This article investigates the formation of trust discourses in Finland towards the Finnish-Russian border. The concept of trust has been neglected in previous border studies literature although it is a significant factor in de- and re-bordering processes. Trust is conceptualized as a social practice which derives from actor relations over time. The article investigates the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on Finnish trust perceptions towards Russia and identifies key discourses of trust informing geopolitical knowledge production. The research material consists of newspaper articles and ten semi-structured interviews with Finnish cross-border cooperation actors who operate under the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) at the Finnish-Russian border in South and North Karelia. The material is analyzed using a critical geopolitics approach by identifying professional discourses of trust. The research suggests that trust in the local North and South Karelian border regions is based on a complex assemblage of discourses which derive from a geopolitical knowledge production informed by the shared border. This is a continuous practice of various actors negotiating the interlinkage of trust and threat.
- Finnish-Russian border