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Deliberation and Resecuritization: Australia, Asylum-Seekers and the Normative Limits of the Copenhagen School

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In the lead-up to the Australian federal election in 2010, both major political parties represented the ‘unauthorised’ arrival of asylum-seekers as a security issue. This article explores the dynamics of this resecuritization of asylum in Australia, suggesting the case has important implications for both the securitization framework and Australia's treatment of asylum-seekers. The relationship between securitization and calls for an open debate about asylum-seekers challenges the securitization framework's normative claims about political debate and deliberation as a progressive development illustrative of desecuritization (the removal of issues from the security agenda). This case also illustrates that without political leadership to engage with the social and cultural context that allows the securitization of asylum to resonate with large segments of the Australian population, the exploitation of this issue for short-term political gain will continue.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10361146.2011.568471

Affiliations: University of Queensland,

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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