Offshoring and outsourcing the ‘unauthorised’: The annual reports of an anxious state

Andrew, Jane and Eden, Dave (2011) Offshoring and outsourcing the ‘unauthorised’: The annual reports of an anxious state. Policy and Society, 30 3: 221-234. doi:10.1016/j.polsoc.2011.07.006

Author Andrew, Jane
Eden, Dave
Title Offshoring and outsourcing the ‘unauthorised’: The annual reports of an anxious state
Journal name Policy and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1449-4035
Publication date 2011-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.polsoc.2011.07.006
Volume 30
Issue 3
Start page 221
End page 234
Total pages 14
Editor John Mikler
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Since the inception of Australia's mandatory immigration detention policy for ‘unauthorised’ arrivals, border issues have generated significant public discussion. The policy is controversial and has been made more complicated by the outsourcing and offshoring of detention centre management and processing. Despite the diversity of actors involved in the government's mandatory detention policy (such as private security firms and intergovernmental organisations), we argue that the management of ‘unauthorised’ migration has been framed as a matter controlled by the state that is beholden to no other interests except its own. In order to explore the role of state and non-state actors in Australia's detention policy, this paper offers a reading of departmental annual reports over a 14-year period from 1996 to 2010. Using the theoretical work of Wendy Brown, we explore the representation of non-state actors in border management and the impact this has on the identity of the state as revealed in the annual reporting process. In line with Brown, we argue that the department's annual reports demonstrate the tension that exist between the apparent “opening and barricading”, the “fusion and partition” that underpins globalisation (2010, p. 7). In addition, we argue that emergent forms of border fortification provide an opportunity for the nation-state to reassert its sovereignty whilst at the same time these reflect deep anxieties over the role of the state in a globalised and privatised future. We contend that the annual reporting process provides a performative opportunity for the nation-state to demonstrate its strength and relevance. At the same time it is dependent on multinational security firms and inter-governmental authorities to execute the policy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special issue: Sharing Sovereignty for Policy Outcomes

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Created: Wed, 13 Jun 2012, 09:09:21 EST by Elmari Louise Whyte on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies