Asylum-seekers in Australia's international relations

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    The paper is divided into five sections. In the first, I offer some observations on the nature of 'sovereignty', and on the place of 'border controls' within sovereignty discourse. In the second, I discuss what it means to be a 'middle power', and what 'soft power' resources a middle power may need to use. In the third, I argue that crude populism has shaped recent responses to asylum-seekers, with scant regard to some of the wider consequences for Australia's reputation, but suggest that part of the blame lies with past failures of the foreign policy establishment to recognise genuine concerns entertained at mass level about the morality of Australian alignments and affiliations. In the fourth, I outline the key elements of Australia's recent policies towards asylum-seekers, and argue that they entail costs in terms both of Australia's reputation, and the nature of the Australian polity. In the fifth, I suggest some new directions to pursue
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-202
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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