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Globalisation and Border Dynamics: impacts on the urban development of Darwin, Australia

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National boundaries and border cities have been transformed globally. This is partly due to neoliberal globalisation, the continuous formation of a ‘borderless world’ and partly to the global ‘war on terror’. Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory (NT), is on the northern coast of Australia, bordering its overseas Asian neighbours. Far away from the main Australian population centres in the south, the city grows slowly, relying mainly on Australian government investments, infrastructure, and the incorporation of defence programs in the north. The rise of Asia, as well as Australia's increasing economic reliance on Asia, has created new opportunities for Darwin's growth. The development of Asian economies has resulted in growing global investment in resource extraction in NT. Asia, though, has been seen as a key threat in the modern history of Australia. This national sensitivity is underpinned by the global ‘war on terror’ in which Australia is deeply involved. Australia has tight border control regimes and a growing military presence on the northern border area. This paper examines how these co-existing but contradictory dynamics have reshaped the urban development of Darwin City. The consequential social and spatial patterns are identified and discussed.
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Keywords: Darwin City; Globalisation; border; urban development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Queensland University, Australia

Publication date: April 3, 2015

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