Crossing the externalised border: a postcolonial perspective on outsourcing asylum by Australia and the EU

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Erkan, Jasmine
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The Westphalian state system divides sovereign territory through the use of “imaginary lines”, or rather, sovereign borders. In recent years, we have been witnessing states of the Global North cooperating with the Global South in an effort to extend these borders with the goal of preventing migrants from accessing sovereign territory. This thesis will analyse, from a postcolonial perspective, how Australia and the EU have outsourced their asylum responsibilities and examine the implications this has for the protection of human rights and the diffusion of human rights norms across the globe. Can recognising the legacy of colonialism aid us in making sense of how normative powers such as Australia and the EU utilise their normative might to persuade poorer, dependent neighbours such as Indonesia and Turkey that it is in their interest to cooperate in their border operations? Are Australia and the EU effectively redefining the conception of the refugee from its humanitarian manifestation to a more securitised understanding of the term? This thesis will explore the concept of the “postcolonial refugee” as a victim of a system that has been defined by the era of colonialism while also as an object that is traded between the North–South impasse.
Second semester University: University of Hamburg
migrations, European Union, Australia, asylum, postcolonialism, irregular migrations, extraterritoriality, foreign policy, constructivism