Sharon Pickering is a Professor of Criminology and Australian Research Council Future Fellow on Border Policing at Monash University in Melbourne Australia. Her books include Sex Work: Labour Mobility and Sexual Services (with Maher and Gerard) (2012); Borders and Crime (with McCulloch) (2012); Gender, Borders and Violence (2010); Sex Trafficking (2009) (with Segrave and Miliovjevic); Counter-Terrorism Policing (2008); and Refugees and State Crime (2005).
New Deterrence Scripts in Australia's Rejuvenated Offshore Detention Regime for Asylum Seekers
Version of Record online: 25 JUN 2014
© 2014 American Bar Foundation
Law & Social Inquiry
Volume 39, Issue 4, pages 1006–1026, Fall 2014
How to Cite
Pickering, S. and Weber, L. (2014), New Deterrence Scripts in Australia's Rejuvenated Offshore Detention Regime for Asylum Seekers. Law & Social Inquiry, 39: 1006–1026. doi: 10.1111/lsi.12088
- Issue online: 27 OCT 2014
- Version of Record online: 25 JUN 2014
As the Global North experiences a real or manufactured crisis in asylum, deterrence has become the central plank in border control policies. Following a resurgence of boat arrivals and faced with serious overcrowding in detention centers and a spate of drownings, the Australian government returned to the use of offshore detention for asylum seekers. In this article, the official media releases of the major political parties from the period surrounding the reopening of detention facilities on Nauru and Papua New Guinea are subject to systematic discourse analysis. This reveals a range of deterrence scripts that we have labeled “neoliberal deterrence,” “classical deterrence,” and an “ethic of care.” The resuscitation of the deterrence script in this second incarnation of Australian offshore processing arguably reveals increasingly nuanced and combative elements. The article details how these scripts make an important contribution to global immigration governance, which is presently incapable of thinking beyond deterrence in its various forms.