Uncertain lives: migration, the border and neoliberalism in Australia
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Author Posting. (c) Taylor & Francis, 2009.This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Social Identities, Volume 15 Issue 5, September 2009. doi:10.1080/13504630903205324 (<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504630903205324">http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504630903205324</a>)
Over the last twenty years or so there has been a greatly increased anxiety in Australia over those people now often identified as asylum seekers. In this article I argue that this change of attitude is connected with the ongoing reconstruction of Australia as a neoliberal state. I link the importance of the border of the nationstate with the development of capitalism and go on to argue that there is a direct relation between the assumptions of neoliberalism and Giorgio Agamben’s theorization of the state of exception. With this argument I suggest that the state of exception is fundamentally raced. I discuss the Australian relationship between migrants, race and capitalism, which historically worked in terms of the White Australia policy, and think about how asylum seekers are understood to threaten the racialized, neoliberal order of Australian capitalism.
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