'People Movement and Refugees in Australia'

Davies, Sara E. (2008) 'People Movement and Refugees in Australia'. In Burke, Anthony, Devetak, Richard, & George, Jim (Eds.) An Introduction to International Relations: Australian Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.


This chapter will proceed in five sections. The first section looks at how the two terms, migrant and refugee, came to be defined as distinct from each other in the context of the modern state. As the reification of borders intensified in the 19th and 20th Centuries, citizenship became an essential part of 'belonging' to a state as well as indicating the strength of the state itself. Hence, the categorisation of those 'outside' the state developed as a way of ascertaining who belonged and who did not. The second part of this chapter then examines how states define and categorise refugees through laws that seek to contain and limit their flow. The third section is concerned with the consequences of limiting the definition of a refugee, which has led to an unequal burden between developed and developing states. In the fourth section, we look at the specific case of Australia and the development of its relationship with refugees. The final section examines the case of the MV Tampa and traces how the Australian government’s response to this boatload of rescued asylum seekers marked a new chapter in its migration laws. Ultimately, this chapter seeks to demonstrate that the choices made by states in border protection become the key determinants of how refugees will be accepted. Adherence to international refugee law will not necessarily address all the problems associated with refugees, but nor will seeing refugees as unwanted intruders in contrast to ‘desirable’ migrants.

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ID Code: 7355
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author . Author contact details : s5.davies@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9780521682763
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > International Relations (160607)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 03 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 05:34

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