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This article analyses how border guards as members of a state organisation shape the movement of non-nationals into the territory of a nation state. Based on ethnographic fieldwork on the Swiss Border Guard (SBG), it explores the rationalities-understood as stabilised ways of reasoning and acting-that characterise practices within this state organisation. Combining organisational and structuration theory with a street-level bureaucracy perspective allows for a differentiated analysis of thedoi:10.1186/s40878-020-00214-0 pmid:33619453 pmcid:PMC7890786 fatcat:lhnqfzt74zazhgbm3yxdzthsn4