, these migrant-protecting practices actually contributed to a more restrictive mobility environment for TCNs (including Ukrainians). The amended 2011 Frontex regulation approved the agency’s upgraded Fundamental Rights Strategy and came in the wake of the establishment of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) as well as the prioritisation of FR by DG Home Commissioner Malmstrom. The regulation established a permanent ‘Fundamental Rights Officer’ (FRO) within Frontex to perform an internal audit function and a Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights (CF) to provide both expertise on FR and an arena for NGOs to raise concerns relating to FR [PL-I-FTEX-1]. These institutional changes followed controversial allegations about Frontex’s complicity in or even perpetration of FR abuses, relating mainly to poor detention conditions for migrants and possible cases of refoulement (denying people in need of international protection the possibility to exercise their right to claim asylum). These allegations were strongly challenged by the agency, which admits that isolated violations—by national rather than Frontex officers—had taken place, but rejected claims by extreme ‘anti-border’ activist groups that it carried out intentional, systematic or institutionalised FR violations [PL-I-FTEX-1; PL-I-FTEX-7; PL-I-FTEX8].12 While later, seemingly systematic violations plagued the reputation of the

12

See, e.g. http://frontexplode.eu; http://noborders.org.uk both accessed 15/07/2021.

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agency (see Epilogue), during the period of my research Frontex took its FR responsibilities seriously and, increasingly, its staff members came from FR backgrounds, enabling the agency to provide performative expression of values that are crucial to EU-European governance and the EU’s self-image. Frontex staff, national authorities and the UNHCR pointed to the influence that the agency had on upscaling awareness of and training on FR at all levels of European border guarding.13 From training programmes to include in the Common Core Curriculum and Common Core Competences for Border Guards, FR protection became an integral practice of EU bordering [PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-6; PL-I-UN-1; PL-PO-3]. However, as External Relations Officer David Reisenzein stated, there were tactical as well as principled reasons for the agency’s foregrounding of FR: There was a push in terms of enhanced border security and in terms of enhancing the capacities and capabilities of Frontex, [. . .] and there was a trade off in the course of negotiations [. . .] for enhanced safeguarding of FR [PL-I-FTEX-7].

While it had many positive aspects, protecting migrants’ FR also became a further legitimising logic for restricting mobility and entrenching Law-Enforcement perspectives as the dominant view of EU bordering. The focus on upholding rights prioritised procedural rather than substantive notions of justice in bordering discourses and practices and suggested that if FR were protected then the mobility regime could be considered to be fair and so could also be justifiably firm, which in practice came to mean overly restrictive. Protecting FR also meant ensuring that asylum claims were recognised. While again being positive and well intentioned, this also helped foster the image of migrants as victims (in need of saving) and reinforced perceptions that they would impose burdens on state budgets (Andrijasevic et al., 2012; Walters, 2006). Ukrainians did not substantially benefit from this shift as they did not apply for asylum in the EU in significant numbers. However, the labelling of the country as a significant transit route for irregular migrants and potential asylum seekers from other third countries added to the perception of mobility from Ukraine into the EU as burdensome (Frontex, 2012b, 2013b). Michele Simone of the UNHCR noted that ‘abuse’ of the asylum system further complicated matters. Jan Vycital of the CZ-MFA agreed, pointing to a large number of unfounded asylum claims by citizens of Western Balkan countries (which had visa-free travel to the EU) as a significant obstacle to visa liberalisation with Ukraine [PL-I-UN-1; CZ-I-MFA-2]. Ukrainians thus found themselves as neither sufficiently victimised to be saved nor sufficiently trusted to be allowed to move freely. Jan Vycital and other interviewees emphasised that the protection of migrants from exploitation, particularly labour exploitation, was a significant influence on the ‘general context’ of visa liberalisation [CZ-I-MFA-2; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-IoM-1; 13

As well as formal accountability, the presence of officers from different countries in situ at BCPs and Green borders had the effect of providing an ‘external conscience’ that sometimes limited the potential for FR violations.

6.3

Protecting: Borders and Migrants

183

CZ-MoL-1; CZ-I- NGO-1; UA-I-EUB-6; UA-I-EUD-2]. Undocumented working was seen to leave migrants vulnerable to mistreatment, poverty and precariousness that were incompatible with the goals of the AFSJ and the wider EU-European order. However, their irregular labour was also seen to threaten EU values and standards, pose unfair competition to EU citizens in the labour market and was linked to criminality, even while it remained, unofficially, ‘in demand’ [CZ-I-IoM-1; UA-INGO-1] (Frontex, 2014). Many other interviewees, as well as EU reports, focused on sexual exploitation of female migrants and linked it to Trafficking in Human Beings (THB), which was considered to be a particularly significant problem in relation to Ukraine. Frontex established a THB working group, developed handbooks to help identify potential ‘victims of THB’ and organised many training events on the topic, which was also included in the Common Core Curriculum. These initiatives took place amidst global campaigns against ‘modern slavery’ and widespread governmental and public condemnation of THB (Weitzer, 2011) [UA-I-CZC-2; UA-I-EUD-1; PL-I-FTEX-4; PL-I-FTEX-5; PL-I-FTEX-8; PL-I-BG-4]. However, several academic studies have compellingly challenged the conflation of sex work with THB, and of THB with other forms of organized crime and irregular migration. These studies claim that women, especially those from CEE, have found themselves at the intersection of a ‘politics of pity’ and a ‘politics of risk’ where they must be prevented from harming both themselves and the EU or AFSJ—and to do so they must be prevented from moving (Andrijasevic, 2009; Andrijasevic et al., 2012; Aradau, 2004). Sophie Day (2010) identified a clear connection between the increasing prioritisation of THB in Western Europe and the arrival of increasing numbers of CEE women to work in the sex industry there. Ronald Weitzer (2011) has shown that a ‘robust mythology of trafficking’ is not supported by hard evidence and that ‘many of the claims made about it are wholly unsubstantiated’. Preventing THB nonetheless provided ‘a nice justification’14 for restricting mobility and denying the agency of women seen as ‘passive victims’. Yet, sex workers were often seen as ‘different’ from other women and potentially socially or morally harmful, making them ‘reproachable victims’ (Jacobsen & Skilbrei, 2010). Similar, although less exaggerated feelings were expressed by research participants in relation to irregular workers who were associated with labour market threats, corruption and criminality, as well as risking their own mistreatment [e.g. CZ-I-MoL-1; PL-I-FTEX-1; PL-I-FTEX-5; UA-I-EUB-6]. Practices of protection, without the will to combine them with enhanced mobility, thus not only restricted many Ukrainians’ ability to enact a key mode of EU-European subjectivity, but also helped reproduce hierarchical divisions between ‘EU-Europeans’ and ‘Eastern-Europeans’ (Boym, 2001; Darley, 2009 see also Chap. 2). Overall, practices of protecting borders facilitated the freer movement of people within Schengen but were, in general, carried out with consideration of and sympathy for the difficulties facing Ukrainians seeking to enter the EU and many

14

The term used by a sex worker interviewed by Andrijasevic et al. (2012).

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practitioners (both officials and border guards) recalled their own pre-accession travails [PL-PO-3]. However, practices of migrant protection intended to prevent exploitation (and guard against both burdens and threats) also restricted mobility and further entrenched the exercise of power as Control by seeing people through only one lens and seeing them as fixed in that partial subjectivity—whether victim, burden, or threat. Human rights lawyer Pavel Cizinsky argued that these practices contributed to ‘humanitarianization and victimization’ of migrants (complementing ‘securitisation and criminalisation’, and were ‘a perversion of the human rights argument’, with ‘repressive’ effects on mobility [CZ-I-NGO-1]. Nonetheless, Ukrainians did find ways to get into the EU, as the next section shows.

6.4

Facilitating: Formal and Informal Ways In

Despite the restrictive effects of the practices described above, millions of TCNs, including Ukrainians, did manage to travel to the EU each year, again dispelling the notion of ‘Fortress Europe’. While the next section discusses practices of movement in CEE, the current section looks at the ways in which certain types of travel to, and stay in, the EU was facilitated. First, I discuss the ways in which official facilitations, connected to processes of Europeanisation, have made travel easier, albeit for particular groups of people and particular purposes of travel, which often entrench privilege and existing intra-Ukrainian hierarchies. I then go on to show how Ukrainians also found their own ways to negotiate opaque and complex visa and residence bureaucracies. Sometimes these ways involved elements of irregularity, or even illegality, which gave a kernel of credence to the overstated link between migration and (organised) criminality and thus helped to maintain the conditions for the EU’s overly (but not completely) restrictive mobility regime.

6.4.1

Formal Facilitations: Privileges

Europeanisation ushered in common Schengen policies and practices that required AFSJ states to respect rights of free movement for holders of visas issued by other states and to apply common, EU-level facilitations. These facilitations were part of the EU–Ukraine Visa Dialogue, which was linked to both Ukraine’s Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) and Association Agreement and were seen to ‘strengthen ties between the citizens of Ukraine and the EU’ (European Commission, 2012). Commissioners Cecilia Malmstrom (DG Home) and Stefan Fuele (DG Enlargement and Neighbourhood) concurred, implicitly recognising the detrimental effects of the restrictive visa regime for EU–Ukraine relations, as well as on citizens’ preferences and perceptions (ibid.):

6.4

Facilitating: Formal and Informal Ways In

185

[Visa Facilitation] will further facilitate people-to-people contacts and make it easier for ordinary Ukrainian citizens who want to travel to Europe. The changes will facilitate travelling for, amongst others, representatives of the civil society, NGOs and journalists. It is a very positive signal to the people of Ukraine that despite the current difficulties in the overall EU-Ukraine relations, the EU is firmly committed to strengthening the people-topeople contacts between the citizens of the EU and Ukraine.

In practice, visa facilitation expedited the process of applying for—and increased the likelihood of obtaining—a Schengen visa for certain types of travel and, in some cases, also waived the cost of doing so. As the Ukrainian NGO ‘NoVisa’ noted, this ‘long-awaited’ amendment ‘expand[ed] the list of privileged categories’, creating distinctions between those considered as ‘bona fide’ and those considered otherwise (Sushko et al., 2012). This seemed to confirm which types of travel were explicitly seen as beneficial and effectively created profiles of those people and purposes that were more—or less—‘welcome’ in the EU. Several of the privileged groups (such as journalists, businessmen, politicians and bureaucrats) were already seen by many Ukrainians to enjoy considerable unwarranted privilege and facilitation thus helping foster particular impressions of who and what the EU is for [UA-I-MFA-1; UA-FG1]. However, some of those who were most strident in these critiques, such as activists Nikita Kadan and Vasyl Cherepanyn, also benefited from facilitations, albeit only for certain purposes [UA-I-NGO-1]. As Cherepanyn put it, ‘I have never in my life travelled as a tourist’ [UA-I-NGO-2]. The visa policies of EUMS for longer-term travel, stay and work had similar effects. The Czech authorities were described as ‘problematic’ by ‘NoVisa’ because, despite waiving the fee on 40% of visas, they operated an—openly acknowledged— hierarchical system of preference for certain types of people and purposes of stay (Sushko et al., 2012). While the Czech consul in Kyiv correctly challenged some of NoVisa’s figures (specifically, the visa rejection rate), the CZ-MoI and CZ-MoL did co-operate on special programmes to attract particular groups including: professionals and people with higher-level qualifications or high-paying jobs15 as well as people from particular countries [UA-I-CZC-2; CZ-I-MoL-1].16 Jan Vycital of the CZ-MFA claimed the fact that Ukraine was included in this group of privileged countries but human rights lawyer Pavel Cizinsky dismissed it as a ‘media bubble project’, which benefitted only a negligible number of Ukrainians [CZ-I-NGO-1]. Lucie Sladkova of CZ-IoM agreed, calling the programme a ‘fairy tale’ [CZ-I-IoM-1], actually aimed at what even Vycital described as ‘limiting the number of workers’ [CZ-I-MFA-2]. In effect, this ‘facilitation’ amounted to a

15

More than 150% of the gross average wage, which in 2014 was calculated as being approximately 1000 EUR per month, with 1500 EUR needed to qualify for a Blue Card. 16 Citizens of Australia, Montenegro, Croatia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, United States, Serbia, Ukraine can apply for the ‘Green Card’ programme which has three categories: A—Qualified Workers with University Education or ‘Key Personnel’ where a particular need has been identified in the labour market; B—jobs with a minimum education requirement; C—other workers.

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technocratically realised, populist clamp down on unskilled labour without actually increasing mobility for skilled Ukrainian workers. Sladkova claimed that this approach ignored the unmet Czech demand for unskilled labour, but also increased the cost and complexity of enforcement, again creating a lose–lose situation [CZ-IMoI-2]. Like other forms of visas and residence and work permits, facilitated visas and permits were processed through the Czech ‘Visapoint’ system. Visapoint was part of a raft of measures introduced to prevent abuse at consulates (including in Ukraine) and at offices of the Foreigners Police in Czechia. However, although these measures improved the experience of many visa applicants, cutting what Czech consul David Pavlita referred to as ‘strongarms’ and the ‘queue mafia’ out of the system, they also had other, malign uses. Pavel Porizek of the Czech Ombudsman’s Office alleged that the opacity of the Visapoint system was used to covertly enforce quotas for applications and approvals from certain countries, including Ukraine, in violation of EU law. This was flatly denied by the CZ-MoI analytical centre, which, like some consular staff, claimed that processing capacity was the real limiting factor. However, both the Kyiv consulate and the Consular Policy Section of the CZ-MFA admitted that in addition to capacity constraints, a secret government decision from 2009 had imposed quotas on migrants from five countries, including Ukraine, based on numbers from the MoI analytical centre [UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-IMFA-1]. Polish policies and practices stood in contrast to the Czech approach and showed the possibility for manoeuvre despite harmonisation, reflecting what the NGO NoVisa termed ‘political will’ (Sushko et al., 2012). Polish officials emphasised that their policy was open to and encouraged managed, regular migration, thus fulfilling ‘obligations’ of history and decency towards Ukrainians, but also discouraging irregular migration (by increasing the supply of regular ways in) [PL-I-MFA2; PL-I-MoI-1; UA-I-PLC-1]. This policy helped fill gaps in the Polish labour market created by Poles’ Westward migration since EU accession (a bigger issue for Poland than for Czechia) and was supported by the well-protected, well-managed Polish–Ukrainian frontier. Poland (unlike Czechia17) also offered special facilitations for Ukrainians of Polish origin, including free education up to university level for ‘young people’, free one-year visas and permit-free working [UA-I-PLC-1]. It is little wonder, therefore, that ‘NoVisa’ named Poland as ‘the absolute visa champion’ (Sushko et al., 2012). The Polish approach was indeed exceptional and there generally remained an overall under-provision of possibilities for Ukrainians to regularly enter and stay in the EU and AFSJ. This meant that many Ukrainians, without privileged facilitations, sought other ways to negotiate the system.

17

This has particular consequence and poignancy in relation to those who live in Zakarpattiya around Uzhgorod that was part of the Czechoslovak ‘First Republic’ (Davies, 2011: 638) and for the ethnic Czechs living in the Ukrainian region of Volhynia.

6.4

Facilitating: Formal and Informal Ways In

6.4.2

187

Informal Facilitations: Negotiations

Mobility intersects with a sense of self and place (see Chap. 2). The under-provision of possibilities for regular movement created a particular sense of injustice for those Ukrainians who saw themselves as being ‘European’ by dint of history or culture, and thus as entitled to the same types of mobility as Czechs or Poles. Some considered that they were being denied a universal right, which prompted them to seek other ways to claim it for themselves. Others simply calculated that they had a better chance of improving their lives materially (or in other ways), in the EU and were thus willing to explore all options to move into and stay within the AFSJ. Some were more pushed, while others were more pulled but this excess demand for mobility also created a market for informal negotiations of EU and EUMS visa, labour and residence bureaucracies [CZ-I-NGO-3; CZ-I-IoM-UA-I-NGO-1; UA-INGO-2; UA-I-MFA-1; CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-2; CZ-I-NGO-3; UA-FG-1; UA-FG2]. The presence of a substantial existing diaspora population is a key factor in driving migration, as it not only makes mobility and stay easier but also more likely to be beneficial (Collier, 2013; Goldin et al., 2011). This was significant for Ukrainians with regard to both the Czech and Polish cases, but particularly in the former as Czechia is further from Ukraine and had higher barriers to regular entry for work. However, as Lucie Sladkova of CZ-IoM observed, what starts as informal advice-seeking or providing useful contacts for friends or family, can quickly become ‘highly organized’ [CZ-I-IoM-1]. In Czechia, such organisations mainly took two forms: civil society organisations such as the ‘Ukrainian Initiative’ in Prague; or so-called ‘klient’ organizations that, with varying degrees of formality (and legality), provided or linked migrants with jobs, accommodation and other services on a commercial basis [CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-2; CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-NGO2; CZ-I-NGO-3; CZ-I-OMB-1; CZ-MFA-1]. From the CZ-MoI to the Ombudsman’s Office, CZ-IoM, NGOs, Ukrainians in a Czech migration facility and TCN students living in Prague, there was consensus that the complexity and obduracy of Czech residence and labour laws and bureaucracy created the need for both types of organisations. Participants also agreed that this situation increased the precariousness of migrant lives as well as the possibility of ‘irregularity’ and, occasionally, pushed migrants into contact with people operating on the fringes of legality. Both Bohdan Rajcinec of the ‘Ukrainian Initiative’ in Prague and human rights lawyer Pavel Cizinsky conceded that ‘klients’ involved themselves in both licit and illicit activities. However, both of these civil society representatives rejected claims that Ukrainian migration to Czechia was ‘organised’ on the ‘black market’ and they lamented the (wilful) conflation of ‘klients’ with ‘mafia’ [e.g. CZ-MFA-1], by Czech media and government, as it supported the unjustified criminalisation of migrants. Rather, Cizinsky emphasised that ‘klients’ ‘help [Ukrainians] overcome state repression: they help with migration itself [and] they help them find work and to overcome the state bureaucracy’ [CZ-I-NGO-1.; CZ-PO-1].

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Simplifying the labour and residence permit system, through a new migration law, was a priority of the CZ-MoI and CZ-MoL but the proposed law—which was heavily criticised by NGOs—stalled when the Czech government collapsed in 2013 and had not been re-started by the end of the research period. Nonetheless, a recently introduced requirement for the migrant to be present (with their passport) at the Foreigners’ Police limited ‘klients’ involvement in residence and employment processes and cut out ‘queue mafias’. The CZ-MoI also funded the work of NGOs such as Berkat Inbaze and ASIM, which provide free advice and advocacy for migrants (including those who have been detained), as well as a direct information campaign on their rights and obligations. Unfortunately, CZ-MoI and NGOs noted that Ukrainians were still generally more willing to pay extortionate fees to ‘klients’, rather than accept the free help of NGOs, a choice which increased their precariousness. Some Ukrainian participants described dealings with ‘klients’ that had left them out-of-pocket, without regular residence or employment status and ultimately led to them being detained. Others affirmed that the klient had provided the agreed service, but for a high price [CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-NGO-4; CZ-I-MFA-2; CZ-I-IoM1; CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-2]. Pavel Pesek and David Pavlita of the Czech consular service in Ukraine explained that information campaigns were also necessary at consulates and embassies. This was due to widespread confusion over visa requirements and procedures, misinformation deliberately spread by klient and criminal organisations as well as the complexity of the visa system for which EU Harmonisation processes remained incomplete. Even after shutting out what Pavlita had called ‘strong arms’ and ‘mafia’ from the visa queues, shady groups found other ways to profit from visa processes, operating through the system in dubious ways [UA-I-CZC-1]. The Czech and Polish consulates both co-operated with a list of ‘approved’ travel agencies, which guaranteed the validity of the purpose and practice of travel and ensure travellers met the visa requirements. Many focus group participants had used such services, despite the cost involved. Pavlita explained that some agencies had been blacklisted for abusing their status to facilitate irregular movement, usually because travellers had overstayed their tourist visas in order to work. Focus Group participants also claimed that: ‘you may also buy a [false] invitation [letter] for about 100 USD, but for a real letter from Poland it’s like, 100 EUR’, and claimed that sometimes it was even possible to buy an actual visa [UA-FG-2; UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2].18 These claims of criminality and corruption, like those regarding the activities of klients in CR, clouded understandings of mobility by associating them (not completely unjustly) with irregularity and illegality. Tomasz Cytrinowicz, director of the PL-MoI’s Office for Foreigners denied that this was a problem in Poland, partly thanks to their more open mobility regime, but law enforcement agencies

During the period of my fieldwork, a scandal erupted at the Polish consulate in Lutsk, in North Western Ukraine, leading to dismissal of the consul general and five deputy consuls for corruption in the granting of visas, linked to THB (Interfax Ukraine, 2012b). 18

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noted significant problems regarding document security [PL-I-MoI-3; PL-I-FTEX-2; PL-I-FTEX-5; CZ-I-MoI-2; UA-I-EUB-1]. It did not help that both human traffickers and people smugglers were called ‘facilitators’ by law enforcement agencies but, as Lucie Sladkova noted, people-smuggling presented different complexities than THB: ‘[before 1989] those people who could smuggle you into the ‘Western paradise’ were heroes. How, in a short period of time, can you turn them into bad guys?’ [PL-I-FTEX-4; CZ-I-IoM-1]. In the period of research EU facilitation and protection practices turned too many migrants into ‘bad guys’. Ukrainians’ unmet demand for regular mobility, their dependence on the unreliable noblesse oblige of EUMS, as well as the complex and opaque practices of EU and EUMS visa and residency bureaucracies fuelled informal facilitations of entry and stay. The Polish approach showed a way to break this cycle by increasing provision of regular, managed movement and stay. The difference between the Polish and Czech approaches again showed the importance of ‘political will’ and discursive power in overcoming entrenched practices, despite EU harmonisation and Czechia and Poland’s common, self-described ‘colonial’ legacy in Ukraine [UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-PLC-1]. Although NoVisa criticised the Czech government for acting more like a ‘Western’ EU member than a post-socialist country, as I note in the next section, Czechia nonetheless hosted more long-term migrants than Poland, Hungary and Slovakia combined, which also made it more like a ‘Western’ EUMS (Sushko et al., 2012). Their respective facilitation policies showed the distinct Czech and Polish understandings of their political positioning within the EU and in relation to the neighbourhood. These differences were also reflected in their differing approaches to intra-EU mobility, as the next section shows [UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-PLC-2; UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2; UA-I-NGO-2; PL-I-MFA2; UA-FG-1; CZ-I-IoM-1].

6.5

Moving: CEE Mobilities Within and Without the EU

Practices of moving are the final element of the CEE borderscape that I identified in my research. In this section, I examine practices of movement in CEE and outline key trends and salient modes, patterns and rhythms of mobility beside the facilitations discussed above. EU and Schengen accession made travel and migration to EU member states easier for Czechs and Poles. This was not only highly valued but also had a significant bearing on their EU-European belonging. I discuss why Czechs were less likely to migrate to other EUMS than Poles, although both nationalities utilised free movement for tourism and other short trips (Eurostat, 2011, 2012, 2014). Although neither country was a significant destination for EU-15 migrants, inward tourism was common and had a mixed effect, both challenging and reproducing aspects of the hierarchies of transition (see Chap. 2). I also argue that EU citizens’ movement to Ukraine, primarily for tourism, and Ukrainian mobility into the EU, primarily for work, were significant in reproducing negative

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impressions of the country, reinforcing notions of difference that underpinned the EU’s overly restrictive mobility regime.19

6.5.1

Movement Within the EU and the Schengen Zone

After joining the EU and Schengen, Czechs and Poles made great use of their freer movement to travel. They still travelled less than people from EU-15 countries, reflecting on-going wealth disparities and their comparatively recent accession to the AFSJ. Nonetheless, citizens of both countries ranked the ‘freedom to move to and reside in other EU countries’ as one of their two most important EU-related rights (Eurostat, 2011). Continuing a pronounced historical trend (with self-perpetuating elements), Czechs were more reluctant to relocate on a longer-term basis than Poles. Fewer and less-numerous diaspora populations and organisations in other EU states made informal barriers to migration and perceived obstacles to success higher for Czechs, who historically also received a cooler welcome home than returning Poles [CZ-PO-1; CZ-O-1] (Burrell, 2010; Eurostat, 2010; Kowalska & Strielkowski, 2013; Kundera, 2002).20 Robert Solich of the CZ-MoI confirmed that there had also been ‘no migration wave at all [-] because we have free movement’. Research participants in my own project and those who participated in a contemporaneous art project—‘Field Guide to the Czech Psyche’—affirmed the importance of the possibility of travel to Czechs, but also highlighted a socio-cultural reticence to uproot without being pushed to do so (Serran, 2013). Jan Vycital of the CZ-MFA observed that while Czechs highly valued the ‘possibility to travel and study abroad [they also] saw that maybe not everything is perfect [there]’ [CZ-I-MFA-2; CZ-I-IoM-1]. Academic research has also attributed this disparity to Poles’ greater ‘sensitivity’ to their (generally worse) economic situation (Svec, 2013) or the legacy of differently structured communist-era housing and labour arrangements (Kowalska & Strielkowski, 2013), but Kathy Burrell’s (2010) research on Polish migration to the United Kingdom suggests more complex factors at work. Burrell identified various motivations for Poles’ intra-EU migration: from working to save money to take or send home; to ‘searching’ for adventure and new experiences like on a pre-university ‘gap year’; or to ‘progress their li[ves] more generally’. Burrell also emphasises that for many young Poles, in particular, the search was not for ‘a better life’ but for ‘a normal life’. This often meant working in construction, domestic care, cleaning or entry-level service sector jobs, but higher-skilled migrants were also more able, over time, to 19

The overwhelming majority of the 200,000 foreign citizens living in Ukraine came from former Soviet states and no EUMS is in the top ten origin countries (BMP, 2011; IoM, 2008). Ukraine was tenth in CEE for Foreign Direct Investment rankings (Ernst & Young, 2011). 20 For example, British government figures for 2011 show 643,000 Poles compared to only 33,000 Czechs—far less than migrants from EU-8 countries with lower populations (e.g. Lithuania and Slovakia) officially residing in the United Kingdom (ONS, 2012).

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find positions commensurate with their skills and increasingly engaged with other aspects of social life (ibid.). Poles, who were among the largest groups of EU nationals living in other EU countries, enacted many of the benefits of mobility that Ukrainians could also have benefitted from if they were allowed to move more freely into the EU (Burrell, 2010; Eurostat, 2011, 2012; Rainey, 2013). Czechs, however, generally saw possibilities for ‘normal’ European life closer to home, echoing the country’s emergence as something of a migration ‘magnet’ in CEE [CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-O-1] (Kowalska & Strielkowski, 2013). With regard to other ‘inward’ movements, both CR and Poland become attractive destinations for Western European tourists (alongside millions from elsewhere) who particularly flocked to Prague and Krakow, which had highly developed and wellknown cultural and historical tourist industries (Eurostat, 2012). However, the frontier-zone movements from Austria and Germany into Czechia for sex, gambling or ‘cheap’ shopping (see Chap. 4) were also echoed in larger, urban tourist destinations. Although diminished from its post-EU-enlargement peak, the ‘stag party’ scene with its promise of wild times, cheap booze and quasi-exotic adventure, where ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’ and ‘you can do things you wouldn’t get away with back home’, still thrived [CZ-O-1; CZ-PO-1] (Stag Weekends: The Dirty Secrets, 2010). In the context of historicist discourses of transition, as well as in the dominant portrayal of CEE history as tragic, oppressive or barbaric, both of these types of tourist practices help reinforce particular impressions of EU–CEE relations. Despite CEE states’ EU membership this place making was connected to lingering notions of ‘Eastern-ness’, still haunted and hindered by painful pasts and ‘poor but sexy’—and somewhat louche—in the present (Pyzik, 2014; Tallis, 2012, 2019). While tourist impressions impact on a country’s international ‘sense of place’ they cannot reflect the richness and diversity of life available to its longer-term residents, although there are comparatively small numbers of immigrants from EU-15 states in Czechia and Poland. Despite the increasingly professional or business-oriented profile of these ‘expats’, a combination of their above-average incomes, high and rising quality of life and reasonable living costs more generally as well as looser social restrictions and a greater sense of possibility than ‘back home’ remained part of the charm and provided a positive counterpart to the negative impressions noted above. There was also a recent trend for workers from Bulgaria and Romania to take low-paid, low-skilled jobs, as their EU citizenship gave them a competitive advantage over TCNs. However, in both Czechia and Poland, Ukrainians still comprised the largest group of foreign born or foreign citizens residing on their territory (Eurostat, 2010, 2011, 2012) [CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-I-MoL-1; CZ-PO-1; CZ-O-1]. Once ‘inside’, TCNs (with regular status) could also enjoy the benefits of ‘free movement’. Staying or working regularly in the EU may have been difficult but it opened up the entire Schengen zone for travel, and conferred a deeper sense of belonging in the state in which they resided. Many TCNs regularly took the opportunity to travel, some scarcely believing that it was so easy, while others booked weekends away without a second thought having, like many EU citizens,

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‘internalised’ the sense of freedom that Schengen conveyed21 [CZ-PO-1; CZ-O-1; CZ-I-MFA-2] (Eurostat, 2012). Polish officials stressed the importance of this ‘right’, while representatives of Ukrainian NGOs and the Czech Ombudsman’s Office confirmed that it was not only exercised by the young and privileged [CZ-INGO-3; CZ-I-OMB-1]. However, while TCNs with Schengen residence could travel in the AFSJ, unlike EU citizens they were not ‘free’ to reside or work in other EU countries. Like other practices of mobility, this situation reflected and reproduced a gradated hierarchy of belonging in the EU, which was further influenced by the practices of mobility between the EU and Ukraine outlined below.

6.5.2

Movement Between the EU and Ukraine

The vast majority of the 4–6 million EU citizens22 who visited Ukraine each year during the period of research generally did so for ‘private visits’, although there was an increasing trend for visits for ‘cultural, sporting or religious events’, particularly for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. While Ukraine may not have capitalised on this opportunity as much as co-host Poland, it did provide an economic boost, particularly given the greater purchasing power of visitors who could better cope with prices that, to the chagrin of many Ukrainians, did not seem commensurate with their low wages [UA-FG-1] (Interfax Ukraine, 2012a). This tourism also raised awareness of Ukraine—‘the great unknown of Europe’—which was listed as a top destination in leading tourist guides such as the Lonely Planet (website—now removed) and in the travel sections of global media outlets like CNN. Czech and Polish officials argued that such visits allowed EU citizens to see that ‘Ukraine is a normal country with normal people’ [UA-I-CZC-1; UA-I-CZC-2; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-PLC-2]. Locals also claimed that tourism improved EU citizens’ knowledge of Ukraine and Ukrainians and helped to counter prejudices, clarify misconceptions and forge links to EUMS, as well as highlighting Ukraine’s historical, socio-cultural and architectural embeddedness in Europe [UA-FG-2]. Other forms of tourism, particularly sex tourism and ‘marriage’ tourism, had the opposite effect, exaggerating negative stereotypes of Ukraine and Ukrainians, and supporting more extreme versions of the hierarchies experienced by Czechs and Poles. The Ukrainian activist group Femen’s first protests asserted that “Ukraine is not a brothel” as they ‘hop[ed] to “change how foreigners regard Ukrainian women, who suffer from an association with the sex trade throughout Europe’ (Stern, 2009). Accordingly, a survey showed that 70% of (female) students in Kyiv had been approached by foreigners offering them money for sex (Bidder, 2011). According to

21

Having to apply for a separate, UK visa, was often seen as a ludicrous inconvenience. While Poles account for more than a million of these tourists each year, Czech visitors only number around 50,000, far less than Hungary and Romania (more than 700,000 each in 2013) and Slovakia (more than 400,000) according to the Ukrainian State Statistical Service. 22

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Femen leader Anna Hutsol, the group also sought to change ‘how Ukrainian women view themselves’ because ‘the basic problem is that we lack emancipation’ (Stern, 2009). Unfortunately, as Shaun Walker (Walker, 2014) shows in his expose of the sham and scam of the ‘marriage tourism’ industry (which, in practice, overlaps with dating and sex work)—Odessa Dreams—it is the very lack of ‘emancipation’ that many marriage tourists seek. Walker struggles to square the tourists’ desires for ‘family oriented’ women with their intentions to either uproot the Ukrainians from their families or treat them as ‘kept concubine[s]’, while missing the point that the ‘traditional values’ the tourists seek are inherently patriarchal and misogynistic. Like the EUBAM officer who commented, ‘the women here are feminine, not feminist, unlike in Germany these days’,23 many of the sex tourists saw Ukrainian women as ‘different’, temporally as well as socio-spatially—‘they are like “our” girls used to be in the [19]40s and 50s’ (Walker, 2014). The dominant relation was one where beauty and youth were commoditised and exchanged for the possibility of material gain and enhanced mobility through a relationship with a generally older and/or richer man with EU or US citizenship (Antonova, 2012; Walker, 2014). Ukraine’s ‘wildness’ was thus reproduced through the perceived confluence of an exoticised ‘beauty’, unattainable in the ‘here’ of the ‘West’ but, potentially, available ‘there’ in Ukraine, courtesy of different morality born of lawlessness and imbalanced socio-economic power relations. Regarding movement into the EU, activists argued that Ukrainian males were also commoditised as ‘good’ but ‘cheap’ labour, a resource to be used and discarded when necessary rather than to be fully included in ‘normal’, intra-‘European’ social relations, echoing the analyses of precariousness and threatening-vulnerability presented above (and in Chaps. 4 and 5) [CZ-I-NGO-3; UA-I-NGO-2]. Despite these perceptions, Ukrainians (particularly Western Ukrainians who, like Poles, have a history of mass emigration) still moved in significant numbers, with Czechia and Poland among their top destinations, reflecting historical ties (BMP, 2011; Davies, 2011; Frontex, 2013b; IoM, 2011, 2013). Despite its attitude to facilitation (see above), Czechia had a larger absolute (and proportional) number of long-term Ukrainian migrants than Poland (or Hungary of Slovakia for that matter) (BMP, 2011) [PL-MoI-1; PL-MoI-2; CZ-MoI-2; CZ-MoL-1]. Predominantly travelling by coach and minibuses and facing rigorous border controls, Ukrainians generally—and frustratingly—travelled to the EU in ‘the slow lane’. When they got there, they mainly worked in construction or agriculture (men), or in cleaning, domestic care or entry-level service sector jobs (women) at the lower end of the socio-economic scale, although some also moved to study, echoing early intra-EU Polish mobility patterns [CZ-I-IoM-1; CZ-I-MoL-1; CZ-I-OMB-1; PL-PO3; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-CZC-2] (BMP, 2011; IoM, 2008, 2011, 2013). Ukrainian mobility was mainly driven by desire to escape or circumvent poor economic prospects at home, although the idea of a ‘normal’ as well as a ‘better’ life in the 23

Personal conversation in Odesa, 2007, while working on EUBAM.

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AFSJ held considerable appeal for many and some participants echoed the Poles ‘searching’ for normal lives, mentioned above (Burrell, 2010) [CZ-I-MF-1]. Despite bureaucratic difficulties many Ukrainians felt comfortable living in EUMS. Yet those who primarily sought to save money, or those in the grey areas of semi or precarious regularity, did not have the same chance as (e.g.) Poles had to ‘normalise’ their position in—and relations with—the societies of their destination countries [UA-FG-1; UA-FG-2; CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MF-1; CZ-I-MoI-2; CZ-I-OMB1; CZ-I-NGO-3]. Figures for ‘overstay’ by TCNs residing or working irregularly having entered through regular routes with valid documents were contested and the FP6 Clandestino Report (Triandafyllidou, 2009) criticised the inaccuracy of inter alia, Czech estimates. Frontex recorded only 8835–13,081 Ukrainians being apprehended annually for ‘illegal stay’ (in all EUMS) between 2009 and 2012, while still claiming that this was a significant problem—a claim that was challenged by Polish officials. However, both overstaying and the fact that Ukrainians were the biggest yearly recipients of ‘refusals of entry’ at EU frontiers—primarily at the Eastern land borders and mainly on suspicion of intent to stay or work irregularly— demonstrated the presence of ongoing excess demand for regular mobility [PL-MoI-1; PL-MoI-2] (Follis, 2012; Frontex, 2013a, 2013b; Iglicka & Weinar, 2008). This section has shown that, despite significant psycho-social differences between Czechia and Poland, increased travel was perceived to have helped Czechs and Poles improve their image abroad. Free movement also helped temper unrealistic expectations about life abroad that were formed during the communist period when travel was greatly restricted or during the ‘90s when ‘West was best’ (Stenning & Hörschelmann, 2008). These practices of mobility showed the value of and helped reinforce the EU-European order, which had been extended to the EU-8. Nonetheless, tourist practices had ambiguous effects and the hierarchies that they helped reproduce were to come back with a vengeance in the wake of the EU’s migration crisis, which had disordering effects and carried the potential for more (see Epilogue). Ukrainians faced a very different situation. They were often stereotyped and stigmatised for their jobs and were associated with poverty as well as prostitution, criminality and immorality born of desperation. Ukrainians may not have faced ‘Fortress Europe’, but the restrictions on their mobility contributed to the maintenance of a gradated hierarchy of belonging within EU-Europe. EU citizens’ mobility into Ukraine was ambiguous but overall, likely compounded some of these perceptions. However, previous prejudices (against Poles and Czechs) that had been (to a considerable degree) overcome show the contestability of these socio-relational constructions of hierarchical subjectivities. They also show the effectiveness of opening up and ‘normalising’ mobility in doing so, as the concluding section to this chapter and the concluding chapter of this book elaborate on [CZ-I-NGO-1; CZ-I-MoI-1; CZ-I-MFA-2; UA-I-PLC-1; UA-I-CZC-1].

6.6

6.6

Border Practices as Limits to European Potential

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Border Practices as Limits to European Potential

This chapter has shown the bordering practices—of Europeanising, Knowing, Protecting, Facilitating and Moving—that were key constituents of the CEE borderscape. While intimately related to the discourses discussed in Chap. 5, they also took on (and fed off) their own logics and made their own impacts. Practices variously fed back into, impacted on, challenged and were challenged by discourses. Together with discourses they shaped and were shaped by the sites, forms and functions of the border features discussed in Chap. 4. Examining border practices revealed some of the underpinnings of border discourses and features, as well as how they cumulatively impacted on and played out in and affected the lives of people who sought to move and dwell in and around the EU in CEE. This chapter also showed, however, that practices can be overruled by discourses, even when they are seemingly entrenched, which affirms the potential power of political will over technocratic governance. These themes are drawn together in the conclusion to the book (Chap. 7) while the current section concludes this chapter by looking at how, while bordering practices ostensibly entrenched and delimited EU-European order, they also limited both the mobility of ‘Eastern-Europeans’ and the potential of EU governance. The ‘master practice’ of EU bordering between 2004 and 2014 was Europeanising, which mandated and facilitated the harmonisation and diffusion of other key practices—notably of knowing and protecting. The formal inclusion of the EU-8 (including Czechia and Poland) in the Schengen zone and the adoption of Europeanising practices by these states extended and bolstered EU-European order. The emergence of a recognised ‘European’ border imaginary changed the way in which the EU’s borders were “believed” as well as ‘made’, pointing to the symbiotic relationship between how ‘Europe’, the EU and Schengen are imagined and enacted in practice and how they are bordered (Navaro-Yashin, 2012). The connection between practices of Europeanising and knowing EU borders, mobilities and (in)securities limited the potential for these borders to be progressively re-imagined. The latter practice, particularly through the questionable ‘pseudo-science’ of Risk Analysis, legitimated political disavowal of bordering by providing a seemingly credible, technical alternative to contentious public political discussions of migration and mobility [PL-I-FTEX-1]. Ostensible ‘technification’ thus drowned out discussion of the benefits of migration and mobility into the EU. This was a failure of political leadership, not in the anti-democratic sense of driving through an elite project against the wishes of European publics, but of failing to publicly consider and make the case for effective common management of greater regular mobility and its associated benefits—for EU citizens and societies as well as for TCNs and neighbourhood societies. Even if the subsequent (2017) visa liberalisation for Ukrainians showed the possibilities for discursive politics to overrule practices of knowing, the wider poisoning of the discursive well by, inter alia, imbalanced and un-countervailed risk analysis was also evident in the EU’s confused and ineffectual response to the migration crisis.

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This focus on the negative aspects of migration and mobility for TCNs, which were compounded by some practices of moving, prefigured the ‘beggar thy neighbour’ approaches that characterised later EU migration policy (Benes et al., 2015). As became apparent, Schengen states had not fully bonded as a community capable of managing migration and mobility, despite their common borders—and common practices of managing them. These same states were, nonetheless, sufficiently bound together to have identified clear security interests, which were partly expressed in the prioritisation of practices of protecting EU borders. This improved border protection at the Eastern frontier, actually provided the very platform for opening up rather than continuing to counter-productively restrict mobility for Ukrainians as had been shown on a limited scale through Local Border Traffic Agreements (Chap. 4). Taking full advantage of such a platform would, however, have required a more positive view of mobility. The lack of countervailing ‘opportunity analysis’ was again felt in this regard as practices that seemed to bolster EU-European order (and stabilise its borders) ended up having longer-term destabilising effects—in the neighbourhood but also in the EU itself, as the Epilogue shows. In effect, the dominance of Risk Analysis helped to spread—and Europeanise— nervousness, hesitancy and discrimination by transferring these attitudes from the level of (particular) EUMS to the EU/Schengen level where they became institutionalised and entrenched. This was amplified by the increasing prominence of the Fundamental Rights agenda, which in both its substance and its tactical usage (by, e.g. Frontex), limited perspectives on migrants, as well as limiting their mobility. The combination of ‘humanitarianization’, ‘victimization’, ‘securitization’ and ‘criminalization’ was instrumental in limiting perspectives on migrants in a way that echoes ‘Control’ power’s dividuation (Chap. 2). This made it more difficult for EUMS and their citizens to see migrants and TCNS as people in full and as potential full members of their societies: as people who could, for example, add to and enrich, as well as learn from, local cultures and communities as well as pay taxes, consume local goods and services (and save enough to send home). Given that megatrends point to greatly increased global migration flows in coming years (Goldin et al., 2011; Parkes, 2017) this attitude did (and does) not augur well for EU governance and or for the future of EU-European order in general. Moreover, the fact that this attitude was apparent in EU dealings with Ukraine— where the Union and its member states really should have been able to see a fuller picture and had supposedly committed to closer ties including freer mobility— indicated the level of the problem, which would become more apparent in the migration crisis. EUMS, including Czechia, did encourage the movement of some of those who most obviously brought financial benefits—‘rich Russian tourists’ or (some) high-wage, high-skill workers—through practices of facilitation. However, such narrowly defined, self-interested perspectives obscured the deeper and more nuanced benefits that would have accrued to both EUMS and Ukrainian societies from loosening the mobility regime more generally [CZ-I-MoI-2]. This shortsightedness was again indicative of the shift to ‘Protective Security’ identified by Richard Youngs (2021) that also ran through other dealings with the EU’s

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neighbours and partners, not only in mobility and border issues, and which contributed to the neighbourhood crisis as well as the migration crisis. It is important to again emphasise that some Ukrainians could travel and that they did not face a ‘fortress Europe’. Nonetheless, the overly restrictive mobility regime limited the types of movement they could practice—which influenced perceptions of Ukrainians and Ukraine. EU bordering practices at that time limited the chances that Ukrainians had to see the EU for themselves, to engage with EU citizens and enjoy the benefits of doing so. The EU and EUMS’ bordering practices also prevented wider learning processes from taking place: they prevented Ukrainians from seeing for themselves how things were done in the EU and taking the best of that and making it their own—replicating, adapting and improving it as they saw fit. This, in turn, limited the effectiveness of the EU’s transformative governance in the neighbourhood, which contributed to the disorder that would characterise neighbourhood politics from 2014 onward (Nitoiu & Sus, 2019). Some practices of mobility into Ukraine further limited perceptions of the country—and thus provided an additional layering to the negative discourses and restrictive, ‘loselose’ features discussed in previous chapters. EU bordering practices during the period of research also did a disservice to the Union’s own history as they ran counter to the values that defined its creation and the practices that helped it successfully overcome past conflicts and divisions. These included the practices of moving that Czechs and Poles were able to engage in after EU and Schengen accession and which did much to foster their European belonging. For many Ukrainians, however, the struggle—seen at the Euromaidan and elsewhere—was still largely to convince EU-Europeans that they should also be seen as (EU-)European (and thus be able to enact some forms of EU-European subjectivity) rather than ‘Eastern-European’ (and thus to be prevented from doing so). As was most dramatically seen in the civil conflict that broke out in the country in 2014, not all Ukrainians claimed to be Europeans, nor did all of them want to be. However, before drawing together the conclusions of this book in the next chapter, it is worth taking a moment to consider the effect of EU bordering practices on those Ukrainians who did (and do) feel themselves to be part of a ‘Europe’ that was increasingly conflated with the EU and from which they were to a significant extent excluded. It’s like this with the border: when I’m being told that I cannot just go whenever I want to Vienna, Warsaw or Berlin, it feels the same way as if someone locked me out of the rooms of my own house (Yuriy Andrukovych, quoted in Follis, 2012: 184). To my mind, to pose such a question as ‘Is Ukraine Europe?’ represents an inertia of thinking based on the historical experience of the closed border of the Soviet Union with the rest of the world. Our parents’ generation wasn’t allowed to travel to European countries [and] these restrictions created the situation where we do not perceive ourselves as European, but it wasn’t always like this. If we go back a hundred years, to travel from my hometown of Kolomniy to Vienna was easier than it is now. We need a visa now, but we didn’t then. In the future, without a visa, this experience of Ukrainians in the big European world will eliminate such a question [UA-FG-1].

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Nitoiu, C., & Sus, M. (2019). Introduction: The rise of geopolitics in the EU’s approach in its eastern neighbourhood. Geopolitics, 24(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2019. 1544396 ONS. (2012). Migration statistics quarterly report. United Kingdom Office of National Statistics. Parkes, R. (2017). Nobody move! Myths of the EU migration crisis. Chaillot papers No 143 (December 2017). EU Institute for Security Studies. Pyzik, A. (2014). Poor but sexy: Culture clashes in Europe east and west. Zero Books. Rainey, S. (2013, January 13). Why poles love coming to Britain. The Daily Telegraph. London. Accessed July 16, 2021, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/98400 59/Why-Poles-love-coming-to-Britain.html Salter, M. B. (2007). Governmentalities of an airport: Heterotopia and confession: Governmentalities of an airport. International Political Sociology, 1(1), 49–66. https://doi. org/10.1111/j.1749-5687.2007.00004.x Serran, J. (2013). Field guide to the Czech psyche. Divus. Stag Weekends: The Dirty Secrets. (2010). Stag weekends: The dirty secrets. BBC3. Accessed July 16, 2021, from https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pzc70 Stenning, A., & Hörschelmann, K. (2008). History, geography and difference in the post-socialist world: Or, do we still need post-socialism? Antipode, 40(2). 2, 312–335. https://doi.org/10. 1111/j.1467-8330.2008.00593.x Stern, D. L. (2009, September 6). ‘Sex pats’ discover Ukraine’s alluring women. The World: Global Post. Accessed 16 July 2021, from https://www.pri.org/stories/2009-06-09/sex-pats-discoverukraines-alluring-women?page=0%2C1 Sushko, I., Suprunenko, O., Sushko, O., et al. (2012). The EU visa policy in Ukraine: Independent monitoring findings 2012. Europe Without Barriers/NoVisa. Accessed July 15, 2021, from https://english.europewb.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/novisa_publics1351606401.pdf Svec, O. (2013). Labor migration in the EU: An empirical evidence. International Economics Letters, 1(2), 15–26. Tallis, B. (2012). The unbearable lightness of being ignored. Vlak 3. Tallis, B. (2019). An international politics of Czech architecture; or, reviving the international in international political sociology. Globalizations, 17, 452. https://doi.org/10.1080/14747731. 2019.1676586 Triandafyllidou, A. (2009). Final report of the ‘Clandestino project’ (undocumented migration: Counting the uncountable. Data and trends across Europe). CIS8-044103. European Commission FP6. Vogel, D., Kovacheva, V., & Prescott, H. (2011). The size of the irregular migrant population in the European Union - counting the uncountable?: Size of irregular population in the EU. International Migration, 49(5), 78–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2011.00700.x Walker, S. (2014). Odessa dreams: The dark heart of Ukraine’s online marriage industry. Amazon - Kindle Single. Walters, W. (2006). Border/control. European Journal of Social Theory, 9(2), 187–203. https://doi. org/10.1177/1368431006063332 Weitzer, R. (2011). Sex trafficking and the sex industry: The need for evidence-based theory and legislation. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 101(4), 1137–1370. Youngs, R. (2021). The European Union and Global Politics. Accessed May 30, 2021, from http:// public.eblib.com/choice/PublicFullRecord.aspx?p=6531359

Chapter 7

Conclusion: A Moveable East and the EU’s Unfulfilled Potential

My research was motivated by the puzzling contradictions in EU border policy and practice in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and their significant but ambiguous effects on the lives of Central and Eastern Europeans. These puzzles were set out in the opening chapter of the book, as were major developments in European bordering, with particular reference to the EU enlargement of 2004; the 2007 extension of the Schengen zone to the EU-8 countries; and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP). Taken together, these puzzles and developments prompted the questions that guided my research: where and how (in which ways) did the EU (and EUMS) make borders in CEE; why were these borders made in the ways and at the locations they were; and how (on what basis) was the EU able to do so? I also asked why all this mattered for the ways in which various groups of people in CEE can live and how they are governed. Conceptualising the borderscape as an analytical and interpretive framework allowed me to address these questions in a new comprehensive, yet still coherent manner. Employing the borderscape as an analytical lens facilitated the identification and specification of the most significant constituents—features, discourses and practices—of EU bordering in CEE. Extending the borderscape into an interpretive framework prompted nuanced consideration of its wider political implications— with particular regard to identity and order in CEE. These contexts, implications and consequences, which were flagged up in the preceding chapters, are summarised in the next section and drawn together to bring out their overall effects—and to highlight the ways in which they foreshadowed the EU’s neighbourhood and migration crises (which are further discussed in Chap. 8). This section also highlights the contingencies of EU bordering, and so points to how it could be challenged and changed. The final section of the conclusion then identifies some potential avenues for further research that could productively build on that which is detailed in this book—and which could make better border policy and practice in Europe. Overall, in this concluding chapter, I argue that despite many shortcomings—and the claims of much of the critical literature—the EU had much to be proud of in the historical development of its bordering in CEE. Yet it failed to build on and replicate © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_7

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these positive aspects, which allowed more negative tendencies came to the fore. Had it learned and applied the lessons of its past successes the EU could have averted or at least ameliorated its neighbourhood and migration crises—and its related internal crisis of confidence and identity. I point out which of these successes could yet serve as inspirations for improved future bordering—and which aspects of EU bordering were detrimental to its own interests as well as those of third countries and their citizens. This conclusion further demonstrates that using the borderscape as an analytical and interpretive framework can generate knowledge of relevance within academia, including as a comparative framework, but also beyond academia in facilitating the development of nuanced and targeted policy recommendations. In addition to the particular analyses and interpretations it presents, and its demonstration of methodological reflexivity in practice, the elaboration of the borderscape as an analytical and interpretive framework is the key contribution of this book.

7.1

EU Borderings, Identities and (Dis)Orders in CEE

Chapters 4–6 showed, respectively, the uneven effects of the EU’s diverse archipelago of border features, the layering of contradictory progressive and regressive border discourses, and the various enabling and limiting effects of border practices on Czech, Polish and Ukrainian mobility and on EU governance. This concluding analysis now draws together the effects of these different aspects of the borderscape to argue that, despite its inconsistencies, the EU has much to be proud of, ‘internally’ at least with specific regard to the enlargement of the Union to include the EU-8 and to a significant extent in overcoming the hierarchies they experienced, but also in both the creation and extension of the Schengen zone. These two processes— enlargement and the creation of the Schengen zone—remain the Union’s crowning achievements in overcoming old European enmities and divisions. The preceding chapters also showed the inadequacy of critiques which claimed: that the EU and EUMS constructed the Eastern wall of ‘Fortress Europe’ at its frontier with Ukraine; that it created a zone of oppressive policing in the Schengen interior; and that it was merely engaged in its Eastern Neighbourhood in order to create a buffer zone. On the negative side of the ledger, the EU failed to either learn or apply the lessons from its integrative successes in its ‘external’ engagement with Ukraine and Ukrainians. This failure, while far from total, was serious enough to undermine the Union’s influence in the Eastern neighbourhood, contributed to the crisis that ensued there and, relatedly, in EU neighbourhood policy. Moreover, the EU’s approach to the neighbourhood and its failure to learn and apply positive, progressive lessons in its bordering also revealed crises of identity and confidence in the Union itself (see, e.g. Youngs, 2021) which presaged its transformation of increased inward migration into another crisis in c.2014–2017. The fallout of this (migration) crisis and related schisms between several of the EU-8 countries, including Czechia and Poland, and EU-15 countries including Germany and Netherlands threatened the Schengen zone

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and the liberal underpinnings of the EU’s internal order—as well as the Union’s aspirations to order its neighbourhood. For all its faults, the analysis in this book shows that the diminishing of this order would be to the detriment to Europeans, both inside and outside the EU.

7.1.1

EU-European Order and Identity

Chapters 4, 5 and 6 showed that during the period of research, the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) was a highly significant manifestation of the Union’s values and a tangible expression of its order. The possibilities that Schengen and EU membership provided for free movement between, as well as residence and employment within EUMS, while maintaining security, delivering procedural justice and upholding the rule of law were greatly appreciated by EU citizens, including those from Czechia and Poland. These possibilities were also highly valued—and desired—by Ukrainians despite the fact that they benefitted from them far less certainly or evenly. The free movement of people that was facilitated by the removal of permanent frontier controls and by the granting of reciprocal rights of residence and non-discrimination in labour markets had multiple benefits, including the completion of the single market. More significantly, however, it spurred the people-topeople contacts that the EU itself saw as essential to driving not only prosperity, but also the peace that allowed Europeans and Europe to flourish in myriad ways (also see Chap. 8). Contrary to previous critical claims, this freedom was achieved without instituting general or oppressive ‘territorial’ police checks on either EU citizens or Third Country Nationals (TCNs) in the Schengen interior and was, therefore, a credit to liberal EU-European ordering. The extension of the Schengen zone to the EU-8 had a significant and positive effect on the sense of EU-European belonging for Czech and Polish citizens by allowing them to enact a key aspect of EU-European identity. It also allowed the governments of both states to exercise forms of political participation and even leadership within the EU. By the end of the research period in 2014, the initially over-zealous police controls between EU-15 and EU-8 states, particularly in the ‘shadows’ at the intra-Schengen borders between them, had largely subsided. By 2015, both Czechia and Poland could be considered established members of the EU and the Schengen zone (see Chap. 8 for how this later become more complex). The ‘Europeanization’ of Schengen bordering helped facilitate the inclusion of Czechs and Poles into the Schengen zone and thus supported their enactment of EU-European identity. While (during the research period) it formally remained the prerogative of individual EU Member States (EUMS), border control was, to a significant degree, transformed by the institutionalization of a ‘European border imaginary’, primarily through the creation and subsequent practices of Frontex. This Europeanisation, which came partly in response to concerns over extending shared frontiers to the EU-8, actually provided additional ways for Czech and Polish border

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authorities to enact EU-European belonging through participation in the setting, inspection and enforcement of ‘European’ standards. These standards—and processes for ensuring them—also reassured EU-15 states, helped to underwrite free movement in the AFSJ and bolstered EU-European order. However, as later developments showed, practices of Europeanization were only effective as long as they were discursively reinforced and accompanied by political will. Without discursive support—and, relatedly, political will—the limits of Europeanisation through practice were clear as this stopped short of creating a Europeanised mobility and migration community. As the Epilogue further discusses, the EU and its member states repeated—and amplified—the mistake of Europeanising practices of border policing, without Europeanising (or liberalising) migration policy more widely, in the crisis of 2015–2017. The considerable benefits of the Schengen zone were not limited to EU citizens— although TCNs had to fulfil different conditions in order to access and retain them. For Ukrainians inside the AFSJ, the requirements of residence and labour bureaucracies in EUMS differentiated them from EU citizens. Although onerous (and in the Czech case inefficiently and obdurately administered) these ‘firewall’ borderings were not generally considered particularly oppressive, nor excessively intrusive. Many Ukrainians in Czechia and Poland were thus able to internalise the sense of free movement that Schengen provided and thus also enact key aspects of EU-European subjectivity. Moreover, the need to manage mobility in a secure way, while upholding the rule of law, and thus to gather and control information on moving and dwelling people, was generally accepted by Ukrainians and EU citizens alike as a condition of the functioning of the AFSJ, thus showing support for the EU-European order. Many Ukrainians favourably compared EUMS’ frontier controls, internal police checks and bureaucratic procedures to dealing with their own authorities. Nonetheless, the complexity of these bureaucracies in Czechia increased the probability of TCNs becoming ‘irregular’ and created a market for informal and even illegal facilitations of mobility and stay. By contrast, Poland simplified procedures and reduced unnecessary precariousness for Ukrainians. This again highlighted the room for manoeuvre available to EUMS to facilitate inward mobility while still fulfilling EU obligations and Schengen conditions, given sufficient political will to do so. Overall, with regard to EU-European order, enlarging the EU and the Schengenzone to the EU-8 allowed Czechs and Poles to enact EU-European belonging and largely overcome their previously hierarchical relations with the EU-15. This extension of both the EU and the Schengen zone strengthened the EU-European order by incorporating more people, showing its potential to spread, and demonstrating its transformative power. This power relied on a relatively open and inclusive liberal political approach, combined with adherence to standards and support for (e.g.) Czechia and Poland to attain them. Such openness and inclusivity facilitated the re-bordering that in turn extended and further reinforced EU-European order. Crucially, the openness and inclusivity in EU institutions and EU-15 states were matched by political will in the accession countries themselves. Together this allowed Czechs and Poles to enact EU-European subjectivity and, over time, to

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largely overcome the hierarchy they faced and enact the belonging that comes with EU-European identity at the level of both individuals and governments. In this light, Romano Prodi’s (2002) assessment that enlargement was the EU’s single greatest contribution to security and stability on the European continent” seems apt. This judgement gained particular potency when considered amidst the ruins, remnants and re-uses of the Border Crossing Points (BCPs) at Czechia’s intraSchengen frontiers. These border places offered powerful reminders of the benefits of overcoming past divisions—precisely by opening up to, rather than shutting out, the EU’s (then) neighbours. Yet they also provided poignant invitations to consider the costs of any future re-bordering that would undermine the Schengen zone and even the EU-European order itself. Such considerations became more urgent during the 2015–2017 migration crisis, which is discussed in Chap. 8. These darker elements of the borders’ twilight point to the EU and EUMS’ failure to build on their integrative successes and entrench a true migration and mobility community to accompany their newly Europeanised border imaginary. These—and related—failings emerged again in response to Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine in 2022 (see Chap. 8).

7.1.2

Eastern-European Order and Identity

When looking at the EU’s frontier and external bordering, it is important to emphasise that, contrary to many critical claims such as those detailed in earlier chapters, the EU did not construct the Eastern wall of ‘Fortress Europe’ at its frontiers with Ukraine. In the research period, neither the discourses or practices of EU border control nor the features through which they took place, conformed to the fortress characterisation. Furthermore, too many Ukrainians (and other TCNs) passed into, through and out of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood each year to sustain this critique. Several border policymakers and practitioners who participated in this research project complained vociferously and vehemently about apparently uninformed or imbalanced academic and activist critiques of (e.g.) ‘Fortress Europe’. These research participants convincingly argued that not only did such critiques show little understanding of EU bordering and not appreciate the realities of their professional responsibilities, but also that they were often ideologically motivated in ways that were not shared by the European publics they served (e.g. radical demands for ‘open’ borders or ‘no borders’). Over-generalised Fortress Europe critiques could thus easily be ignored in policy and practice and tended to have little impact. A key aim of conceptualising the borderscape was to avoid such overgeneralisation and lack of impact by properly specifying and nuancing critical claims. Accordingly, the analysis presented in the preceding chapters showed that, despite not being fortress-like, EU external bordering was counterproductively restrictive. Despite the number of Ukrainians who were able to travel to and reside in EUMS, Ukrainian participants in this research project keenly felt the exclusionary

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effects of the Schengen visa regime and its processes, which several of them agreed amounted to a form of ‘consular sadism’ that left them feeling like ‘2nd class’ Europeans. Overall, the EU borders they experienced as ‘curtain walls’ and ‘twisted mirrors’ had significant psycho-social exclusionary effects on Ukrainians and also diminished the EU’s transformative power in Ukraine. This constellation of borderings impacted on Ukrainian subjectivity and identity as well as having (dis)ordering effects in the Eastern neighbourhood—and in the EU itself. Rather than extending the EU’s order into the neighbourhood, EU bordering had the effect of confirming division between itself and an ‘Eastern-European’ order that Ukraine was still seen as part of, leaving the EU’s transformative power there limited and its ordering effect ambiguous. This had a corollary in identity terms with Ukrainians who were unable to enact EU style mobilities being seen as—and often seeing themselves—as ‘Eastern Europeans’ rather than EU-Europeans, even if this was not an insurmountable distinction. Chapters 4 and 5 showed that restricted mobility into ‘real Europe’ (the EU) from ‘Eastern Europe’ (Ukraine) [UA-I-NGO-1], as well as the very fact of needing a visa to travel, left some participants feeling that the EU saw them as ‘barbarians’ who it needed to guard against [UA-FG-1]. Significantly, however, there was little to suggest that removing the Schengen visa requirement would have made the EU more vulnerable to either smuggling or irregular migration – and so it proved after the visa liberalisation of 2017. The analytical-empirical chapters noted that these exclusions cut across historic cultural, social and linguistic ties to EUMS and across a sense of European belonging, which was particularly painful for Ukrainians who saw themselves as Europeans. As Andrew Wilson, a leading scholar on Ukraine as well as being an influential commentator and advisor to the British government on EU-Ukraine relations noted, for all its travails, the EU remained a “symbol of quality and of whatever a ‘normal’ life mean[s], from the rule of law to high welfare and living standards” for Ukrainians (2014: KL-355-360). In short, the EU and its order remained attractive for many Ukrainians, which indicated the latent potential of EU transformative power in the country, even if the Union and EUMS failed to capitalise on it (see Chap. 8). Restricted travel and limited possibilities for obtaining regular routes into study or work in the EU prevented Ukrainians from fully experiencing the considerable benefits of EU-European political, social, economic and cultural life for themselves, making it more difficult for them to adapt and reproduce them in Ukraine. Several EU and EUMS officials lamented the handicapping effect this had on their influence in Ukraine, as it both created resentment and hindered learning from and adoption of EU-European practices and processes. This vicious cycle was apparent in the lack of progress on visa liberalisation and the EU-Ukraine action plan between 2004 and 2013. This period of rejection and slow progress saw declining Ukrainian support for EU association and integration, reaching a low point in 2012 (see Chap. 5 and IRI, 2014). The mutual hesitancy and suspicion that ensued compounded problems in Ukrainian governance—notably inefficiency and corruption—and created additional scope for malign interference by the Russian Federation. The significantly scaleddown Association Agreement that was due to be signed in 2013 further testified to

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the mistrustful and self-serving relationship that had emerged between the EU and Ukraine. However, the reaction to the unilateral cancellation of the Association Agreement by then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in late 2013 showed that most (although not all) Ukrainians still wanted to be part of EU-Europe and were willing to do what it took to get there (IRI, 2014). Unfortunately, the EU’s lacklustre support for the ‘Euromaidan’ left many Ukrainian protestors ‘convinced that they had sacrificed blood for ‘European values’, while EU states would not sacrifice treasure for the same causes’ as Wilson put it (2014: KL-144). Wilson, writing with Mark Leonard (in a now unavailable policy paper), had earlier concluded that the EU’s response to the Ukraine crisis showed that ENP had ‘failed’. This was too harsh a judgement, as there were—and are—significant positive and progressive aspects of ENP and EU hesitance was also driven by uncertainty as to how to deal with the Russian Federation’s involvement in the crisis—as well as how to deal with Russia more generally. Nonetheless, the disordering of the neighbourhood that left the EU in this situation, and to which it had contributed, pointed to significant failings although not outright failure in its approach. These failings were, nonetheless, readily apparent in its bordering features, discourses and practices but also had wider implications for EU Identity and Order.

7.1.3

(In)Security, (Im)mobilty and (Dis)Order: The EU’s Multiple Crises

Wilson claimed that the EU’s problems in the neighbourhood could be traced to two key tendencies, the first of which is (partly) consistent with the present analysis, while the second is disputed by it. Firstly, Wilson claimed that the EU’s internal crisis of confidence stemmed from the economic crisis of 2008, which also contributed to migration ‘emerging as the new number one concern for almost every EU state’ with ‘the rest of Europe [including Ukraine] only important as its source’ as ‘European politics became more nationalistic, more populist and more zero-sum’ (Wilson, 2014: KL-370; 269; 167) (See also Chap. 8). This perspective echoes the analysis presented in the empirical-analytical chapters of this book, which argue that the EU and EUMS turn towards short-termism and narrowly defined self-interest has come at the expense of the integrative vision that drove previous EU success in overcoming conflict and division in Europe to the benefit of all concerned. Richard Youngs was later to describe similar tendencies in analysing the EU’s shift towards a model of ‘protective security’ (2021). This dynamic of crisis and loss of confidence, as well as xenophobia and prejudice—both residual and resurgent—is clear in perceptions of migration and mobility as threatening rather than potentially beneficial. I discuss this shift from what I term ‘progressive security’ to protective security in the Epilogue (see also—IPQ, Foreign Policy).

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Yet, whether this was as clearly a result of the 2008 financial crisis as Wilson claims is questionable, as anti-migrant discourses were also clearly identifiable before then, including those noted in the earlier chapters. Moreover, the EU and EUMS’ loss of confidence in their tried and trusted modes of integration, opening and facilitation of enhanced mobility also pre-dates this—in their neighbourhood bordering—which questions the second aspect of Wilson’s analysis: that the EU and EUMS failed to take security concerns in the Eastern neighbourhood sufficiently seriously (Wilson, 2014: KL-202-240; 384–405). In this book I have argued, to the contrary, that despite ENP’s ‘friendly’ and progressive beginnings, the EU and EUMS came to prioritise rather than neglect security in their dealings with their Eastern neighbours, particularly Ukraine. The reasons for this are discussed in extensively Chapters 4–6: from the political disavowal of the positive aspects of migration and mobility and its corollary in the dominant role of law enforcement agencies in bordering and mobility, to the heightened perception of threats (however, spurious) to European labour markets and EU-European ways of life from migration, as well as lingering prejudices against ‘Eastern-Europeans’. Subsequent developments, after the research period, notably the revised Neighbourhood Policy (2015) and the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) (2016) and Strategic Compass (2022) confirmed these trends, even if they must be balanced against the 2017 visa liberalisation, all of which are discussed in Chap. 8. Returning to Wilson, whose argument echoed those of other influential commentators such as Robert Cooper, Dmitri Trenin and Zbigniew Brzezinski, it is fair to note that he was referring to a different kind of ‘security’. He argues that because of the way that the EU developed, EUMS no longer had the worldview to comprehend, or capabilities to deal with, threats that required the “complete toolkit of classical statecraft” and thus left it toothless in the neighbourhood (Wilson, 2014: KL-222). However, this too should be challenged as it is precisely the rejection of such ‘classical statecraft’ (as well as traditional geopolitics) that helped the EU successfully transcend conflict and overcome division in Europe. Far from neglecting security, this rejection substantially increased EU-Europeans’ deep, implicit security (and peace and prosperity) through integration, interaction and enhanced mobility. Moreover, this approach became the EU’s competitive advantage in international affairs, cementing its actor identity—and underpinning the extension of the EU-European order to the EU-8 (see Chap. 8). However, the EU’s prioritisation of overt security policy and practice from the late 1990s onwards, when EU-8 enlargement was already well underway, brought in more divisive, exclusive logics that brought the Union closer to the ‘classical’ world of interstate conflict and the pursuit of its own interests, which were now perceived more narrowly than before (see also Youngs, 2021). Robert Cooper, the main author of the original EU Security Strategy (European Union, 2003) made an indicative and influential distinction between the EU as an internally civilized space of laws and values and an external ‘jungle’ with its own, more barbaric rules, by which the EU must also be willing to ‘play’ (2000). The dangers of these logics were shown in the preceding chapters through their significant and detrimental impact on EU and

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EUMS relations with Ukraine as well as on the EU’s own identity, which became more confused and its ordering power, which became weaker. Thus, the increasing influence of ‘explicit’, ‘protective’ or ‘classical’ security thinking with its logics of nervousness and suspicion of ‘difference’, as well as the identification of the neighbourhood as a key proving ground for EU security ambitions contributed to disorder rather than the spread of the EU-European order. It left the EU in a geopolitical tangle (with Russia) that it lacked the tools to deal with—as Wilson memorably put it: [the EU] took a ‘baguette’ ‘to a knife-fight’ (Herszenhorn, 2013). Moreover, this left the EU’s model of external ordering by using the transformative power of spreading its own order and forms of governance in severe difficulties. The construction of mobility from the neighbourhood as threatening—even from a country such as Ukraine, which was considered historically and culturally similar to some EUMS—showed the same kind of narrowly self-interested and shorttermist, beggar-thy-neighbour logic that characterised EUMS responses to the migration crisis (Benes et al., 2015) and was indicative of the EU’s crisis of confidence. This ‘protective security’ approach presaged exactly the narrow-minded, zero-sum way of thinking that Wilson calls for—and it contributed to the EU’s failure to fully embrace Ukraine in the non-security focused, but actually securityproviding way that it did with the EU-8 (Youngs, 2021). In the period following the eruption of the neighbourhood crisis, and in the processes of drafting the EUGS there were, nonetheless, increasing calls for the EU to take an even more security-focused, more ‘geopolitical’ approach (Nitoiu and Sus, 2019). This was then developed further in the subsequent calls for ‘Strategic Autonomy and in the development of the EU’s ‘Strategic Compass’ (see, e.g. Tallis, 2022a, b). At the conclusion of this research, the EU thus found itself with a very real identity crisis over its approach to security, as well as its international actor-identity more widely. This identity crisis also spilled over into its internal governance and into striking disagreements over the type of order the EU can—or should—instantiate on its own territory. These tensions called into question the long-term viability of the Schengen zone without a commensurately common approach to migration. The EU’s identity crisis came together with a crisis of confidence and a defensive pessimism (Tallis, 2018) that have, along with a host of internal and external factors, hindered a ‘return’ to the ways and means that helped make the EU so successful in developing a peaceful, prosperous and highly desirable order in which enviable, if precarious and potentially unsustainable, EU-European identities have flourished. The fore-echoes of these intersecting crises, as well as of the migration and neighbourhood crises, which are discussed more in Chap. 8, could be seen in EU bordering in CEE—but so too could ways to address them. The final section of this chapter now points to areas in which the findings and scope of my research project could be widened or deepened. It also identifies some potential changes to policy and practice that could be explored in order to address the EU’s multiple crises, including through better bordering.

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From Crises to Opportunities: Future (Research) Directions

There are several ways in which the research presented in this book could be productively extended or developed in order to advance academic understanding of borders and bordering and I suggest some of those below. The book also points to the need for research into potential changes to policy and practice that could improve EU bordering in CEE—as well as more widely. This latter group of suggestions are made in line with the normative commitments of the research outlined in Chap. 3 (to a reformist rather than more revolutionary mode of critique), but of course other options could also be explored and evaluated on the basis of the empirical-analytical conclusions presented here. These other options would, like the potential directions discussed here, also need to take account of developments after the research period, which are discussed in Chap. 8. The analytical and interpretive framework that is developed in Chap. 2 went beyond previous conceptualisations of the ‘borderscape’ by: identifying its key constitutive elements ( features, discourses and practices); distinguishing it from other subsets of landscape through its combination of (in)security and (im)mobility; and contextualising it with regard to identity and order. I used this framework to provide a new comprehensive, yet nuanced understanding of EU bordering in CEE but it could also be productively applied to other borderscapes. The framework would require some alterations to account for local socio-political, spatial and temporal particularities, but the constituents, distinguishing criteria and contextualising interpretive elements would remain the same. Doing so would allow for comparison between, different borderscapes, e.g. the CEE borderscape and the EU-Mediterranean borderscape; or for comparison between particular features, discourses and practices, such as those relating to the Local Border Traffic Agreements (LBTAs) that operated between Poland and Ukraine with those between Poland and Russia at the Kaliningrad border section. It could also be used to examine future bordering options with other EU neighbours or partners. The conceptualised borderscape also offers the potential for comparing across different types of borderscapes. The borderscape explored and presented in this book took citizenship (EU, non-EU) as a key underlying element of bordering and focused on the mobilities of different groups of people. A more political-economic focus might instead look at income groupings, employment types, or other distinctions as a key underlying element. Alternatively, the movement of goods, legally and illegally could provide another interesting starting point, as could cross-border criminalities more generally. A humanitarian-focused approach might look at the types of people moving and dwelling and distinguish between their status—whether desired, recognised or imposed—as refugees, asylum seekers, economic or lifestyle migrants, and so on (see, e.g. Pallister-Wilkins, 2018). Such research would complement the analyses and interpretations presented here—and would allow for comparison and contrast between the key features, discourses and practices that constitute that type of borderscape and those of the

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type of borderscape presented here. Each borderscapes would still be constituted of features, discourses and practices and would have implications for and in identity and order, although these would likely be differently framed in each case. The result of such comparison and the generation of comparable borderscape studies could be a spur to further theoretical and conceptual development, but would also lend itself to identifying opportunities for making better borders in policy and practice by giving a more rounded picture of them. The type of nuanced, yet comprehensive analysis that the conceptualised borderscape encourages is particularly useful for identifying weak and strong points in the policy and practice of bordering—as well as in related issues. The possibility to separate out, yet still see the connections between different features, discourses and practices allow for balanced and coherent analysis. In the borderscape presented in this book, this approach led me to reject the notion of oppressive internal control in Schengen, as well as of the ‘Fortress Europe’ critique (with regard to EU bordering with Ukraine) while highlighting the nonetheless significantly detrimental effects of the overly restrictive visa and mobility regime for Ukrainians. This kind of pinpoint analysis also proved useful in advising policymakers. Ahead of a European Council meeting in 2016, a colleague approached me for help in advising the Slovak EU Presidency. They had come to him with a request to formulate a proposal on migration in the context of the heated debates over ‘solidarity’ between Schengen states that had arisen during the migration crisis (see Chap. 8). Thanks to the framework presented in this book, I could point to successful aspects of EU and EUMS bordering in Schengen and with Ukraine such as the Local Border Traffic Agreements (LBTAs) that facilitated enhanced mobility for (some) Ukrainians, without having had negative security implications. I argued that the lessons from this progressive and integrative bordering could be more widely applied—and that doing so would echo the process that Slovaks (like Czechs and Poles) had also benefitted from in the past. I was also able to highlight the more troubling aspects of EU bordering Ukraine—particularly the ‘lose-lose’ visa regime (see also Tallis, 2021). I, therefore, suggested that Slovakia could propose visa liberalisation for Ukraine and thus challenge perceptions that they were generally negative on migration. We presented this analysis together with a proposal to rename their initiative ‘effective solidarity’ rather than ‘flexible solidarity’ as had initially been proposed, which allowed the Slovak presidency to offer a positive initiative while sticking to their government’s overall policy orientation with regard to both migration and the neighbourhood. Visa liberalisation duly appeared on the Council agenda, was approved and then implemented in 2017. Highlighting this is not intended to claim credit for what was a long-term and highly complex process involving many actors, but rather to show how the framework elaborated in this book can be used beyond academia. It enabled me to use my analysis and leverage the insights of CBS by making them relevant for policymakers. Nor do I claim that visa liberalisation for Ukrainians was the most pressing or important migration-related issue facing the EU and its member states in 2016–2017. The critical, yet still constructive analysis that I could present allowed

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some good to come from a generally more difficult situation. This will not be to all critical researchers’ taste but I would still subscribe to an approach that doesn’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good rather than holding out for utopian solutions (Tallis, 2021). The visa liberalisation went a long way to addressing a key problem identified in this book—lack of mobility for Ukrainians into EU states. Nonetheless, there were other issues, policies and practices that continued to negatively affect EU bordering—in CEE but also more widely. I now highlight some of these here (at least as they appeared before Russia’s 2022 assault on Ukraine—see Chap. 8), along with suggestions for research that could be conducted in order to find ways of addressing them. As Chap. 6 showed, the dominance of Risk Analysis (RA) skewed the EU and EUMS’ bordering practices and distorted their approaches to migration and mobility more widely. As I have suggested elsewhere (Benes et al., 2015)— based on the research presented here—RA could be partly countervailed by a form of ‘Opportunity Analysis’ that would seek to assess and calculate the full potential benefits of migration and mobility of different kinds, rather than simply looking at economic aspects as existing studies have tended to do. Ian Cameron, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan’s (2011) meta-study, Exceptional People, hints at this and its urgency—for the EU’s internal order as well as its external relations—has only been shown more clearly in light of the EU’s migration crisis as well as in debates over intra-EU mobility in the lead up to Brexit. While ‘Opportunity Analysis’ could have a balancing impact on EU and EUMS border knowledge—and views of migration and mobility more generally—research could also be productively conducted into how this might be translated into policy. This could perhaps be through the creation of a ‘Mobility Ombudsman’ at the EU level, who would be tasked with ensuring that EU policy and practice consider the benefits as well as costs of mobility and migration (Benes et al., 2015). A framework of incentives could then be established to encourage EUMS to do the same and to attract certain numbers and configurations of migrants, as well as to proportionately share the burdens of hosting asylum seekers who enter Schengen. The migration crisis has also reduced the likelihood of providing more legal and regular ways into the EU and EUMS for migrants and mobile people in general, despite pressing economic and demographic needs as well as global megatrends pointing to significantly increased global flows in coming years (Parkes, 2017). European actors would do well to heed the advice of analysts such as Roderick Parkes (2021) who recommend framing migration policy in the context of completing the single market and enhancing geopolitical competitiveness (via greater openness), rather than by seeing inward mobility as yet another threat to protect against (Youngs, 2021). The impossibility of even getting a basic agreement on sharing out asylum seekers and refugees between EUMS at the height of the migration crisis showed both the difficulty of but also the need for a different, more open approach. The Schengen zone, its common borders and its myriad benefits are an EU-level matter and, if the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice is to survive in a meaningful way, it requires the formation and entrenchment of an accompanying mobility and migration community—and one that is reasonably open to the world, rather than being

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close to it. As the migration crisis has also shown, however, preventing ‘free-riding’ in Schengen or even trying to get some EUMS (including strong advocates of intraEU free movement such as Czechia and Poland) to take their Schengen responsibilities seriously was beyond the capacity of the EU or the Member States which experienced the greatest inward flows of people such as Germany and Sweden. On the flip side of this argument, lies the need to combat the lingering prejudices against ‘Eastern Europe’ and Eastern Europeans, which also returned in an intra-EU sense during and after the migration crisis. Crucially—and this would pay many other dividends as well—it also means renouncing Protective Security and returning to, as well as reimagining more creative, progressive and transformative approaches to the EU’s external relations (see the Epilogue—Chap. 8). What this all shows, ultimately, is the importance of political will—and political capability—in re-orienting European (bordering) policy and practice in the direction of its own interests and values as well as those of migrants and neighbouring countries. This would in turn require positive political engagement with and support for intra-EU as well as inter-EU migration and mobility and positive argumentation in relation to the benefits and opportunities this provides for deep and broad, implicit security as well as for peace and prosperity. There are only a few positive aspects to draw on in this regard in the 2016 EU Global Strategy and the developments in the EU Neighbourhood Policy from 2015 onward. However, visa liberalisation for Ukrainians was most certainly one of them in the neighbourhood. Nonetheless, the EU’s overall, protective-security-first approach that has only deepened since the eruption of the neighbourhood crisis mitigates against a more generalised positive cycle of development, as its ‘Strategic Compass’ shows only too clearly. Before 2022, the chances of Ukraine getting a membership perspective anytime soon appeared vanishingly small but, as the epilogue details, this changed fast. The EU still has plenty in its own history to draw upon should it wish to revive a more positive, progressive and creative approach to bordering in general and with its neighbourhood in particular. It may be argued that the world has changed and the EU needs to catch up, but the Union would also have an opportunity to lead precisely by doing things differently, by doing things its own way—as it has successfully done in the past. It is hard to argue that the conditions for taking an open, integration-based approach that encourages contact between people and deep and broad interdependence were more favourable in the 1950s than they are today. Nor, that the global or regional security situation was more conducive to a ‘border-free zone’ in the years immediately leading up to Schengen’s 1985 launch than they are now. The kind of real vision and positive thinking that inspired these developments is rare in the midst of the EU’s multiple crises—of migration and in its neighbourhood, as well as regarding its own identity and capability. Notwithstanding persistent reports of economic doom and gloom, EU-Europe is still one of the world’s most desirable places to live. EU member states on the whole offer higher standards of living to greater proportions of their citizens than states elsewhere and, by choice, offer different combinations of work, welfare, leisure and

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culture, than other places in the world. Despite this many Europeans have (mis)understood Europe’s relative decline (as other parts of the world rise and participate in the making of the global order) as absolute decline, in which a decadent Europe has little hope of competing in a changing world, especially if it sticks to the integrative, mobility enhancing approach that has made the EU so successful in the past. It is particularly sad that these attitudes have become so marked in EU-8 states such as Czechia and Poland that have benefitted so greatly from precisely these approaches in the past. Their support for Ukraine and, in some cases (including Czechia) the idealistic basis on which this is offered is thus very encouraging. The spread of the EU-European order through integrative re-bordering that delivered on the spirit and promise of 1989 helped strengthen that order. Gradually though, significant elements within EU-8 as well as EU-15 states undermined that approach to EU bordering and the identities it fostered in the order that it built. The EU’s prioritisation of explicit, ‘protective’ security contributed to this and to its failings in the neighbourhood, although its problems there were of course worsened by others too, notably Russia. In the time after my research was conducted, the EU found itself at a crossroads, internally as well as in its external relations: with regard to the kind of Europe it seeks to maintain or build, the kind of lives that Europeans can live and how they relate to people elsewhere as well as those who seek to move in. All of this is reflected in its bordering, and in the features, discourses and practices that make up its borderscapes. How the EU and EUMS respond in the medium term to the opportunities offered by Ukraine’s renewed desire to join them and its courageous resistance to Russian aggression will, to a significant degree determine the future features, discourses and practices of their bordering. It will also significantly influence their chances of reviving a progressive future as much for themselves as for Ukraine.

References Benes, V., Kratochvil, P., Simecka, M., et al. (2015). The EU and the refugees: The way forward. Policy Paper, 27 November. Institute of International Relations. Accessed July 16, 2021, from https://www.iir.cz/en/the-eu-and-the-refugees-the-way-forward Cooper, R. (2000). The postmodern state and the world order. Demos and The Foreign Policy Centre. European Union. (2003). A secure Europe in a better world: European security strategy. European Union. Accessed May 7, 2021, from https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-158952003-INIT/en/pdf Goldin, I., Cameron, G., & Balarajan, M. (2011). Exceptional people: How migration shaped our world and will define our future (2. pr). Princeton University Press. Herszenhorn, D. M. (2013, December 14). Signs of momentum shifting to protesters in Ukraine. The New York Times. Accessed June 8, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/ world/europe/struggle-in-ukraine-reflects-a-larger-battle-between-europe-and-russia.html IRI. (2014). Public opinion survey: Residents of Ukraine. International RepubIican Institute.

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Nitoiu, C., & Sus, M. (2019). Introduction: The rise of geopolitics in the EU’s approach in its eastern Neighbourhood. Geopolitics, 24(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2019. 1544396 Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2018). Médecins Avec Frontières and the making of a humanitarian borderscape. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 36(1), 114–138. https://doi. org/10.1177/0263775817740588 Parkes, R. (2017). Nobody move! Myths of the EU migration crisis. Chaillot papers no 143 (December 2017). EU Institute for Security Studies. Parkes, R. (2021). The other Frontex debate: How border geopolitics will define the future of Schengen. Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy Policy BRIEF, 5 October. VUB Brussels School of Governance. Accessed May 30, 2021, from https://brussels-school.be/ sites/default/files/CSDS%20Policy%20brief_2105.pdf Tallis, B. (2018, May 25). Offensive liberalism: Emmanuel macron and the new European politics. Open Democracy. Tallis, B. (2021). Operationalising the borderscape: Making sense of proliferating (in)securities and (im)mobilities. International Politics, 59, 410. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-021-00280-w Tallis, B. (2022a, March 3). Integrating Ukraine can help the EU find its way again. Internationale Politik Quarterly. Berlin. Accessed June 14, 2022, from https://ip-quarterly.com/en/integratingukraine-can-help-eu-find-its-way-again Tallis, B. (2022b, January 14). Why Europe’s strategic compass points to trouble. Internationale Politik Quarterly. Berlin. Wilson, A. (2014). Ukraine crisis: What it means for the west. Yale University Press. Youngs, R. (2021). The European Union and Global Politics. Accessed May 30, 2021, from http:// public.eblib.com/choice/PublicFullRecord.aspx?p=6531359

Chapter 8

Epilogue: Europe Through the Prism of Russia’s War on Ukraine

We don’t have a border in the West now. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme 28th February 2022. The past was yours, but the future’s mine. The Stone Roses, ‘She Bangs the Drums’.

In the early hours of Thursday 24th February 2022, the Russian Federation attacked Ukraine. The naked aggression of this unprovoked war of conquest, a dramatic escalation of Russia’s previous invasions of Ukraine, shattered Europe’s uneasy present and prompted re-evaluation of its recent and more distant pasts. It also re-opened the contest for the continent’s future, on various fronts. Ukraine’s army and its citizens, who quickly joined in the defence of their homeland and were aided by foreign volunteers, offered determined resistance. Their courage and capability made a mockery of the pre-war consensus among much of the Russian-studies and Russian military analytical community who had seen any invasion as likely leading to a swift, if not decisive victory owing to Russia’s supposedly overwhelming firepower (Charap, 2021; Cohen, 2022; O’Brien, 2022). At the time when I began writing this epilogue, 4 weeks later, and despite extensive targeting of civilians by Russian forces, Ukraine held firm and in early April Ukrainian forces defeated the Russians in the Battle of Kyiv. The focus of the fighting shifted to Donbas where, although taking heavy casualties in May and June, Ukraine clung on, aided by increased Western support. Yet, even as early as the second day of the conflict, it was already possible for long-time observers of Ukraine to detect something interesting, something different in the Western and, especially, the European reaction to this crisis compared to those triggered by the Maidan protests and the Orange Revolution. For anglophone audiences, early clues came in the language used by reporters in the mass media. Take, for example the BBC’s Nick Robinson on Radio 4’s UK flagship ‘Today’ programme (and rebroadcast on the World service) on 25th February: standing on a hotel rooftop in Kyiv, he urged listeners to follow his gaze as he looked over this ‘modern, dynamic and vibrant European city’ (my emphasis). © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7_8

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In broadcast after broadcast, article after article, and tweet after tweet, reporters and commentators followed up, echoing this line. For Western audiences, cities like Kyiv, L’viv and Odesa were presented as places you’d want to be if it weren’t for the war. They were also presented as being like many places you’d been to and enjoyed. For many Europeans, they were like the places in which they live: full of diverse historical and contemporary architecture, with broad squares and beautiful cathedrals, social housing projects, legacy modernisms, hipster cafes, bars and galleries as well as thriving creative and start-up scenes. The freshness of this unfolding situation means that, at the time of writing, these examples remain anecdotal rather than empirically conclusive. Nonetheless, given the derogatory ways in which Ukraine had often previously been referred to in Western media, including the BBC, (as noted in Chap. 5) these new descriptions did seem to be indicative of a potentially significant shift in perception and discourse. The emphasis on Ukraine’s ‘Europeanness’ was a far cry from its supposed ‘Easternness’ as conveyed in popular and influential documentary films, reports in newspapers or even academic blogs that variously referred to Ukraine and Ukrainians as: the kind of place from where people of colour ‘might come back in a coffin’; as ‘distant cousins’ ‘notorious for their yobs’; one of the ‘continents Easterly nations clamouring for a place at the table of European modernity’ which was unlikely to be able to offer a ‘cosmopolitan atmosphere’ for events such as a major football tournament due, in part to ‘thugs [who organise and train in] ‘ruined buildings and weed-covered parade grounds’ (All Quoted in Chap. 5—see, e.g. Burdsey, 2012; Daily Mail, 2012; Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate, 2012; The Sun, 2012). This apparent shift in attitudes seemed to resonate with other changes in Western relations with Ukraine. The support provided after the Russian assault was a step change from what had come before. To be clear, a lot of assistance had been given to Ukraine in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution (see Chaps. 4–6) and of the Euromaidan protests and the overthrow of the Yanukovych government, as well as after Putin’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of Donbas (see especially Youngs, 2017, 2021a: 170–192) but what now came was of a very different order—and, in large part, of a very different nature. Some states, notably the USA, the UK and Canada as well as Denmark, had been supplying Ukraine with ‘defensive weapons’, ‘non-lethal aid’ and training its army to use them for several years (Mills, 2022). Following the invasion, however, many EU states stepped up and joined in—and in a big way. Billions of Euros and Dollars’ worth of ‘lethal aid’—particularly anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, later followed by heavier weapons—flowed into Ukraine, to help level the battlefield supposedly tilted in Russia’s favour by its weight of numbers and equipment. In what was described as a ‘Watershed’ move, the EU broke with its previous convention—and some interpretations of its treaties—to offer half a billion Euros in arms and other aid (later doubled), through its off-budget ‘European Peace Facility’ (de la Baume & Barigazzi, 2022). However, of even greater significance—in general, but also specifically for the analysis and arguments in this book—was another statement made at the same press conference on 27 February. Upending two decades of EU policy, European

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Commission President Ursula von der Leyen offered a surprisingly clear endorsement of an EU membership perspective for Ukraine, when she said: ‘They are one of us and we want them in’ (Jack, 2022b). Zelenskiy quickly formalised Ukraine’s application, which was submitted on 28 February and attracted immediate support from Central and East European (CEE) EU members, including Czechia and Poland. Other states, including Italy and Spain, later offered their support as well but Western European members such as France and Netherlands, which had long been opposed to further EU enlargement, sounded notes of caution and Germany remained ‘scrupulously hesitant’ (Tallis, 2022b). Polling, conducted between 03–07 March (Finchelstein et al., 2022) and 08–11 March (Hirsch, 2022) showed significant majorities overall in favour of EU membership for Ukraine as well as in individual countries including Germany, Italy, France and Spain as well as in CEE states in at least one of the polls. Yet regardless of this ostensible public support, in private conversations, some politicians continued to argue that enlargement was ‘toxic’ for voters in Western European states (Author’s Personal Conversations, Berlin, 2022). On 11 March at a meeting specially convened in Versailles by the French EU Presidency, European leaders failed to agree on formally approving Ukraine’s candidacy for membership of the bloc. Leaders such as the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte and French President Emmanuel Macron offered a variety of reasons for this decision, although some seemed more like excuses or self-referential justifications (Youngs, 2022). In light of the EU’s recent record on enlargement including broken promises and go-slows in the Western Balkans, as well as the declining integrative force of the Eastern Partnership, this failure of EU leaders to meet the moment was a bitter blow for Ukrainians (Bassuener & Vogel, 2019; Larsen, 2022). It seemed as though, despite all the promises to ‘#StandwithUkraine’, the outpourings of popular and political sympathy, and the blue and yellow light shows in cities across Europe, Ukrainians had reached the limits of the EU’s support which had, again, turned out to be ‘solidarity-lite’ (Tallis, 2022b). Ukrainians were fighting and dying for national survival but also, as many pointed out, for the ideals that the EU often refers to as the ‘European values’ (and upon which the Union sees itself as being based), which were being attacked by Putin’s oppressive regime. Thousands had been killed and wounded in the conflict and millions had been displaced within Ukraine or forced to seek refuge abroad. Despite all this, the EU and its member states were apparently still not ready to go beyond the hesitant embrace—seemingly designed to keep Ukrainians at arms-length—that had characterised their confused and often self-defeating relationship with Ukraine over the previous 20 years (Tallis, 2022e). Yet, while the EU failed to collectively meet the moment and deliver a significant boost to besieged Ukrainians, Versailles did not provide the definitive, negative answer to this question of their country’s EU membership perspective. As with every major integrative step Ukraine had sought to take over the last two decades, for all the frustration there were still some more hopeful signs to draw on or, at least, possibilities to be worked with (Chap. 5). The next key discussion and decision on

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Ukraine’s status vis-à-vis the EU were taken in June 2022 when, after considerable uncertainty and strong discussions between various member states and the Commission, its candidacy status was approved. Yet the pace, extent and terms of Ukraine’s inclusion from the EU and Schengen, how this relates to the nascent ‘European Political Community’ (EPC), and the consequences this would have for identities and ordering in Ukraine and CEE, but also across the EU, will continue to be negotiated for years to come.

8.1

Epilogue

This epilogue sketches these possibilities and the potential pitfalls brought by the most recent developments as well as their wider implications and those of longerstanding trends and tendencies in CEE and EU policy and practice, in the period since the conclusion of the initial research for this book. To do so, I draw extensively on commentaries published during the first half of 2022, but also recontextualise them and add considerable amounts of new material, analysis and interpretation—as well as targeting all of that at the themes of this book. I apologise in advance for the number of self-citations—but those are the places in which these ideas are developed in depth and in various directions, so it is useful to provide links to them at this stage. A comprehensive treatment of all relevant events and processes from 2014 to 2022 is impossible in the space available, and I don’t attempt one. Rather, I highlight the key developments, trends and tendencies in four interlinked areas of particular relevance for the themes raised and analysed in the preceding chapters. First, I look at mobility in and through the region and the EU, not least regarding the EU’s migration crisis and the significant refugee flows generated by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Second, I assess developments in EU ordering and governance, including its transition to a ‘protective security’ approach and seeming desire to embrace a more ‘traditional’ geopolitical identity and adopt a commensurately retrograde understanding of power. Third, I examine CEE’s place in the EU focusing, as in the previous chapters, on Czechia and Poland and sketching how both countries, along with the rest of the ‘Visegrad Four’ (V4), seemingly slid to the Union’s periphery. I also discuss how the location of the EU’s problems in CEE, with specific reference to the V4, disguises the true challenges the Union faces and must overcome if it is to maintain its relevance, including as an ordering actor. Finally, I show how the plot thickened again when the strong response of the CEE countries to Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine thrust them centre stage once more and reflect on what all of this could mean for the future of Central and Eastern Europe, Ukraine and the EU.

8.2

Mobility: A Tale of Two Crises (and a Visa Liberalisation)

8.2

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Mobility: A Tale of Two Crises (and a Visa Liberalisation)

The period between completing the initial research for this project in 2014 and writing its epilogue in early 2022, is bookended by two major mobility-related crises. It was punctuated, in 2017, by the removal of the requirement for Ukrainians to have a visa to enter the Schengen zone and stay in any of its member states for up to 90 days of any 180-day period. This section deals with these issues and their relations to security and mobility in the EU and wider CEE region. It also introduces some of their implications for the Identities–Borderscape–Orders nexus, which are then developed in the subsequent sections of the epilogue.

8.2.1

Crisis: 2013–2016

Between 2013 and 2016, the EU’s migration, mobility and asylum system buckled (e.g. Youngs, 2021a: 55). It’s often claimed that this was because of the sheer weight of refugee and migrant numbers driven by people fleeing conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, instability in North Africa but also by those otherwise seeking a better life in EU states (Ibid. & BBC News, 2016). It’s true that very large numbers of people claiming asylum for the first time arrived at the EU’s borders in this period (Pew Research Centre, 2016)—alongside many others in what were significantly mixed flows of people on the move. Yet this is not the reason that this wave of migration became a crisis for the EU and its member states. The crises experienced by many of the migrants themselves from the violence, insecurity and instability that pushed many to seek sanctuary or a safer future in EU states were, of course, all too real. However, it was the EU and EUMS that then turned these journeys and, in many cases, arrivals into the Union, into a further humanitarian crisis for the people on the move and a border and mobility management crisis for themselves. There is, by now a wealth of academic literature on the crisis, much of it from the Critical Border Studies scholars mentioned in earlier chapters. There is no space here to review or list it all, but I would note that I have found the scholarship of Polly Pallister Wilkins (e.g. 2015, 2017) and of Stefania Panebianco (e.g., 2016, 2022) particularly useful in understanding different aspects of the crisis. Several of their works—as well as many other useful texts can be found in the bibliography of the introduction to a Special Issue of International Politics on the crisis, which I co-edited with Stefania (Panebianco & Tallis, 2022). From this hinterland, I now draw out a few key points that pertain to the main arguments of this book. This wave of increased migration became a European crisis not because EUMS were unable but because they were unwilling to provide shelter for refugees or welcome other inbound migrants. The CEE EUMS was not alone in this, but they were among the most prominent and vocal. They were also at the forefront of refusals to countenance common solutions proposed by the European Commission

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for sharing out new arrivals between EUMS (e.g. Cameron, 2015). Most infamously, Hungary swiftly sent refugees on to other EU countries (especially Germany)—but also built and aggressively policed a new, barbed wire border fence to keep migrants out. However, Slovakia as well as two of the foci states of this book—Czechia and Poland—also explicitly refused to do their bit. The impact on their relations with the EU and other EUMS is discussed in the next section but it is sufficient to note for now that their intransigence, expressed as a sadly effective bloc (the Visegrad Four [V4]), made them key actors in creating the crisis (Futák-Campbell, 2021; Kazharski, 2018; Tallis & Simecka, 2015). Of wider significance for understanding the EU’s bordering policy—and its effects—was the failure to develop a common ‘EU-European’ perspective or policy on mobility (as discussed in Chap. 6). Despite an increasing focus on protecting or securing common borders, this omission led directly to the transformation of increased migration into a crisis. Not having a common policy on inward migration left certain states to deal with the vast majority of arrivals meaning that the costs of humanitarian assistance to migrants fell disproportionately on them and, in some cases, they struggled to cope. In other cases, the problem was again willingness rather than capacity (Bello, 2022; Fontana, 2022). Of still greater importance, and underlying these other issues, however, was the perception that inward migration was costly or threatening rather than beneficial (see Chap. 6). This meant that, despite Europe’s obvious demographic need and the myriad social as well as economic benefits that EUMS could have reaped from large numbers of migrants who were generally willing and able to work and integrate, they instead generally sought to keep them out (e.g. Goldin et al., 2011; Legrain, 2007). There were exceptions, of course, especially Germany, which ended up taking by far the largest share of refugees as well as other migrants, and has indeed benefitted (Dowling, 2019; Herborth, 2021; Keita & Dempster, 2020; Welfens, 2021). Yet the rule was that of exclusion, not only to avoid the perceived burden of caring for the people who wished to come but to keep out the dangerous difference they were claimed to carry via their race and religion (Agence France Presse, 2016; Brito, 2022; Cameron, 2015). Protecting the integrity of the Schengen zone’s external border regime was prioritised over protecting the human security of these migrants (Panebianco & Tallis, 2022). This border regime’s inability to cope in the South and, especially, in the South East led to a series of moves that compromised the EU’s much trumpeted ‘European values’ as well as its ‘European standards’ (see Chap. 5). In addition to Hungary’s barbed wire fence, numerous EU states enacted punitive bordering at their external frontiers. Others suspended intra-Schengen free movement, which some analysts claimed put the future of the ‘area of freedom, security and justice’ itself in doubt (Votoupalová, 2019). Concerned about the viability of this flagship EU achievement (see Chaps. 5 and 6) and in an effort to stop people attempting to enter the EU across the Aegean Sea, the Union, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel struck a deal with Turkey’s authoritarian leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They effectively paid the same Turkish state which they had heavily criticised for violations of rights and freedoms but, which had already taken in far more migrants than the EU states

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combined, to prevent more from leaving in order to try and enter EU territory (International Rescue Committee, 2022). Struggling to find similar partners in war-torn and unstable Libya, and with the EU border assistance mission to the country in a state of some disarray, the EU and EUMS worked with various groups, including the Libyan coastguard to prevent migrants from leaving for Italy on a treacherous route across the central Mediterranean (Council of the European Union, 2018). The EU claimed that this was to prevent them from risking their lives. Many others saw another tactic to keep migrants out. EU and member state naval missions and other coastguarding initiatives became embroiled in allegations of illegal pushbacks and ‘refoulement’— denying people in need the possibility to claim asylum (Fontana, 2022). The EU border agency, Frontex, also found itself at the centre of numerous controversies. While in the period of the research (to 2014—see Chap. 6), it was possible to conclude that Frontex generally took its duty to protect migrants’ fundamental rights seriously and that charges of systematic abuse were unwarranted, this became much harder after 2014 (ibid.). Nonetheless, it was mainly in Frontex that the EU and its member states placed their faith for better bordering in future (Parkes, 2021a, 2021b; The Economist, 2021). The agency received a significant upgrade in both its funding and its mandate as it was transformed into something resembling the EU border guard service it had always denied being, but which its boosters had always wanted it to become (ibid.). This upgrading of Frontex was part of—and further entrenched—the EU’s more general shift to a ‘protective security’ model, that gathered depth and breadth during and as a result of the Union’s reaction to the surge in migrant numbers and the crisis it created (Youngs, 2021a: 60–65). As will be seen later, the growing influence of protective security undermined the EU’s normative identity as well as its geopolitical effectiveness and capacity for ordering.

8.2.2

Freer Movement, for Some: 2016–2021

While this move to protection was very much the general direction of travel and has been highly problematic overall, as the analyses in Chaps. 4 and 6 showed protection itself isn’t necessarily the problem so much as what you do with it (and how it is countervailed). These chapters highlighted, inter alia, an often-overlooked aspect of the EU’s bordering with Ukraine: the Local Border Traffic Agreements that facilitated limited, but nonetheless visa-free travel for Ukrainians living in the border region. These agreements, which meaningfully loosened the restrictions on mobility for the people they applied to, were only possible because of the upgraded security at the border, which cut down on both smuggling and irregular movement. In this case, protecting the integrity of the border regime and ensuring oversight over and filtering of flows of people and goods through approved channels where they could be controlled was used to increase mobility. In some ways, the 2017 liberalisation of Schengen visa requirements for Ukrainians was a scaled-up version of this same process. It was a step that I had

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called for and that I was later privileged to have the chance to contribute based on the research presented in this book and in my doctoral thesis. Using the conceptualised borderscape I could point to the success of the LBTAs in facilitating the freer movement that was so greatly valued by Ukrainians with no loss of security for the EU (see Chap. 7 and Tallis, 2021b). Thanks, in large part, to the improvements in border management which had increased the security of the border regime between the EU and Ukraine, it was possible to scale up this argument. Yet the crucial factor in pushing visa liberalisation over the line was the political will of key actors, particularly the state that held the EU Presidency in the second half of 2016, Slovakia. In the autumn of that year, having had 18 months of pressure from other EU states to take a more constructive approach to migration, the Slovak government floated the ill-starred notion of ‘flexible solidarity’ to describe their policy. Predictably, this did not go down well with their EU partners, and they began to look for a new initiative. Advisors close to the President (who was not from the governing party of the Prime Minister) reached out to a colleague of mine who, in turn, asked my advice. I suggested that offering ‘effective solidarity’ might work better, especially if there was something concrete and positive to back it up—something like visa liberalisation for Ukraine. After further discussions, these suggestions were adopted, and the Slovak Presidency tabled a proposal on ‘effective solidarity’ (Barigazzi, 2016; Government of the Slovak Republic, 2016; Nielsen, 2016)—and also proposed that the EU allow Ukrainians to benefit from visa-free travel to the Schengen zone. They successfully assembled a supportive coalition of like-minded states, and this proposal was duly endorsed by the European Council in 2016, coming into force in 2017 (European Council, 2016).1 This could—and should—have happened much earlier. The conceptualised borderscape framework presented in this book allows for pinpoint analyses of benefits and potential costs of this step. Using it to undertake such analysis in 2012 would have reached the same conclusion. Nothing in the intervening period had changed significantly in terms of the standards of border control or the patterns of mobility across the EU–Ukrainian frontier or from Ukraine more generally to warrant this decision. The ‘technical’ measures were in place and, were objective assessment of these ‘European standards’ really the determining factor as is often claimed (Chap. 5), the lose-lose short-term visa regime could have been ended long before it was. What changed was the politics. Ukrainian visa liberalisation found an influential champion at the right moment to make it happen. This also shows that for all the focus on practices (especially in academic IR—see Chap. 2), which as Chap. 6 demonstrated all points against this step being made, the right discourses together with sufficient political can overcome entrenched bureaucratic resistance. While the non-paper explicitly spoke of ‘effective solidarity’ the adopted version of the council conclusions spoke of ‘the effective application of the principles of responsibility and solidarity’ (Point 6). In Point 24, it they recognised ‘Ukraine’s achievements in implementing reforms to meet European standards and the fact that it has met the conditions for a visa-free regime with the Union’ (European Council, 2016).

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Having failed for years to apply the lessons of the LBTAs—either to Ukraine or more widely—the EU and its member states continued to take a negative view of migration and thus sought to protect themselves and the integrity of their border regime against incomers rather than providing sufficient regular and safe ways in. Unlike in the Ukrainian case, this toughening up of border protection, including through the upgrading of Frontex, was not used to even partially free up mobility for others. The consequences of doubling down on the approach that underpinned EU’s transformation of inward migration into a crisis between 2013 and 2016, again came home to roost in November 2021. The journalist Andrew Connolly emphasised the parallel: ‘six years after the height of Europe’s last refugee crisis, adults and children from war zones and failed states are still squeezed between troops and razor wire asking to be let in’ (2021). This time, however, rather than knocking at the EU’s Southern doors, these people seeking refuge were asking to be let in through Poland. Kicking back against EU sanctions, Belarus’s dictatorial leader, Aleksandr Lukashenko was attempting to ‘weaponise’ migration to his own advantage by hitting the Union at one of the points at which it had made itself most vulnerable (Galeotti, 2022; Parkes, 2021a). Connolly (2021) describes how Belarus worked ‘with predatory smugglers who convince desperate Iraqi families to liquidate their assets and make the doomed journey to the forests of Eastern Europe’. It wasn’t only Iraqis, but Afghans, Syrians, Somalis and others seeking any way out of their homelands and anyway into the EU. Their plight met with little sympathy. Polish border guards held the line that politicians across Europe had drawn. The EU and its member states would give no humanitarian quarter in the face of what Commission President von der Leyen described as ‘an act of hybrid war’. Connolly was one of the earliest to make clear was that this act could only be one of hybrid war and that Lukashenko could only be successful in ‘weaponising’ refugees, because of the EU and EUMS’ own failed migration and mobility policies and negative attitude to migrants. This in turn was only possible because they failed to properly assess the positive sides of migration (see Chaps. 5 and 6) and refused to provide sufficient ways for migrants to enter the EU regularly and safely could refugees be used to ‘threaten’ them. What happened next was thus not only a severe shock to the EU’s system but, also presented a significant chance to make real change for the better.

8.2.3

A Different Crisis, a Different Response: 2022

Not long after Russian forces rolled (further) across Ukraine’s Northern, Eastern and Southern frontiers, refugees started to make their way through the country’s Western borders with Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and, above all, Poland. Little more than a month after the invasion more than ten million people had been displaced, 6.5 m within Ukraine and 3.9 m seeking refuge abroad, the vast majority in EU states (UNHCR, 2022). In marked contrast to how refugees and asylum

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seekers were treated in the previous migration crisis, both the initial receiving states and the EU as a whole acted swiftly and humanely. They not only allowed people in but activated a special ‘Temporary Protection Directive’ with the objective to: alleviate pressure on national asylum systems and to allow displaced persons to enjoy harmonised rights across the EU. These rights include residence, access to the labour market and housing, medical assistance, and access to education for children (Council of the European Union, 2022).

This special status will last, across the EU, for at least one year and perhaps longer. Taking this step, in effect deepening and extending the Willkommenskultur that Germany showed in the previous crisis to the whole Union, represented a huge change in approach—and one that should be widely welcomed. Several member states, with Czechia and Poland among the earliest and going the furthest, added extra rights or smoothed processes to work and claim financial support (CTK, 2022; Office for Foreigners, 2022). Overall, this has already been a far more generous and open response to the far greater numbers of refugees who arrived from Ukraine, compared to those coming from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea and other countries from 2013 to 2016. It has shown what the EU and its member states can do given sufficient willingness and political support—and how fast they can move if necessary. This very different approach deservedly attracted widespread praise, but it also prompted accusations of double standards and discrimination (Venturi & Vallianatou, 2022). Researchers at Chatham House noted that at the same time as Ukrainians were being properly welcomed, refugees from elsewhere, arriving in, for example Greece and Spain faced brutal policing or illegal pushbacks to keep them out (ibid.). This contrast in approaches seemed particularly stark for the CEE states that so prominently refused to help refugees between 2013 and 2016. Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov fuelled this impression when he said (quoted in Brito, 2022): [Ukrainians] are not the refugees we are used to [. . .] these people are Europeans. These people are intelligent, they are educated people [. . .] This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.

From this kind of chauvinistic rhetoric, some may be tempted to conclude that the xenophobic double standards in relation to refugees revealed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine were an ‘Eastern problem’. They would be wrong to do so. Not only because it would be incorrect (as many Western states also harboured such discourses in the 2014–2016 crisis period, but also because it would preclude properly addressing the real problem which runs wider and deeper. With regard to the false impression given, it’s important to note that the CEE countries were far from the only EU states to be significantly more hostile to refugees in the 2013–2016 crisis than to Ukrainians in 2022. In reality, the problem runs across the EU and is ingrained in an underlying shift in policy and ethos that was noticeable in the earlier periods dealt with in this book (see Chaps. 4–6) but which has gathered pace in recent years. The response to Ukraine crisis was, in its early days that are covered by this epilogue, a startling

8.3

EU Dis-Ordering: Forsaking Creative Geopolitics, Transformative Power. . .

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exception to a much more generalised slide by the EU into a ‘protective’ approach to security as well as broader shifts in its internal and external ordering. These are discussed in the next section, along with related shifts towards older understandings of (hard) power and traditional geopolitics. As Hans Kundnani (2021b) has noted, these shifts have come hand in hand with a more overtly ‘civilisational’ view of European (EU) identity, which is prevalent across the EU—not just in CEE (even if it is also apparent there). This civilisational view may partly explain why Ukrainians have been treated better (for now) compared to the (often Muslim, Middle Eastern and Afghan) refugees who came before them, as they are seen to be more culturally similar and thus less threatening (as the argument goes), but it also raises broader and deeper questions for EU external—and internal—relations.

8.3

EU Dis-Ordering: Forsaking Creative Geopolitics, Transformative Power and Progressive Security

The EU’s historical achievements (see, e.g. Chap. 5) were founded on deepening integration between its peoples and consensual enlargement to new states, which gave it a uniquely innovative geopolitical identity. Through this ‘creative geopolitics’, the re-imagining of sovereignty to include mutual interference and oversight, EU states were able to both reduce the likelihood of war between them and allow reciprocal interference and engagement for mutual benefit Re-imagining sovereignty came together with re-imagining borders and bordering—as previous chapters showed—leading to the creation of the Schengen zone which fostered mobilities of various kinds (Dedoyard, 2022; Parkes, 2021b; Tallis, 2022c). Re-imagining borders and sovereignty also manifested itself in a creative approach to the bloc’s neighbours, leading to successive, consensual enlargements of the EEC, then EC and EU. Along with the deepening ties between the states involved this can be considered as a voluntary Sphere of Integration model, rather than a ‘traditional’ geopolitical expansionism (Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022). While different spheres (policy areas) of integration have long been discussed by EU scholars, it is worth considering the bloc’s historically successful approach to geopolitics and ordering as a whole as constituting a ‘Sphere of Integration’. It stands in contrast to realist understandings of ‘Spheres of Influence’ (Jackson, 2020) which powerful states or empires (such as Russia) might seek to impose on ‘weaker’ neighbours (as Putin had imagined Ukraine to be). As we saw in earlier chapters, the EU and its member states were unwilling to fully extend their Sphere of Integration to Ukraine or other Eastern (and Southern) neighbours. The ENP and EaP represented only partial and limited extensions of the sphere but were not entirely without merit—a geopolitical workaround for the limitations EU politicians faced (and imposed) following the 2004 and 2007 enlargements. They were, however, static rather than dynamic: a hesitant embrace designed as much to keep, inter alia, Ukraine at arm’s length rather than bring it closer to the

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EU. Lacking the necessary integrative drive and political will—and notwithstanding some positive developments—these policies became mired in a half-hearted technocratic approach (Chap. 5) that failed to unleash the ‘transformative power’ which had been symbiotic with the EU’s previous creative geopolitical moves. This transformative power had two main aspects, linked to but distinct from each other. The first was the transformation of seemingly structural conflicts between European states (most famously France and Germany) into structural cooperation via the deep interconnection of nations and economies as well as states. The type of progressively deeper and broader integration mentioned above fostered a greater frequency of encounter and density of interaction between peoples and businesses, as well as governments, which took much of the perceived danger out of the differences between European peoples (Tallis, 2022c; Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022). This is often referred to as the ‘domestication’ of international relations on the European continent, although that description overlooks the extent to which their own domestic, national identity and state organisation still matters to people (Malešević, 2019), however, much this is lamented in Brussels or around European think tank communities. As I discuss below, these different understandings of national difference may well be one of the key tensions in future European geopolitics as more or less cosmopolitan international visions, capable of embracing national identities, face off against supranational transcendence as well as civilisational visions that could tilt in a more national or European direction (for an interesting, book-length treatment of these issues—and related questions—see Auer, 2022). Nonetheless, even if the aspects of this approach that sought to override or even to ‘overcome’ national identities may be reaching the limits of their credibility, some of the more pernicious aspects of these identities were forced into the background as conflict was largely transformed into cooperation. This was achieved, in no small part, by making clear the alignment of the interests of the various EU member states and nations, and that these interests could be pursued in a positive sum fashion via the type of integration facilitated by creative geopolitics facilitated. But there was more to it than this. Values played a significant role too—even if, as it is increasingly being shown, they were unevenly upheld within EU states and little heed was paid to them in dealings with colonies or in decolonisation processes (Hansen & Jonsson, 2015; Kundnani, 2021a). Despite these inequities which, in dealing with its wider issues relating to identity, will need to be reckoned with, there was a major valuesbased element to the EU’s power at least in its internal establishing drive and organising relations between its members as Kundnani also acknowledges (2021b). The EU and its forerunners helped sustain the transition of states and societies from dictatorships to democracies, via varying combinations of sticks, carrots, socialisation, peer pressure, (financial) support, advice and demands of various kinds. This transformative power benefitted EU member states such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Germany as well as the CEE states for which accession to and membership of the EU was such a central part of their diverse post-communist transition processes (Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022). Crucially, however, sustaining these transitions also benefitted these countries’ neighbours (and other European states)

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with which the transition states were less likely to come into conflict. They were also less likely to experience trouble from spillovers from governance or capacity failures that would, for example let organise crime flourish (Case, 2009). It is important to point to later and very real problems with democratic backsliding and inability to uphold liberal norms in, for example Hungary and Poland (see next section). Yet, overall, this transformative power should be given significant credit for complementing and helping to make the transition countries’ (of all vintages) own efforts both more durable and worthwhile (Tallis, 2022e; Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022).

8.3.1

Losing Their Religion: A Less Inspired, Less Clear-Eyed, Less Capable EU

More recently, the EU and its leading member states have been less interested in exercising and less able to effect transformative power. In external relations, this has been partly because of the stalling of enlargement and other forms of integration under the European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership (thus confirming the dominance of the negative trajectories outlined in Chap. 5). It has also been brought about by changed external circumstances (Youngs, 2021a again has a very good summary of this) although perhaps more so by the way in which the EU has responded to these circumstances via the shift from progressive to protective security, summarised below. Yet, internally too, the EU and its larger member states drew back from transformative power. Instead, many challenges were framed as intractable problems and a ‘Can’t Do’ approach saw a retreat behind an increasingly protective approach externally and a retreat into (inadequate) rules and technocratic disavowal of political solutions internally (Auer, 2022 compellingly deals with this and related issues throughout his recent book). Cumulatively this meant that in the period from roughly 2014–2022 as the EU sought to increasingly protect itself from the outside world, it also presided over democratic backsliding and repeated violations of liberal norms among many of its member states (Auer, 2022; Krastev & Holmes, 2019). These issues will be discussed in the next section, in relation to CEE states which became a cause celebre, but also in Western European EU members which have been less often and less heavily criticised (Auer, 2022; Tallis, 2022e; Tallis & Sayer, 2017). That difference in treatment (notwithstanding qualitative differences in the violations) points to lingering hierarchies in the EU that, despite the success noted in earlier chapters, had not been completely overcome. These cracks in unity were prised open by the ways EU states handled the successive crises noted above and below. What the EU’s member states (and their societies) nonetheless had in common was a diminishing belief in their individual and collective ability to provide brighter futures (Berardi, 2011; Bregman, 2014). This loss of confidence seemed to be compounded by external events although, in reality, it was (as in transforming

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migration into a crisis) the attitude taken to these external events that were the main problem. The transformative and integrative method that characterised the EU’s historical successes was complemented and empowered by what could be characterised as a ‘progressive’ attitude to security, which stands in stark contrast to the ‘protective security’ doctrine that has come to dominate the EU’s internal and external policy in recent years, as brilliantly chronicled (and named) by Richard Youngs (Youngs, 2021a, 2021b). The EU’s (and its forerunners’) attitude to security was progressive in that it understood the purpose of the institution and its various agencies and policies as being, primarily, to provide the possibility of a future that was better than the present—to facilitate progress. Progressive is, of course as much of an essentially contested term (and concept) as security but, at a very fundamental level, a collective tomorrow brighter than today, can be seen as its essence (Berardi, 2011; Fisher, 2014; Tallis, 2020b). Securing that possibility, via promoting peace and prosperity (and ways to share it in more or less socially equitable ways), while protecting human rights and fostering fundamental freedoms can suffice as a progressive basis for my purpose here. In addition, spreading the benefits of this model to increasing numbers of Europeans can be considered another progressive aspect of the EU’s approach, including through enlargement. Perhaps most importantly, however, when it comes to security is that this progressive view was an optimistic but not naïve outlook that saw the world (both within and beyond EU borders) as one of opportunities, rather than just threats. This did not deny the existence of threats, far from it, as in the early days of European integration, not only were memories of the Second World War still fresh, but the threat of nuclear war and, later, mutually assured destruction loomed large in the mind of policymakers across the continent. Yet, the approach was one that sought to make the best of things—to transform threats into opportunities and, with a ‘Can Do’ attitude, to pursue the creative, transformative and progressive agenda noted above (Dedoyard, 2022; Tallis, 2022c, 2022f). Rather than trying to batten down the hatches and seal off or protect from the world, this entailed a proactive effort to engage the world, seize those opportunities and, by doing so to also reduce threats (Youngs, 2021a: 25–34, 2021b). It extended from policy area to policy area, deepening integration via the Single Market and the Schengen Zone and widening it in successive enlargements. By 1989, when another major geopolitical shift occurred with the end of the Cold War, the then EC’s progressive approach was well established and would, between roughly 1993 and 2007, also be the EU’s approach. Even if it was not a foregone conclusion in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of communism in CEE (see Chap. 2 and, e.g. Schimmelfennig, 2001), the 2004 enlargement which made 8 CEE states full members of the EU (together with the 2007 extension of the Schengen zone to these states) cumulatively represent the high-water mark of this approach. This visionary step which greatly increased the EU’s population and territory but also, crucially, validated and affirmed its geopolitical model was boldly taken amid the significant upheaval that was unleashed by the revolutions of 1989 and the Soviet Union’s implosion in 1991.

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Crucially, the EU’s approach carved a path of mutual benefit from a moment of great uncertainty. It was a win-win and a triumph of EU order, that would not only extend but deepen the EU-European order as well as confirm the EU’s real geopolitical value and contribution (Tallis, 2022e; Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022). Given the changes that the EU has gone through and the shift in its collective mindset and worldview, it would be highly unlikely to happen again today. This change—and the difficulties it has caused EU member states and institutions could be seen in the inconsistent response to Ukraine’s candidacy request, even though this was eventually endorsed. As noted in Chap. 5, the progressive aspects of EU discourse compete with more narrow-minded imperatives, supposedly dictated by the needs of security and the prioritisation of EU interests, even if this may well be based on a significant miscalculation of those interests and how to pursue them (see, for example Germany’s difficulties caused by its policy on Russia which prioritised short-term economic gain which, along with the country’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, questioned its moral standing and also undermined trust from its allies).

8.3.2

The Rise of Protective Security and the Fall of Progressive EU Ordering

Although it was conducted under NATO’s protection, the EU’s previous, positivesum transformational approach to European geopolitics was brought about without hard power means of the EC/EU’s own (Tallis, 2022c, 2022f). Yet, rather than learning from its history, the EU has abandoned its roots and struck out for more traditional geopolitical territory (e.g. Nitoiu & Sus, 2019) and has sought to ‘relearn the language of power’ (Borrell, 2020). The EU’s Foreign Policy chief, Josep Borrell, was specifically referring to hard power combined with a traditional geopolitical mindset, in order to ‘protect’ against the myriad threats its institutions claim it faces (Youngs, 2021a: 55–60). This remains a language that the EU struggles to master and has been unable to back up in practice. Nonetheless, it risks further undermining its real transformative power and sphere of integration approaches—as has been seen with protective security undermining progressive security and transformative power in the neighbourhood (Chaps. 4–6). In addition to protective security’s dominance in migration and border policy (discussed above), and defence (discussed in this section and in the final section), Youngs (2021a) identifies counterterrorism and cyber security as areas in which the growth of ‘Protective Security’ can be clearly seen. I would add that its dominance can also be seen in related policy areas, as well as those that bring some of these themes together such as the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), including its Civilian elements, and the growing ‘internal-external security nexus’. As Youngs notes, this ‘broad ranging leitmotif of EU external action . . . encapsulates the search for direct protection rather than an aim to transform other states and

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societies as an indirect way of defusing possible risks to European security’ (Youngs, 2021a: 54). Outside of direct ‘Defence’ aspects, the shift in CSDP can be seen in the changing focus of its civilian missions which have moved away from the so-called ‘Feira tasks’ (after the 2000 European Council held in Santa Maria de Feira), which embodied a transformative power approach. Instead of primarily seeking to bolster good governance and democratic state capacity, civilian missions are now a hotchpotch of training and executive tasks aimed primarily at fixing threats in place in their host countries thus preventing them from ‘spilling over’ into EU countries. Unfortunately, this has overlapped and become mutually reinforcing with the approach to migration outlined above, which sees the inward movement of people as a threat. Together with a move for greater cooperation between Civilian CSDP and Justice and Home Affairs actors (sometimes referred to as AFSJ actors)— primarily law enforcement—this confluence has ensured the domination of protective security approach to EU external action via CSDP. Developments including the growing influence of law enforcement personnel in key departments in Brussels, as well as other relevant institutions (e.g. the European Centre of Excellence on Civilian Crisis Management in Berlin) have brought considerable practical expertise. Unfortunately, in a political vacuum, the protective not to say suspicious mindsets that have come to dominate thinking in these fields have reproduced the problems of imbalanced and skewed views of migration in other fields (see Chap. 6). Worse, this also spread into the Union’s interior via what is known as the ‘Internal-External’ security nexus that, if un-countervailed could come to threaten the very existence of Schengen itself (Parkes, 2021a). These developments mirror the worst aspects of the ENP and EaP’s decline from a potentially dynamic, integrative instrument of transformative power grounded in progressive security, to a symbol of the EU’s half-hearted, increasingly nervous and ineffective attempts to deal with the outside world by keeping it out to the greatest possible extent, rather than constructively engaging it (see Chaps. 4–6). While it is tempting to link the rise of ‘protective security’ to French President Emmanuel Macron’s goal of creating ‘a Europe that protects’ (Kundnani, 2021a), the impulse behind it long predates the current occupant of the Elysée. It began with the EU’s desire to become an overt or, as Youngs has it a ‘direct’ security actor— and one of the prime testing grounds for this ambition was in the Eastern neighbourhood (as detailed in different ways in Chaps. 4–6) (Youngs, 2021a: e.g. 54). While the manifestations of these issues have had a particular effect on Ukraine via the failure of the neighbourhood policy, they have also impacted on as well as being enacted through and by EUMS including Czechia and Poland which, along with Ukraine, are the focus of this book. As the final two sections of this Epilogue (and the book) show, these trends in governance as well as reactions to and contestation of them have created considerable problems for the EU and its member states. The mindset underlying the transition to protective security has both reflected and generated problems in other aspects of European and EU politics, exacerbating rather than ameliorating external shocks and internal crises. The final section will look at the current state of play in

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this regard, suggest that Russia’s war in Ukraine offers an unprecedented opportunity for the EU and its member states to revive and re-imagine their previous, more successful approach and outline the consequences of failing to do so. In keeping with the focus of the book, that concluding section looks, in particular, at the importance in and role of CEE in this regard. First, however, it is useful to trace some key dynamics in that region and its relations to the EU between the end of the research period and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

8.4

(Non-core) Europe: CEE as the EU’s (Re-) Moveable East?

If this epilogue had been written a year earlier, it would have looked rather different. This is not only because Russia’s war in Ukraine was limited to the Eastern edge of the country and had not engaged Europe and North America in the way that the third invasion (counting Crimea and Donbas separately) did. The Epilogue would still have zoomed in on issues pertaining to the EU’s migration crisis and the slow, suffocating failure of its Eastern Partnership and Neighbourhood Policy, the evolution of the Union’s geopolitical identity and what this all meant for the EU’s order and its ordering power and potential. It would, however, have had a simpler and distinctly less hopeful take on the positioning and trajectory of some CEE EU members, including Czechia and Poland. Yet the more positive or, at the very least, more contested situation that is described here actually reflects longer-standing trends and struggles in the region (and the EU more widely), which have nonetheless been given more they have been given more credibility and prominence by the escalated conflict in Ukraine. In this section, I broadly discuss some of these trends, summarise the current situation, and identify several key tensions and issues that will decide, in part, the future trajectory of the region and of the EU. This looks at how, from the end of the research period, several states in CEE—particularly but not only Poland and Hungary—become highly problematic for the EU due to democratic backsliding and the region as a whole seemed to fall into some disrepute or at least fall out of step with Western European member states. This was an important story—but never the full story. More recently, countertendencies and alternative understandings have come into clearer view, not least in response to Russia’s renewed assault on Ukraine, which has shown some CEE states to be perhaps the strongest defenders of certain aspects of the EU’s proclaimed values—and of the bloc’s real geopolitical value— which will be discussed in the final section. Constraints of space mean that this cannot be more than a broad-brush summary but it at least gestures toward the key issues and points of contestation that are most important for the European identities, the EU’s identity and its future as an ordering actor. In the standard telling, for several years after the 2004 enlargement things generally went well as the EU’s new member states bedded in and found their

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feet. This is discussed in Chaps. 4–6 in relation to the overcoming of hierarchies and enactment of EU-European belonging by Czechia and Poland, including through participation in Schengen and EaP as decision makers rather than just decision takers. Not everything ran smoothly, of course, for example the ongoing systematic checks on Czechs crossing Germany’s Schengen borders noted in Chaps. 4–6 were a mark of mistrust and a source of irritation. Yet there were mechanisms via which (many of) these problems could be addressed and overcome, as was the case with the Czech government’s successful challenge to these overzealous control practices. This was part of the story of successful integration which, despite the travails of the last decade, still needs to be properly factored into any big picture analysis. Enlargement has been, in general, a success, geopolitically and in terms of the specific political and economic benefits that it has brought to Europeans, whether Western, Northern, Central Eastern or Southern (Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022; Vachudova, 2014).

8.4.1

The Return of Non-core Europe?

The very fact that, in 2022, the overall success of enlargement needs to be emphasised—less the point be lost amid the laments, which are then also projected onto Ukraine (e.g. Larsen, 2022)—also speaks to how complicated that big picture has become. It seemed as though, as described in Chaps. 4–6, Czechia and Poland (and the rest of the EU-8 had come a long way from Habermas and Derrida’s patronising dismissal of the CEE states as ‘non-core’ Europe (Habermas & Derrida, 2003 and also see Chap. 5). Yet alongside (and throughout) the success story, trouble was brewing in and for CEE—and the EU. To explain the rise of nativist populism in CEE, some experts point to the preconditions of the longer-standing neoliberal model of transition and others emphasise the precipitant factor of the 2008 global financial crisis, its impact in CEE and resistance to the ‘therapy’ mandated by international bodies (Auer, 2022: 151; Cisar, 2017; Shields, 2015, 2019). In what is seen as a breakthrough election, Viktor Orban won power in Hungary in 2010 and stated ‘neither the IMF nor the EU’s financial bodies are our bosses’ (Tooze, 2018: 491–2). Orban’s victory ushered in a modular combination of positions—overtly ‘anti-Brussels’ but still happy to take and (according to some) abuse or corruptly use EU money, national sovereigntist (not to say nativist), illiberal veering toward authoritarian—that would be replicated to varying degrees and in various combinations in other CEE states in the 2010s. The list of further steps on CEE’s path away from the EU’s rules, norms and values—as well, supposedly, away from the EU mainstream—is long but, at a minimum would usually include the following. The re-election of Robert Fico’s Smer party in Slovakia in 2012 (he had previously been PM from 2006 to 2010) and subsequent moves to consolidate government power and limit the free media; the election of the populist rabble-rouser Miloš Zeman as Czech President as well as the entry into government as Finance Minister of the oligarch and media mogul Andrej Babis in 2013; and the election of the reactionary PiS government in Warsaw in

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2015. All the parliamentary elections mentioned here saw defeats for neoliberal or technocratic governments, largely favourable to the EU (Krastev, 2017). Although the V4 had earlier cohered around opposition to EU environmental regulation, it truly emerged as an oppositional EU bloc in 2015 in response to the increased inward migration described above. Even in the moribund last days of the neoliberal Civic Platform government, after PM Donald Tusk had moved to Brussels, Poland veered between opposing quotas for refugee resettlements and siding with France, Germany and the European Commission (Traynor & Kingsley, 2015). After the victory of Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s PiS party in the Polish election of October 2015, the V4 states presented a united front on migration—refusing to take refugees and thus scuppering an EU-wide collective solution, but also issuing callous statements about why they were refusing to take refugees (Krastev, 2017). Increasingly, the V4 states also seemed to encourage each other not only to confront Brussels but to pursue ever more illiberal policies domestically—most obviously in Hungary and Poland and to a lesser extent in Slovakia and Czechia. The wave of illiberalism in CEE extended from Orban’s notorious razor-wire border fence (with commensurate policing) (Futák-Campbell, 2021) and forcing out of the Central European University (CEU) from Hungary (Thorpe, 2020) to PiS’ ‘assault on judicial independence’ as well as on civil society, free media and what access to abortion remained in Poland (Grzymala-Busse, 2018; Guardian Staff and Agencies, 2020). Gerrymandering came along with what Anna Grzymala-Busse, an expert on the region, called efforts to ‘remake the institutions of liberal democracy in [PiS] own illiberal image’ (Grzymala-Busse, 2018). This echoed a similar strategy, explicitly pioneered and avowed by Orban to create an ‘illiberal democracy’ in Hungary (Kazharski, 2018; Toth, 2014) nonetheless bankrolled by EU funds that were intended to support liberal values and liberal ordering. This was also facilitated by too many Western European politicians, notably from Germany’s CDU and CSU (which had particularly close ties to Orban), who turned a blind eye (e.g. Karnitschnig, 2019; Vegh & Zobel, 2018). These developments in Poland and Hungary were widely covered in Western media and became something of a cause celebre for Western European liberals lamenting the supposed negative influence of CEE on the EU. The assault on liberal institutions in Slovakia was generally more implicit and connected to shady practices in and around the government. The rise of small but electorally successful, hard-right, blood and soil reactionary parties created an incentive for Prime Minister Robert Fico to emphasise the more conservative and nativist elements of his governing Smer party’s programme (Kazharski, 2018), but it was a corruption scandal that brought his downfall in 2018. A young investigative journalist (Jan Kuciak) and his partner (Martina Kusnirova) were murdered when they got too close to uncovering high-level corruption and mafia ties. This triggered mass protests which, despite their influence over much of the media, led to the eventual resignations of Fico and interior minister Robert Kalinak (BBC News, 2018). The government of his successor Peter Pellegrini staggered on until elections in 2020, when they were defeated by the anti-corruption (and anti-political/ antiestablishment) OLANO party headed by tycoon Igor Matovic. Matovic himself had

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to resign just over a year later, embroiled in a series of controversies culminating in the controversial decision to purchase Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ COVID vaccine and was replaced as premier by Finance Minister Eduard Heger, of whom more later (Tallis, 2022a). In Czechia, Despite the Social Democrats’ rejection of refugees and dismantling of the country’s long-established liberal foreign policy identity (a point that was at the time contested but which subsequently became abundantly clear), Czech voters elevated Babis to the premiership in autumn 2017 and gave Zeman a second Presidential term in January 2018 (Bilkova, 2016; Kaiser, 2014). Babis’ corporate interests and control of large swathes of the media raised questions of major conflicts of interest. A transactional approach to both domestic and foreign policy meant that, much like when he was Finance Minister, as Prime Minister Babis avoided the extremes of either Orban or Kaczynski, instead focusing on his own gain and selfpreservation while giving just enough ‘red meat’ to satiate the most ideologically agitated elements of society (Auer, 2022: 152–3). This mainly consisted of ill-informed Brussels bashing or bizarre suggestions that, for example NATO should step in to prevent refugees from crossing EU borders (Maurice, 2015). Such statements often coincided with the announcement of new investigations into Babis’s alleged corruption by the EU’s anti-fraud office (Associated Press, 2022; Rankin, 2018; Rettmann, 2019). Babis attracted unflattering comparisons to both Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi (Cunningham, 2015; Rohac, 2017). His populist tendencies were complemented by the consistently xenophobic and nativist pronouncements of President Zeman (see, e.g. Sayer, 2018a, 2018b, 2019). Zeman was, nonetheless, happy to advocate for and welcome increasing Chinese influence into the country, going so far as to propose Czechia become ‘an unsinkable aircraft carrier of Chinese investment expansion’ in Europe (Barboza et al., 2018). All of the above problems in the V4 countries are well documented, reflect important developments in the region and, with regard to the trend they illustrate, must be recognised in any analysis of CEE in the period 2014–2022. They rightly warranted significant concern from fellow EU members and, eventually, brought action from Brussels institutions in 2021 against Poland and, following Orban’s re-election in 2022, against Hungary (Deutsche Welle, 2022; European Commission, 2021). Long beforehand, however, the V4 had become a convenient receptacle for Western European laments about the parlous state of democracy in Europe and the EU (seen as in decline) and how enlargement, regrettably, had weakened both. CEE’s stance on the migration wave that the EU turned into a crisis—resolutely defending the rights of their own citizens to exercise free movement but unwilling to support common solutions on refugees—led to a backlash. Proposals were floated, by the Dutch government, for a ‘mini-Schengen’ comprising a core of states that could be trusted, excluding many of the EU-8 (see Chap. 4) (see Chap. 4 and DutchNews.NL, 2020; Sterling, 2015). This plan was not agreed to or enacted but its very existence seemed to confirm what Ivan Krastev called the ‘return of the East-West divide in Europe’ with CEE condemned once again as ‘Eastern’ European and thus insufficiently ‘EU-European’ (see Chap. 7 and, e.g. Krastev, 2017). It also seemed to signal the return to the

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politics of ‘core/non-core Europe’ (Habermas & Derrida, 2003) that had haunted the accession of the EU-8 (Chap. 5), thus undoing the hard-won gains in terms of belonging that Czechs and Poles had made. Yet, while all the problems listed above were true (along with many more that there is no space to list) they did not—and do not—come close to the whole truth of this period in CEE, nor in the EU more widely. That they were too often presented as the whole truth (or something close to it)—and used to justify even more drastic proposals such as expelling Hungary or Poland from the EU—as well as being given as reasons to deny Ukraine’s candidacy application revealing a lot about the core of the Union’s real problems, which included but also went far beyond CEE (Larsen, 2022; Tallis, 2022e).

8.4.2

The EU’s Core Problem

Writing in response to commentary on Babis’ election victory in 2017, Derek Sayer and I described the blinkered perspectives that Western European commentators (and politicians) tended to bring to their analyses of CEE as like ‘Iron Curtains of the Mind’ (2017). The proposals for a mini-Schengen, noted above, conveniently ignored the obstructive attitudes of many ‘Western’ and ‘Northern’ European states that, with the exceptions of Germany and Sweden, had hardly covered themselves in glory while defending the EU’s supposed values during the migration crisis. Moreover, many had actually reintroduced border controls themselves while not taking their fair share of refugees, yet still saw the problem as elsewhere (e.g. Herborth, 2021; Panebianco & Tallis, 2022; Votoupalová, 2019). Fast forward to the present and similar attitudes have bedevilled Ukraine’s application for candidacy status (see Chap. 5 for the long history of this problem). Several commentators lament the problems with past enlargements, pointing to Hungary and Poland (along with issues in candidate countries in the Balkans) as evidence of trouble imported from the East and thus of the need to tread carefully in considering Ukraine’s membership application (e.g. Duff, 2022; Larsen, 2022). Andrew Duff (2022) even went as far as to argue that ‘nobody who knows how Brussels institutions work . . . can be confident that the EU is fit to internalise Ukraine’s national problem.’ Treading carefully generally meant trying, in practice, to keep Ukraine—and what was, remarkably, described as its ‘national problem’—out. Suggestions of ‘potential-candidacy’, in effect a ‘pre-waiting room waiting room’ (Larsen, 2022), jostled for discursive space with Emmanuel Macron’s multi-tiered ‘European Political Community’ (in practice, likely to be much the same thing but with the added ‘bonus’ of potentially relegating existing CEE members to lesser status while circling the wagons around the imagined Western European ‘core’) (Pignal, 2022). What these approaches tend to have in common, apart from callously ignoring Ukraine’s brave sacrifice on behalf of the very values the EU claims to stand for

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and missing the geopolitical big picture (see below), is that they mislocate the EU’s real core problems, and let the Union’s presumed ‘core’ off the hook. Henrik Larsen’s (2022) proposal that Ukraine should only be offered ‘potential candidacy’ and the grounds he gives for it seem particularly blind to the shortcomings of Western European EU members—and the EU institutions. Yet this kind of blindness is common in conversations across ‘core’ EU capitals as well as in and around the Brussels institutions and the think tanks across Europe that engage with them. When talking about the EU’s problems, it is all too often assumed that everyone knows what they are talking about. These problems tend to fall into three categories: the EU’s supposed lack of hard power means and traditional, realist geopolitical approach (see above and below); intricacies of current procedures that are seen to stymie the Union’s smooth operation (such as the unanimity requirement or supposed lack of enforcement capacity to bring errant members to heel); or the problems caused by the CEE states, especially but not only, Hungary and Poland. In reality, problems in Western, Northern and Southern EU states are also legion. They include severe governance issues, institutionalised racism and high-level fraud in the Netherlands (BBC News, 2021). Even though the Dutch government resigned, it was then returned to power, in an only slightly altered configuration, just months later (Henley, 2022). One can only imagine the reaction and reportage had this happened in a CEE state or if EU-8 countries engaged in the kind of welldocumented governance shortcomings, corruption, undue influence over the media and peddling of government influence peddling in Austria (Karnitschnig, 2022b). To add to those examples, we should also consider Belgium’s longstanding governance issues, polarised society and durable nativist and far-right groups (Birnbaum, 2019; Cerulus, 2019); Luxembourg’s tax haven economy (Liboreiro, 2021); Denmark’s hostile approach to migrants and troubles dealing with people of colour and varied migration backgrounds (Bala Akal, 2021); as well as Germany’s challenge to the supremacy of the European courts (Hoeksma, 2021), which was, of course, treated differently to Poland’s questioning of their authority (Auer & Scicluna, 2021). Germany has also seen high-level collusion with and facilitation of the Putin regime at the expense of CEE, ‘trampling on the sovereignty and freedom of [CEE] states’ in the process according to the chair of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth (Bennhold, 2022; Karnitschnig, 2022a; Putins Massaker: Muss Deutschland mehr tun?, 2022). A tour of Western EU states’ problems should also take in the enduring support for the French far-right, which remains the country’s main opposition—and which shares the same overtly Gaullist, ‘France-first’ agenda for EU policy as the Macron administration (Lichfield, 2021; Tallis, 2022e). As with the V4’s problems, there’s no space here to list all of Western Europe’s issues, but the point should nonetheless be clear: even if there may be differences in scale, e.g. Hungary’s issues, these ‘core’ EU members are no paragons of unimpeachable virtue, even if they consistently present themselves as such when dealing with CEE, including Ukraine. The point that goes alongside it is that too often—and despite the integrative progress that has been made (Chaps. 4 and 5)—it seems as though CEE is still judged differently and that hierarchies of belonging re-emerged

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as cracks in the EU’s overall model widened (Auer, 2022; Krastev, 2017; Tooze, 2018). In fact, after 2008, both Western and CEE EU states came to share the same core problem: the loss of faith in their own and in the EU’s ability to deliver progress (Tallis, 2020b). The philosopher Franco Berardi (2011) identifies this malaise as coming to the Western European states in the 1970s, but the timeline was different in CEE, due to the region’s varied experiences of socialism as it actually existed and the different ways that it put the future on hold (Chap. 2). That all changed with the revolutions of 1989. As Czech IR scholar Michal Koran recently put it, to grow up there in the 1990s was to feel a boundless sense of hope—‘the experience of pure, almost unlimited belief that things can go only better from 1989 onwards’ (2022). This enthusiasm was, for a time, infectious and gave Western European confidence a shot in the arm as it also managed the grand (although non-traditional) geopolitical project of integrating the EU-8 and others into the EU. Yet, as described in Chaps. 4–6 by 2004, at the very moment of institutionalising this successful progressive trajectory, the old fears and nervousness started to return. This was partly because of changed circumstances including the 9/11 attacks and subsequent ‘War on Terror’ as well as the threat perceptions this encouraged including in relation to bordering (see Chap. 6 and, e.g. Léonard & Kaunert, 2022). Yet a bigger factor was the ways in which the EU and its member states reacted to these changes—the turn to protective security described above—which, allied with an apolitical listlessness, an ‘end of history’ era lack of vision (Bagger, 2018) and retreat into technocracy and legalism, meant that the hope of progress faded (Tallis, 2018). The global financial crisis, followed by the Eurozone crisis and austerity politics across the bloc not only further entrenched resurgent Western European pessimism but spread it to many of the newer member states. With societies across the Western world mired in feelings of helplessness, compounded by the mantra that, despite its shortcomings, there was no plausible alternative to the ‘hope-less’ form of neoliberalism espoused by the EU and its leading member states, the conditions were created for the nativist-populist backlash (e.g. Krastev & Holmes, 2019). While this phenomenon manifested itself, in various ways and with varying impacts it tended to be presented in Western Europe (and North America) as a matter of contest, but in CEE as a matter of course (Tallis & Sayer, 2017). This was never the case (Hornat, 2015; Kiska, 2015) but even commentators with strong ties to the region joined in. Ivan Krastev acknowledged that ‘Eastern Europe’s turn away from internationalism is not much different than what happens to the working class in Western societies’. Yet, for supposedly historical reasons elevated to the level of determinism, Krastev also proclaimed that “being cosmopolitan and, at the same time, ‘a good Pole’, ‘good Czech’ or ‘good Bulgarian’ is not in the cards” (Krastev, 2017). There are many shortcomings in this judgement, from the false location of Western nativist populism in working class communities (Henderson & Wyn Jones, 2021; Sayer, 2017) to overlooking the international and cosmopolitan histories of CEE (for Czech examples see, e.g. Tallis, 2020a). Yet Krastev’s analysis does point to an issue with which the EU will increasingly be pushed to engage in the

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coming years—the place of national identity in its supposedly post-national constellation. As Stefan Auer and Nicole Scicluna note, this engagement will be particularly necessary because of developments in Ukraine and in various EU states’ response to them as well as ongoing tensions between member states such as Poland and the Brussels institutions (Auer & Scicluna, 2022). Some responses (such as Germany’s) have seen the continuation of an ostensibly disavowed-national or ‘postnational’ approach that claims not to pursue ‘national’ interest and which, in some cases, seemingly disdain Ukrainians’ rallying to their nation’s cause (Habermas, 2001; Tallis, 2022b). The response of other EUMS (such as Czechia, Slovakia and Poland) has pointedly connected national cause with international action and appeal (Kallas, 2022; Liu, 2022; Tallis, 2022d). The EU and its member states will likely face increasing tensions on different axes in the coming years. On the one hand between those who see national identity as being a potentially useful resource for progressive purposes and those who see it as a dangerous relic of Europe’s dark past—and thus something to be overcome (See also Chap. 5). On the other, the tension will be between the progressive, cosmopolitan nationalists and those who seek to retreat into chauvinistic forms of exclusionary and essentialised nativism. The Ukrainian and CEE responses to Russia’s renewed invasion mean that openly avowed and progressively oriented national identities, compatible with European regional identity and wider cosmopolitan ordering and relations, are making serious inroads in European discourse to a greater extent than for a generation. As well as questions of national identity and how they relate to ‘EU-European’ or ‘Eastern-European’ identity (see Chap. 7) in terms of belonging and recognition, the ways in which these tensions are resolved or, at least, managed will have a considerable impact on ordering. They will affect how national, intergovernmental and supranational institutions and ordering interact, complement or contradict each other in Europe—and how these in turn interact with regional, international and global institutions and ordering. These interactions will influence the character of the orders that are constructed and contested and, therefore, the possibility of providing progressive futures. The final section of this epilogue now concludes the book by looking at how judgements on the supposedly irredeemable illiberalism and anti-internationalism of CEE have been strongly contradicted by the response of countries in the region to Russia’s assault on Ukraine. It looks at the rise of a newly idealistic, if highly contested politics in the region and the potential for this to reinvigorate the EU as an internal and external (geo-)political ordering force, internally and in its neighbourhood as well as contributing to more progressive ordering globally. In doing so, it situates the case for endorsing Ukraine’s EU candidacy (which came to pass in June 2022, just as this was being written) in the context of reviving enlargement more widely as a way of spurring a more general recovery of the EU’s transformative power and, indeed, its reason to be.

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Despite the flaws in the perspectives that situated the EU’s main problems in CEE, it is only the reaction of the region to Russia’s war that began to shift the narrative. In this final section, I discuss this shift as well as the newly idealistic politics that has driven it. I relate this to the questions that ‘Neo-Idealism’ raises regarding the EU’s future direction and what the bloc could—and should—do with and for Ukraine.

8.5.1

The New, Hard-Edged Idealism and Its Opponents

CEE states quickly formed the vanguard of the European response to Russia’s assault on Ukraine. As noted in the opening section of this Epilogue they were the first to support Ukraine’s application for candidacy for membership of the EU. As discussed in the second section by mid-April 2022, Poland had welcomed by far—in excess of two million—but, like Romania, Hungary and Moldova, Czechia and Slovakia also provided shelter to hundreds of thousands of people who have fled the war (UNHCR, 2022). This was a welcome change from the region’s refusal to accept refugees, which helped turn inward migration into a crisis for the EU between 2014 and 2016. EU-8 states also showed the way in supplying Ukraine with weapons. By mid-April, Estonia (population 1.2 million) had contributed a greater amount of weapons than either France or Germany (Antezza et al., 2022). Czechia sent Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), howitzers and was the first country to send Main Battle Tanks (Gramer et al., 2022). It was quickly joined by Poland which went on to send an even greater number (albeit from a greater starting stock). Significantly, Czech premier Petr Fiala and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki were two of the group of three (along with Slovenian PM Janez Jansa) that comprised the first group of EU and NATO leaders to visit President Zelenskiy in Kyiv during the war—in early March and thus before the Russian withdrawal on that front. This was a bold and brave move that was warmly welcomed by the Ukrainian leadership. Slovakia also sent heavy weapons, including an S-300 air defence missile system, which was among the heaviest weaponry to have been sent to Ukraine by mid-April 2022, and followed it up with howitzers, even as most Western EU states remained reluctant to do so. While Hungary backed Ukraine’s membership case and took in many refugees it otherwise largely demurred from supporting Ukraine and actively disrupted tighter sanctions on Russia at EU level—perhaps for fear of antagonising Putin or out of ideological agreement. This was not surprising given the Orban regime’s track record, but it opened up a clear split with Poland whose leaders began to openly criticise Budapest, which became increasingly isolated (Coakley, 2022; Rostovanyi & Tallis, 2022). Slovak Prime Minister Heger visited Kyiv on the same

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early April day as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and also visited the suburb of Bucha, the site of a Russian massacre of Ukrainian civilians and likely war crimes. During the crisis, Heger outgrew his modest reputation and became an outspoken advocate of principled support for Ukraine, arguing that ‘the Ukrainian nation is bravely defending its sovereignty—and [ours] too. It is our duty to help, not to stay put and be ignorant to the loss of human lives under Russian aggression’ (2022). This led a Slovak media outlet to note an unfamiliar feeling: ‘This is how it feels to be proud of your Prime Minister’ (Terenzani, 2022) Fiala too struck a determinedly liberal note in facing down accusations from Babis that he was forgetting Czechs by helping refugees—instead, pledging further support to Ukraine and to Ukrainians in Czechia. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky emphasised the ‘moral responsibility’ to help the people of Ukraine who ‘want to be part of Western society, they want democratic elections, they want freedom of speech and the prosperity that comes with them’ (Liu, 2022; Tallis, 2022a). Lipavsky also specifically criticised Orban’s April 2022 election victory stating that: ‘as a liberal politician, I’m not satisfied with the election results in Hungary [. . .] Hungary must choose its side, whether [or not] it belongs to the EU and NATO’ (Lipavsky, 2022). Nor was this avowedly liberal stance limited to Europe, as shown in Lipavsky’s support for Taiwan, about which he declared: ‘we understand [they] are bullied by China. Part of our government’s visions is that democracies in the world should hold together—and Taiwan is a democracy’ (Lau, 2022). The Czech stance backed up that of Lithuania which had previously forsaken trade with and endured threats from China in order to support Taiwan (Tallis, 2022a). Among other examples from the region, the strong moral stance staked out by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also stands out. Coming on the back of Estonia’s astonishing material contribution to Ukraine, Kallas delivered a powerful speech in Berlin in late April that made clear the moral commitment that accompanied it (Kallas, 2022). Recalling a childhood trip to the city, she linked the experience then to the need to help Ukraine now: My father took me along with my brother to as close to the Brandenburg Gate as possible to have a look at the Wall. I vividly recall him saying: “Kids, breathe in deeply—that’s the air of freedom that comes from the other side [. . .] as a child born under Soviet occupation, I never had experienced freedom [. . .]. Russian aggression against Ukraine has forced us to think about what freedom means for each and every one of us. And how fragile it can be. And what it takes to safeguard it [. . .] if we do everything to help Ukraine, there will be no 11-year-olds for whom the air of freedom is something they only experience from a distance (ibid.).

All of this pointed to an emerging political trend, which I termed Neo-Idealism: an increasingly morally grounded approach to international affairs and geopolitics that prioritises all states’ rights to assert their values (Rostovanyi & Tallis, 2022; Tallis, 2022a). This may draw on certain strands of liberal internationalism but also goes beyond them. Neo-Idealism is grounded in the power of values conceived as ideals to strive for—human rights and fundamental freedoms, liberal democracy, collective

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self-determination for democracies and, above all, the right of their citizens to a hopeful future. Neo-idealism does not focus—as liberal internationalism had come to—on strict adherence to institutional procedures, international rules and the maintenance of an increasingly untenable and in many ways inequitable status quo (Colgan & Keohane, 2017; Ikenberry, 2020). Contrary to neoliberal political economy (which even Liberal Internationalism’s champions now renounce (Fukuyama, 2022; Ikenberry, 2020), it prioritises strong state action for the many rather than merely guaranteeing a market for the few. Neo-Idealism also flatly rejects the moral bankruptcy of any kind of vulgar realism which, in only slight cliché (based on their own misinterpretation), would have ‘the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must’—or which sees the world as consisting merely of great powers, with people in other states reduced to mere pawns (Tallis, 2022a). There was, of course, an obvious source of immediate inspiration for CEE’s Neo-Idealism. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky leveraged his country’s meagre material resources by drawing on the courage shown by its people to appeal to the better instincts of democracies across the world. Citing principle after moral principle, he appealed to parliaments, leaders and people across the West to help his country. He encouraged them to relive the heroic moments of their history and confronted them with examples of where they have failed to live up to their ideals. By emphasising that his country’s struggle was one for democracy and against tyranny, for freedom and against oppression, for self-determination against imperial subjugation, he convinced many people and politicians around the world that Ukraine’s fight was their fight too (Tallis, 2022a). This ‘Zelenskiy effect’2 resonated most strongly in CEE, where the principles and stakes of neo-idealism were intuitively understood and resonated with historical experience, and where politicians like Kallas, Heger and Lipavsky quickly set about translating them into geopolitical practice. In Poland, however, the picture was more mixed. As noted above, the country had been at the forefront of responding to Russia’s invasion in terms of supporting EU candidacy, providing shelter for refugees and material support for Ukraine’s resistance. This reflects not only a principled support for Ukraine but also the interests-based, pragmatic element of Neo-Idealism which is no naïve utopianism. It is very clear in the interest of the CEE states to deter Russia and for it to be defeated in Ukraine (Rostovanyi & Tallis, 2022; Tallis, 2022a; Willoughby, 2022). Combining ideals with interests, some CEE countries have realised that bolstering deterrence and binding reassurance from allies is best achieved on the basis of the democratic and liberal values and ideals that set the West apart from Russia (and China) in the emerging systemic competition. For others, the picture is less clear. While Poland has been steadfast in support of Ukraine’s fight for democracy and

2 Not to be confused with another ‘Zelenskiy Effect’ identified by political scientists with regard to Ukrainian national unity (Onuch & Sandoval, 2022).

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self-determination 3 (key aspects of EU values and liberal values more widely), the PiS government’s record on judicial and media independence, not to mention its attitude to personal freedom and access to abortion, mean that it could not legitimately be described as neo-idealist in the way that, for example the Czech government might. This is not to say that Czechia had suddenly addressed all its illiberal issues overnight. Zeman remained in office and, for example, advisors with extreme views on homosexuality were still employed by the government. Similarly, it could not immediately alter the country’s dependency on Russian energy imports, and along with Slovakia—but also Hungary—was one of the countries that delayed the EU’s total ban on Russian oil, even if it was engaged in ways of reducing its dependency, as was Germany—the EU’s largest buyer of Russian hydrocarbons (The Economist, 2022). There was, nonetheless, a marked shift from the moral bankruptcy of the Babis period and the confused ineffectiveness of his predecessors. Poland, by contrast, found itself at a crossroads with contradictions emerging between its opposition to Russia and the need to galvanise allies for both reassurance and deterrence—as well as to persuade them to do more to support Ukraine. The illiberal path pursued by PiS contradicts not only neo-idealism, but the stated values of the EU and NATO allies Poland relies on (even if those allies themselves have also not always lived up to them). Interestingly, there were signs that Poland was stepping back from further illiberal ‘reforms’ and its leaders’ criticism of Hungary put a clear distance between their approaches—as well as perhaps definitively ending the V4 as a meaningful political grouping (Jack, 2022a; Krzysztoszek et al., 2022; Onoszko, 2022). Others, however, saw only token concessions and trouble stored up for later (Auer & Scicluna, 2022). Poland’s struggles over Ukraine and both for and against aspects of the neo-idealist agenda were mirrored in some Western EU states. This could be seen in the contrast between the approach advocated by Germany’s Green Party which tacked closer to neo-idealist thinking and that of their senior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), which was, to say the least, much more cautious in support for Ukraine. Beyond the EU, in the UK the strong material support spearheaded by Defence Minister Ben Wallace was complemented by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ rhetoric of the UK leading a ‘Network of Liberty’ (Reuters, 2022; Truss, 2021). This was, however, contradicted inter alia by Home Secretary Priti Patel’s apparent commitment to maintaining a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants and Britain’s limited support for Ukrainian refugees (Siddique, 2022). The battle between Neo-Idealism and, on the one hand, reactionary populism and, on the other status quo, technocratic, defensive and declinist versions of liberalism (such as those to which the German and French governments seem attached) is not restricted or only 3

Self-determination in, for example choosing which institutions and organisations (like NATO and the EU) to apply for membership of. The picture is of course complicated by the pooled sovereignty that the EU requires. Yet, as explained above the EU is a voluntary sphere of integration, while a sphere of influence can be imposed against the will of a country and thus violate its selfdetermination in a way that EU membership does not.

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relevant for CEE. Rather it is a struggle that will help define the future of identities, borders and orders in and beyond (Central and Eastern) Europe.

8.5.2

EUrope’s Identities, Borderscapes and Orders

The struggles over neo-idealism or, at least, for more ambitiously values-driven foreign and security policy and a commensurate European security order are closely related to the struggles over EU and European identities, borderscapes and orders. They involve discourses and practices of both security and mobility, as well as potential re-bordering: perhaps (eventually) to fully include Ukraine in the EU’s sphere of integration as a member of the Union, but in the interim to reflect the country’s changing relationship with the bloc (see Chap. 2). The general rethinking of EU neighbourhood policy and institutional arrangements will also affect other countries in the region, not least EaP states such as Moldova and Georgia but also the Western Balkan countries and perhaps others as well. Any reborderings will produce border ‘features’ (Chap. 4) which will also generate certain qualities of the bordering regime and from which it will be possible to discern much about the character of general bordering regime and both the ordering and identities it relates to—lending itself to the type of borderscape analysis of the kind presented in this book (Chap. 2). This borderscape and related bordering regime will matter greatly for those who wish to visit, work, seek sanctuary or otherwise make their lives in EU-Europe and will reveal—as well as instantiate— much about how the EU and its member states see, and negotiate, EU-European identities and orders in the immediate and longer-term future. Turning to identities, the ‘journey’ of the EU-8 states and their citizens from exclusion from EU-European Identity to inclusion in it, but also the subsequent precariousness of this belonging that was discussed above, again shows the malleability of socially constructed, intersubjective identities. Yet, this malleability inevitably comes up against attempts to fix or even essentialise identities. One such attempt is what Hans Kundnani has identified as the ‘civilisational’ turn in EU and EUMS politics, which he compellingly argues is a move to essentialise European identity while also making it synonymous with the (Kundnani, 2021a, 2021b, 2022). As Kundnani argues, this view overlooks the troubled colonial entanglements of the EU’s origins and evolution, and also (my term) ‘colonises’ values that could potentially be universally aspired to in the name of Europe. This is related to what he claims is ‘the misleading characterisation of the EU as a cosmopolitan project’ which he sees as ‘an expression of a Eurocentric tendency to mistake Europe for the world’ (Kundnani, 2021b). Yet, in doing so, this tendency also seeks to distinguish and detach Europe from the rest of the world—as would the related drive for ‘Strategic Autonomy’ (Tallis, 2021c; Youngs, 2021b). As Kundnani points out, the civilisational turn is heavily linked with the ‘protective security’ agenda whether through the creation of a European commissioner for ‘protecting the European way of life’ or in Emmanuel Macron’s notion of ‘a Europe

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that protects’. It posits an essentialised and supposedly superior Europe to be protected from an inherently different, inferior and thus dangerous outside. This aligns with the protective rather than progressive vision of European security and, consequently, with a more traditional rather than creative version of geopolitics and the pursuit of hard rather than transformative power. It reifies the existing members of the EU—or, more accurately, some of them—as culturally and ethnically— essentially—European while others are not (Kundnani, 2021a, 2022). It is, in effect an inward looking, rather than outward looking perspective that diverges from the ‘civic and thus inclusive’ identity that Kundnani (2022) sees as having been at work in the EU-8 enlargement and which lent itself to the type of performative enactment of EU-European identity that I discuss Chaps. 4–6. These trends combined as the Western states came to see CEE states as not living up to the performative, civic aspects of European identity (see above) and thus diluting EU values and identity. This view of course wilfully ignores Western EUMS’—and the EU institutions’—numerous failures to live up to their own proclaimed values—not least in turning migration into a crisis, but also with regard to the EaP and ENP states such as Ukraine (see Chaps. 4–6). Yet in both Western and CEE states, there was simultaneously a shift toward a more essentialised, ethnic and cultural vision of identity. This is something that third countries could thus not imitate (in the civic fashion) but which EU states, particularly ‘CEE states and others that are still seen by the founding members as ‘non-core’, could fall short of by performatively failing to live up to this imagined ideal. This shift may explain some of the enthusiasm in, for example Poland’s government, for Ukraine’s membership—which they, if not Western EU states, see as an ‘essentially’ European society and thus to be included. It may also explain the hesitancy of some Western European EUMS who see themselves as the bearers and guardians of (EU-)European values and identity. The latter group may not uniformly see Ukraine as being essentially European, rather seeing it still as ‘Eastern European’ (see Chaps. 2, 5 and 7), and as thus having the potential to further undermine the EU-European identity they see as having been already diluted by the performative failures of countries like Poland and Hungary. The neo-idealistic resurgence of some parts of CEE (see above) fundamentally challenges this view. The emergence of these states as the prime defenders and promoters of certain aspects of EU values and interests has raised questions not only about their own place—back in the core?—of EU-European identity but also of the EU’s overall geopolitical identity which is related to the ordering discussed below. The hesitance of some Western EU states and their populations to accept the sudden turnaround in some cases (e.g. Czechia and Slovakia) as well as their understandable refusal to overlook the still highly problematic aspects of Poland’s government, also obscures other pertinent issues. The exemplary role, played, for example by the Baltic states which did not deviate from the EU mainstream to the extent that the V4 did, allows them to feel legitimately aggrieved not to be considered part of the core, despite their small populations, given the geopolitical basis on which the EU was conceived and succeeded. It also overlooks the myriad shortcomings of numerous

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Western EU states which nonetheless have a sense of entitlement to such core belonging. For Ukraine’s candidacy to become a meaningful path to membership of the EU will mean overcoming this perception among Western EU states that the country is still not ‘European’ enough, still too ‘Eastern’, perhaps irredeemably so. Overcoming these perceptions, against the odds, should also strike a blow against the entrenched notions of essentialised and occidental cultural or ethnic ‘EU-European-ness’. So too would CEE states meaningfully reclaim their place in the core of EU-Europe, as it would again speak to a malleable and civic notion of identity. Such a reclamation is by no means certain, especially if the Macron plan for a variable geometry ‘European Political Community’ (EPC) gains traction. Yet while these would be positive developments, neither would necessarily challenge the underlying civilisational view of Europe and European-ness. Including Ukraine and drawing the CEE states close in could simply have the effect of slightly widening the boundaries of this essentialised Europe. For many in EU-Europe, it would then be time to again circle the wagons and protect anew against a slightly redefined outside. For some nativist conservatives in the CEE countries, this may actually be an appealing prospect. Yet, ultimately it would most likely reproduce the same problems of the inward, protective turn focused on overt and direct security and undermining EU values as well as the pursuit of EU interests and the EU’s geopolitical influence (Tallis, 2022c; Tallis & Dedoyard, 2022). Instead, the EU and its member states should eschew this approach and return to the progressive security, creative geopolitics and use of transformative power upon which their historical success and influence were built. This would mean a reboot— of their older, civic and performative regional collective identity and form of ordering—but would also require reckoning with the civilisational critique and re-imagining their Identities–Borderscapes–Orders nexus in a way that would be genuinely rather than only notionally cosmopolitan (Kundnani, 2021a, 2022). The slogan for the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, commenced in July 2022, is apt in this regard. Styling Europe ‘as a task’ (drawing on the work of Vaclav Havel), the Czechs urge us to ‘Re-think, Re-build [and] Re-power Europe. Such a reckoning does not preclude the drawing of borders as such, given that full membership is not, in all probability, something that can be endlessly extended. But it does depend on creating a freer, less vindictive type of bordering that considers and enacts the benefits of mobility rather than only trying to counter the threats it is seen to pose. Nor would such a re-imagining preclude the formation of a civic-regional, European identity alongside the national identities that remain important modes of identification, governance and motivation—including for progressive purposes, as seen in Ukraine and the responses of, e.g. Czechia and Estonia to the invasion (Kallas, 2022; Liu, 2022; Malešević, 2019). EU leaders ignore these national identities at their peril and while they should not seek to suppress or ‘overcome’ them, neither should they give into them in their worst, chauvinistic and essentialised forms—nor attempt to scale up and reproduce these ‘qualities’ at the European level. With regard to ordering, membership is not, in all likelihood, an infinitely extendable possibility and if it were, it may raise the same type of coherence versus

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inclusivity dilemmas as experienced by, for example the United Nations and other global liberal institutions (Cooley & Nexon, 2020). Nonetheless, as envisaged in the EU treaties, membership should be a realistic possibility for any European country that wishes to have it—and is willing to undertake the necessary steps to meet the entry criteria and uphold the EU’s values and standards. For those states, for example in the Southern neighbourhood to whom this may not apply then, as for other states that the EU deals with, the EPC may be the start of a way of reviving a creative approach to geopolitics (Macron, 2022). This process could allow these states to access significant elements of the sphere of integration— but only if such an initiative were pursued with an open and progressive attitude that seeks integration rather than exclusion and which sees opportunities and potential for transformation in these dealings, rather than distancing and protection from threats. Opening the Sphere of Integration as well as sharing and spreading its benefits would also require something closer to a civic conception of identity as this would increase progressive and reduce protective impulses. It would also require a significant change of course from the EU and many of its member states—such as a move in the direction advocated by the CEE Neo-Idealists. The recent ‘Strategic Compass’—the EU’s new security strategy—presented the gloomiest picture of the outside world yet endorsed by the Union. It also included no mention of democracy promotion and paid little attention to the positive possibilities of spreading the EU’s values or more widely sharing their progressive benefits (Tallis, 2022c, 2022f). While the tone was more dramatic, this was more of the same doom-laden and declinist thinking that has dominated EU foreign and security policy as well as internal security, migration and neighbourhood policy in recent years and which has seen the rise of the highly protective ‘internal-external security nexus’ as a key way of viewing the Union’s interactions with the world. This view is partly presented in order to justify the EU’s pursuit of hard power capabilities, which in reality it will not be able to meaningfully assemble or coordinate and attempting to do so does further harm to its actual strengths as a security provider and geopolitical actor. The chance to make this change has been provided by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has had a clarifying effect in terms of which organisations can competently defend European states—with NATO being the definitive answer. Reviving the highly productive division of labour between the EU and NATO, with the latter taking responsibility for defence (despite the imperfectly overlapping memberships of the two organisations—would be a step in the right direction. It is a step that is being pushed by the CEE neo-idealists who see the need for hard power defence in dealing with Russia, as well as transformative power in dealing with Ukraine, and a combination of the two in order to prevail in the emerging global systemic competition. The way that the EU deals with Ukraine will be indicative of the possibilities for the revival of its geopolitical influence more generally as it will point to what kind of ordering actor it seeks to be. If Ukraine is offered a membership perspective, Returning to Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba’s claim cited at the beginning of this epilogue, it is not the case that Ukraine has no border in the

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West. Sadly, this has been apparent in the resistance to its membership perspective and the reluctance of many EU states to fully support its struggle against Russia. Yet, the welcome extended to millions of refugees, and the degree of support Ukraine has received from EU institutions but also from states that were focal points of this book including Poland and, in a neo-idealistic fashion from others such as Czechia, points to the changed quality of this border. Again, the EU’s bordering says much about its identities and its ordering. If it opens the possibility not only of a qualitatively different bordering with Ukraine but of actually rebordering to eventually include the country, then it could be a platform to revive a more generally progressive, creative and transformative approach to EU ordering.

8.5.3

UnCancelling the Future: The EU Can Rise Again Its East

Recently, the case for reviving Europe’s progressive and transformative approach has been most strongly made in CEE—and there is a good reason for this. Europe’s most significantly positive geopolitical moments of the last 40 years have involved the region: the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as the associated revolutions of 1989 or independence in 1991; and the processes of transition they launched, leading among other things to the accession of the EU-8 in 2004. 1989 was the last time that what Berardi called ‘the slow cancellation of the future’ in Europe was meaningfully arrested and even, temporarily, reversed. Nowhere was this more keenly felt than in CEE states such as Czechia and Estonia. Yet by the time of formal accession in 2004, which was warmly welcomed in the region, the global geopolitical context had dramatically changed, with the 9/11 attacks, the global war on terror and the increasingly apparent shortcomings of neoliberal globalisation and the form of liberal international ordering underpinned by the hegemonic US, becoming increasingly apparent (Cooley & Nexon, 2020; Tallis, 2021a). Recalling Michal Koran’s comment that the 1990s in the region were, for many, characterised by the hopeful feeling that things could only get better, by the mid-2000s this was not so unambiguously the case. With the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent rise of reactionary populists in the region and defensive nativism increasingly entrenched, it seemed that CEE had ‘caught up’ (in Habermas’ patronising term) with Western Europe’s future-less-ness (Scribner, 2003: 146). The changes in government in the region in 2020 and 2021, showed that there has, nonetheless, been active and effective contestation of this gloomy, declinist worldview and set the scene for the transformational response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is notable that several of the neo-idealist figureheads of this response—Kallas, Heger and Lipavsky, for example—are of the cohort (now between 35 and 46 years old) who spent large parts of their formative years in the 1990s in CEE, at the time when hope sprang unbounded (if also unevenly). It is not beyond the realm of credibility to read their neo-idealism as an attempt to reclaim

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that hope, to reclaim the prospect of a progressive future that was held out by the revolutions of 1989 and the independence struggles that came to fruition in 1991, only to then be lost along the way. The EU would do well to heed their progressive, idealistic call and also reclaim its own belief in its ability to provide a progressive future, which it also lost along the way and that underlies its self-defeating shift to progressive security. Arresting the self-fulfilling-declinism that underlies the drive for protective security, hard power and traditional geopolitical perspectives in the EU will not be easy, but sources of inspiration and motivation are readily available. Prime among them should be Ukraine’s refusal to bow in the face of Russia’s authoritarian aggression. Ukrainians’ struggle for democracy and self-determination in order to have that chance of a better future should inspire all those in Europe and around the world who believe in democracy, self-determination and progressive liberal values. As has often been noted, such freedoms do not come for free—they have to be fought for and defended. Indeed, without the means to defend itself, including military capabilities, no liberal order can survive. But without a defensible moral core or the hope of progress it cannot thrive. In Europe, NATO offers the means to defend liberal ordering and ensure its survival. It is the EU, however, that can best provide the values-based, progressive ethos that could help liberal ordering in Europe thrive and which could bolster the region’s contribution to the global systemic competition with authoritarianism and reactionary populism—and return to the hope of progress to its peoples. Yet, this will only happen if the EU rediscovers its progressive calling, starts to again see and create opportunities in and for its own societies as well as those it engages with outside its borders, and if it takes a more reflexive rather than entitled approach to its values and how it lives up to them. In the CEE EU members that this book focused on, Czechia has done much to revive its idealist outlook even if work remains to follow this through and make it a consistent policy characteristic. Poland faces a choice between the approach embodied by its exemplary response to Ukraine and that of the conservative populist orientation of its government which has so significantly undermined its EU-European belonging. Like other EU states, Poland will need to weigh up what it perceives as the costs and benefits of essentialised versus civic interpretations of European identity. From a geopolitical point of view, the latter—and the progressive politics that comes with it is clearly preferable. Even when it prevails in the conflict with Russia and, with the ‘Marshall Plan’ type of support it should receive, Ukraine will have its work a lot to do to implement the reforms that would make EU membership possible. Yet in terms of core values, the geopolitical defence of Europe’s core interests, and in demonstrating that the hope of progress is worth fighting for, Ukraine has performatively proven itself to be the most EU-European of countries, at least according to the EU’s and progressive original vision. Now the EU should recover that vocation for itself and give renewed purpose to progressive liberal ordering in Europe and beyond. If Czechia, Estonia, Slovakia and others continue on their current trajectory, and should Ukraine make the necessary reforms, the hope for a renewed EU-Europe, worthy of the values it espouses, would have sprung from its Easts.

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However hard this may be for some Western Europeans to comprehend, they should welcome this wake-up call, embrace the neo-idealist agenda and seize the EU’s best geopolitical opportunity for a generation by including Ukraine, reviving enlargement more widely and kickstarting the EU’s transformative power at home and abroad. It was thus very encouraging to see that, on the day of completing the full draft of this manuscript, the European Commission formally recommended that Ukraine be granted candidacy status. Better still, on 23 June 2022, the European Council formally endorsed Ukraine’s candidacy for membership in the EU. The EU institutions and member states should now build on this and not only continue to meet the moment for Ukraine, but move boldly into this new dawn and begin to uncancel EUrope’s future.

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Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key

In Tables A.1, A.2 and A.3 lists the specific fieldwork activities that were undertaken as part of the early research for this book. They were supplemented with extensive documentary research and, later, with reflections on my work in policy advice and public engagement on these topics. The fieldwork activities are broken down in this listing by the site of the fieldwork that they are most relevant to and the type of activity undertaken. The dates of the fieldwork activities are given in each case. Finally, the activities are all assigned a particular code, which is used to refer to them throughout the text of the book and which provides a shorthand identification of the site, type of fieldwork activity, the setting of the activity and a number which can be used to differentiate between multiple activities of the same kind in each setting. So, for example the first interview undertaken with officials of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coded as PL-I-MFA-1, while the second interview with an official of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coded as PL-I-MFA-2. Focus Groups are given the code ‘FG’, while Participant Observation activities have the code ‘PO’ and observation activities are given the code ‘O’. The acronyms used to identify different types of actors are consistent with those presented in the acronym list given in Appendix 2. Thus, fieldwork undertaken with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears as PL-MFA, although unlike in the text, they are separated in references to fieldwork by the type of activity that was conducted, so as to avoid confusion.

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7

261

262

Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key

Fieldwork Activities: Czech Site Table A.1 List of fieldwork activities undertaken in Czech site of research Code CZ-FG-1

General site CZ

CZ-I-MFA-1

CZ

Type Focus Group Interview

Specific site/organisation NGO—Ukrainian Initiative MFA—Former Minister

CZ-I-MFA-2

CZ

Interview

CZ-I-MF-1 CZ-I-MF-2 CZ-I-MoI-1

CZ CZ CZ

Interview Interview Interview

MFA—Consular Conception Department Migration Facility Migration Facility MoI—Schengen Section

CZ-I-MoI-2

CZ

Interview

MoI—Analytical Centre

CZ-I-MoI-3

CZ

Interview

CZ-I-MoL-1

CZ

Interview

CZ-I-NGO-2

CZ

Interview

MoI—Foreign Police Service MoL—Migration Policy Department NGO—ASIM

CZ-I-NGO-1

CZ

Interview

CZ-I-NGO-4 CZ-I-IoM-1

CZ CZ

Interview Interview

CZ-I-NGO-3

CZ

Interview

CZ-I-OMB-1

CZ

Interview

NGO—Ukrainian Initiative Office of the Ombudsman

CZ-O-1

CZ

Observation

Prague

CZ-O-2

CZ

Observation

CZ-PO-1

CZ

ParticipantObservation

Czech Frontier and former BCPs Anglo-American University, Prague

NGO—Centre for Citizenship & Civil & Human Rights NGO-Berkat Inbaze IoM

Person/ People Anon.

Date 14/12/12

Cyril Svoboda Jan Vycital

05/01/12

5x Anon 5x Anon Robert Solich Pavla Novotna Milos Mrkvica 2x Anon.

30/12/11 10/03/12 17/06/12

18/12/12

05/11/12 31/07/13 30/07/13

Jirina Neumannova Pavel Cizinsky

15/12/11

1xAnon. Lucie Sladkova Bohdan Rajcinec Pavel Porizek General Immersion

29/07/13 06/03/12

Students & Staff

10/ 2011– 06/2013

13/12/11

23/05/12 06/03/12 09/ 2011– 08/2013 08/2013

Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key

263

Fieldwork Activities: Polish Site Table A.2 List of fieldwork activities undertaken in Polish site of research Code PL-I-FTEX-1

General site PL

Type Interview

PL-I-FTEX-2

PL

Interview

PL-I-FTEX-3

PL

Interview

PL-I-FTEX-4 PL-I-FTEX-5

PL PL

Interview Interview

PL-I-BG-1

PL

Interview

PL-I-BG-2

PL

Interview

PL-I-BG-3

PL

Interview

PL-I-FTEX-6 PL-I-UN-1

PL PL

Interview Interview

PL-I-UN-2 PL-I-BG-4

PL PL

Interview Interview

PL-I-FTEX-7

PL

Interview

PL-I-MFA-1

PL

Interview

MFA-Political Director

PL-I-MFA-2

PL

Interview

MFA-Eastern Dept.

PL-I-MoI-1 PL-I-MoI-2

PL PL

Interview Interview

MoI-Schengen MoI-OFF

PL-I-FTEX-8 PL-O-1 PL-O-2 PL-O-3

PL PL PL PL

Interview Observation Observation Observation

FTEX-OPS Warsaw Warsaw Warsaw

Specific site/Org FrontexResearch Dept. FTEX-Operational Officers FTEX-Pooled Resource Unit FTEX-Press Officer FTEX-Risk Analysis Unit BG-HQ-Frontex National Point of Contact BG-International Co-operation Co-ordinator PLBG-Field-Przemysl Detachment FTEX-Training Unit UN-Frontex Liaison Officer UN-Polish Office BG-HQ-Risk Analysis & Operations FTEX-External Relations Unit

Person/Issue Tim Cooper

Date 26/04/12

Nuno Ladeiro & Wolfgang Neuberger Jeff Schlentz

27/04/12

27/04/12

Ewa Moncure Mari Juritsch

27/04/12 05/06/12

Malgorzata Schabowska

08/06/12

Marcin Drozd

08/06/12

BG Commander & Other Senior Officers Anon x2 Michele Simone

13/07/12

Anon. Piotr Fialkowski +1Anon David Reisenzein +1 Anon Przemyslaw Bobak Marcin Zachowski Anon. Tomasz Cytrinowicz Klaus Roesler General General General

16/07/12 17/07/12

16/07/12 16/07/12

19/07/12

20/07/12 03/08/12 03/08/12 03/08/12 10/12/12 /04/2012 /06/2012 /12/2012 (continued)

264

Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key

Table A.2 (continued) Code PL-O-4

General site PL

PL-PO-1

PL

PL-PO-2

PL

PL-PO-3

PL-PO-4

Type Observation

Specific site/Org Warsaw, Przemysl & Frontier Locations

Person/Issue General

ParticipantObservation ParticipantObservation

Frontex-Chelm & Dorohusk BCP BG-Przemysl & Medyka BCP

Operation

PL

ParticipantObservation

BG-Przemysl/Medyka BCP

BCP, Green Border, Migration Facility. BCP, Green Border

PL

ParticipantObservation

European Border Guard Community, gathered in Warsaw

European Day for Border Guards

Date 07/ 2012– 08/2012 06/06/12 13/07/12

07/ 2012– 08/2012 21/05/14

Appendix A: List of Fieldwork Activities and Fieldwork Reference Key

265

Fieldwork Activities: Ukrainian Site Table A.3 List of fieldwork activities undertaken in Ukrainian site of research Code UA-FG-1

General site UA

UA-FG-2

UA

UA-I-NGO-1

Specific site/Org Odesa

Person Anon.

Date 26/07/12

Lviv

Anon.

27/10/12

UA

Type Focus Group Focus Group Interview

NGO-Hudrada

20/07/12

UA-I-MFA-1

UA

Interview

UA-I-EUD-1

UA

Interview

UA-I-PLC-1

UA

Interview

MFA- European Integration Dept. EUDU-Border Management Section Polish Consulate-Kyiv

UA-I-EUB-1

UA

Interview

UA-I-EUB-2

UA

Interview

UA UA

Interview Interview

Slawomir Pichor Anon Anon

25/07/12

UA-I-EUB-3 UA-I-EUB-4 UA-I-EUB-5

UA

Interview

Anon

26/07/12

UA-I-EUB-6

UA

Interview

Anon

26/07/12

UA-I-EUB-7

UA

Interview

UA UA

Interview Interview

UA-I-CZC-2 UA-I-EUD-1

UA UA

Interview Interview

Czech Consulate-Kyiv EUDU-Political Advisor

UA-I-BG-1

UA

Interview

UA-I-NGO-2

UA

Interview

UA-I-NGO-3

UA

Interview

UA-O-1 UA-O-2 UA-O-3

UA UA UA

Observation Observation Observation

BG-International Co-operation Dept. NGO—Visual Culture Research Centre NGO—No Borders: Kyiv Initiative Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv Lviv, Uzhgorod Kyiv

Janosz Meszaros JD David Pavlita Pavel Pesek Hannes Schreiber Anon

26/07/12

UA-I-PLC-2 UA-I-CZC-1

EUBAM-Capacity Building EUBAM-Deputy Head of Mission EUBAM-Press Officer EUBAM-Strategy, Planning & Performance Office EUBAM-Capacity Building EUBAM-Head of Field Office EUBAM-Risk Analysis (AOSU) Polish Consulate-Lviv Czech Consulate-Lviv

Nikita Kadan Yehor Bozhok Philippe Bories Rafal Wolski Anon

Vasyl Cherepanyn Makysm Butkevych General General General

23/07/12 24/07/12 24/07/12 25/07/12

25/07/12 25/07/12

25/10/12 26/10/12 19/11/12 19/11/12 20/11/12 10/12/12 08/01/13 /07/2012 /10/2012 /11/2012

Appendix B: List of Acronyms

Acronym AFSJ

Full text/explanation Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

Acronym Frontex

AoR AOSU

FTEX GDR

BCP

Area of Responsibility EUBAM Analytical and Operational Support Unit Asociace pro Pravni Otazky Imigrace (Association for Legal Immigration Issues) Border Crossing Point

IBO

BG

Border Guard (Service)

ICMPD

BMP

Building Migration Partnership formed by ICMPD and several CEE Ministries of Interior. EC-funded project for ‘Improvement of Border Control at the Moldova-Ukraine Border’. Critical Approaches to Security in Europe. Central and Eastern Europe/ Central and East European

IoM

ASIM

BOMMOLUK

CASE CEE

I

Full text/explanation European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union Frontex (in fieldwork references) German Democratic Republic (DDR in English) Interview (In fieldwork references) Identities, Borders and Orders or Identities-Borders-Orders (Albert, et al., 2001) International Centre for Migration Policy Development International Organisation for Migration

IPS

International Political Sociology

IRI

International Republican Institute Justice and Home Affairs

JHA

(continued)

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Tallis, Identities, Borderscapes, Orders, Frontiers in International Relations, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23249-7

267

268 Acronym CF CIRAM CIRAM 2.0 CR CZ-MFA CZ-MoI CZ-MoL CZC DCFTA DDR EaP EASO EBGT EBRAN EC EEAS ENP ESS EU EU-15

EU-8 EU-DU EUB EUBAM

Appendix B: List of Acronyms Full text/explanation Frontex ‘Consultative Forum’ on Fundamental Rights Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model (2nd version). The Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs of CR Ministry of Interior of CR Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of CR Consulate of CR Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Deutsche Demokratische Republik The EU’s Eastern Partnership The EU’s European Asylum Support Office Frontex’s European Border Guard Teams Frontex’s Eastern Borders Risk Analysis Network The European Commission The European External Action Service The European Neighbourhood Policy The European Security Strategy The European Union The 15 Member States of the European Union from 01/01/ 1995 to 30/04/2004. The post-communist states that joined the EU on 01/05/2004. The EU Delegation to Ukraine EUBAM (In fieldwork references) The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine

Acronym JO

Full text/explanation Joint Operations

KL

Kindle Location.

LBT

Local Border Traffic

LBTA MA

Local Border Traffic Agreement Master of Arts

MF

Migration Facility (in fieldwork references) Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MFA MoI NATO NGO O OMB PL PL-BG PL-MFA PLC PO RA RABIT

Ministry of Interior The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Non-Governmental Organisation Observation (in fieldwork references) Office of the Ombudsman (in fieldwork references) Polish/ Poland The Polish Border Guard Service (Straz Graniczna) Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Polish Consulate Participant Observation (in fieldwork references) Risk Analysis

TCN

Rapid Border Intervention Team (Frontex) Statni Bezpecnost, the communist-era secret police in Czechoslovakia. Third Country National

THB UA

Trafficking in Human Beings Ukraine/ Ukrainian

UA-BG

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

StB

(continued)

Appendix B: List of Acronyms Acronym EUD EUMS FG FPS FRA

269

Full text/explanation The EU Delegation to Ukraine (in fieldwork references) The Member States of the European union Focus Group

Acronym UAMFA UN

Full text/explanation The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs The United Nations

UNHCR

The Foreign Police Service of CR The EU Fundamental Rights Agency

VLAP

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.