Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration
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Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration

Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Reece Jones and Jennifer L. Fluri

Border walls, shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, separated families at the border, island detention camps: migration is at the centre of contemporary political and academic debates. This ground-breaking Handbook offers an exciting and original analysis of critical research on themes such as these, drawing on cutting-edge theories from an interdisciplinary and international group of leading scholars. With a focus on spatial analysis and geographical context, this volume highlights a range of theoretical, methodological and regional approaches to migration research, while remaining attuned to the underlying politics that bring critical scholars together.
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Chapter 18: Fractures in Australia’s Asia-Pacific border continuum: deterrence, detention and the production of illegality

Kate Coddington


In a 2014 speech to the Biometrics Institute Asia-Pacific Conference in Sydney, Australia, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, described his administration’s project of constructing what he called a ‘border continuum.’ This expansive vision of border enforcement has come to encompass strategies of deterrence, detention, and the production of illegality aimed at asylum seekers who arrive to Australia by boat. In this chapter, the author argues that while the reach of Australia’s border continuum appears extensive and the practices encompassed within it actively shrink refugees’ access to asylum, it too contains fissures. These fractures within Australia’s border continuum may not radically change the outcomes for refugees, but they do make visible potential – but not always substantial – opportunities for change. Nevertheless, Australian policies are becoming a model for regional border enforcement, and they continue to produce vast amounts of suffering.

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