Race, Security and Border Protection: Asylum Seekers in Contemporary Australia

Prof. Fethi Mansouri
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This paper explores the connection between radicalised identities, political leadership and media representations in the construction of asylum and refugee policies. It argues that through exclusionary nationalist discourse and an emphasis on threats to national security, governments set the backdrop for asylum seekers to move from a humanitarian issue to a border protection issue.
Taking Australia as a case study, this paper will discuss the discursive representation of asylum seekers in the media and the role this discourse plays in shaping public opinion towards them. This paper will also reflect critically on recent legislative changes to the temporary protection mechanisms that can potentially undermine the core humanitarian principle of non-refoulement.

Keywords: Forced Migrants, Asylum Seekers, Human Rights, Social Exclusion
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity, Immigration, Refugees, Race, Nation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Fethi Mansouri

Associate Professor,, School of International and Political Studies, Deakin University

Associate Professor Fethi Mansouri, is the Deputy Director for CCHR and chair, Project Group within the Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. He is currently co-ordinator of Middle Eastern studies. He has conducted research and published in the areas of refugee/migrant settlement, foreign language pedagogy and multicultural education. Dr Mansouri’s research agenda is underpinned by a fundamental commitment to social justice and inter-cultural understanding. A number of research projects he is currently conducting exple innovative strategies to enhance the processes of social cohesion. His most recent book ‘Lives in Limbo: Voices of Refugees Under Temporary Protection’ is published by UNSW Press 2004. His book titled ‘Australia and the Middle East: Migration, Trade and Globalised Politics’ is published by I.B. Tauris Academic Publishers, London/New York (2006).

Ref: H06P0094