Skip to main content
Borderline Europeans: European Union Citizenship on the Polish-German Frontier
  • Andrew Asher, Bucknell University

Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2003 and 2006 in the border cities of Slubice, Poland and Frankfurt(Oder), Germany, this dissertation is an examination of the meanings and practices of the European Union's transnational citizenship policies. By documenting the everyday negotiations, interactions, and reflections of life on the Polish-German border, this study chronicles both the successes and failures of European Union citizenship at the local level, and focuses particularly on how various social groups experience European Union citizenship in disparate ways, how the performance of citizenship contributes to the formation of transnational public spaces and identities, and how the tension between the legal and cultural elements of European Union citizenship profoundly structures local citizenship practice. The key intervention of this study is the observation that even as European Union policies aimed at creating deterritorialized economic, social, and political spaces expand supranational citizenship rights and privileges, hierarchies of value embedded within these policies grant rights differentially to individuals and groups in ways that are often linked to ethnicity and nationality. This dissertation therefore argues that despite European Union policymakers' efforts to create a hybridized "European" identity that might transcend historical conflicts and divisions, the processes they are using to pursue this goal are simultaneously generating new forms of difference and inequality.

  • Citizenship,
  • Borders,
  • European Union studies,
  • Poland,
  • Transnational governance,
  • European Union,
  • Germany
Publication Date
Citation Information
Andrew Asher. "Borderline Europeans: European Union Citizenship on the Polish-German Frontier" (2008)
Available at: