Deakin University criminologist Dr Peter Chambers has published a new article on border security. The article, The Embrace of Border Security: Maritime Jurisdiction, National Sovereignty, and the Geopolitics of Operation Sovereign Borders, examines issues relating to jurisdiction, sovereignty, and some key legal and political questions in the Commonwealth’s construction of Operation Sovereign Borders.
The article has been published in Geo Politics and is available online here.
Border security has become one of the key means by which the sovereignty and security of powerful nation-states is projected. This paper offers a set of observations of the Australian Commonwealth’s descriptions and instructions for its embrace of border security. Border security is legible here as a geopolitics that transforms the rights and responsibilities of maritime jurisdictions into a space of security that projects national sovereignty through the interdiction of boat arrivals. Its intensification as Operation Sovereign Borders is read as a further variation within national sovereignty, one that elevates the decisionist prerogative into total deterrence. Operation Sovereign Borders pushes the limits of sovereignty’s existence in the state toward a total domination of space, perception and human life in Australia’s maritime jurisdictions, in the name of the nation. This necessitates the development, defence and reinforcement of a regionally engaged materiality that is embodied, extended, enacted, and distributed. The intended effect of this coordinated effort is to secure the nation’s sovereignty as a unity, but the broader effect has been to devalue offshore life to secure onshore interests, in a way that now necessitates indefinite offshore detention.