I thank Melissa Curley, Corin E. Morcom and Australian Journal of Politics and History's anonymous referees for their comments. The usual disclaimer applies.
From “Queue Jumpers” to “Absolute Scum of the Earth”: Refugee and Organised Criminal Deviance in Australian Asylum Policy
Article first published online: 5 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2013 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 241–259, June 2013
How to Cite
Cameron, M. (2013), From “Queue Jumpers” to “Absolute Scum of the Earth”: Refugee and Organised Criminal Deviance in Australian Asylum Policy. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 59: 241–259. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12014
- Issue published online: 5 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 5 JUN 2013
The arrival of asylum seekers by boat in Australia is no longer represented as a threat by the Australian government because of characteristics of asylum seekers themselves, but is instead predominantly represented as threatening because of the involvement of transnational organised crime in the form of people smugglers. This progression, which is demonstrated by comparison of the approach of the Howard coalition government with that of the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments, is best understood by reference to conventional understandings of organised crime and irregular migration, and critical accounts of both phenomena. Understood in this way, organised crime and people-smuggling discourses serve to externalise the asylum seeker “problem” and maintain punitive policies, inhibiting the development of effective regional responses to the issue.