Leanne Weber


Categories: ,


Policing the Virtual Border: Punitive Preemption in Australian Offshore Migration Control

Global mobility is a defining feature of our times. The author argues that attempts to control spontaneous border crossing mirror other developments in social control, including government-at-a-distance and the convergence of punitive and actuarial paradigms into strategies of punitive preemption. Moreover, when applied to the transnational phenomenon of border crossing, the imperative to colonize the future has increasingly drawn the power of the state offshore. The article discusses these preemptive measures using three Australian examples. In describing continuities with domestic crime control, there is no intention to identify illegalized border crossers as legitimate targets for coercive control. The point is to highlight and critique the spread of categorical exclusion and pre-punishment to an increasing range of suspect populations, driven by prevailing mentalities of risk avoidance.

borders, preemption, border protection, risk, migration control, new penology, extraterritoriality

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 34, No. 2 (2007): 77-93