Asylum seekers, refugees and the right to belong: Lessons from Australia

Martha Augoustinos, School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, South Australia

With an estimated 5 million Syrian refugees seeking resettlement in Europe (The UN Refugee Agency, 2017), the need to accommodate those fleeing war-ravaged areas has become a pressing international issue. The response to this crisis, however, is strained by the local and domestic politics of individual countries that are often in conflict with humanitarian and international obligations. In response, some European governments are advocating the controversial 'Australian Model', which includes the mandatory detention of asylum seekers in off-shore facilities as a potential solution. This presentation contributes to the growing discursive literature on the language of asylum: how those seeking refuge are constructed as undesirable and threats to the nation state. Specifically, the analysis focusses on statements from the Prime Minister of Australia and Minister for Immigration during the course of 2017, a period during which the indefinite detention of asylum seekers (including children) on Manus Island and Nauru was attracting growing public and international condemnation. The analysis addresses how political statements were oriented to justifying and legitimating Australia’s offshore detention policies and practices primarily through two central discursive practices: (1) rhetorical claims that strong border protection policies were essential to continued public support for multiculturalism and (2) moral disengagement from Australia’s accountability in adhering to its international human rights obligations. This research creates space for the questioning of institutional decision-making on the treatment of asylum seekers and our collective moral responsibility towards displaced persons in an increasingly globalised world.


logo duth

Δημοκρίτειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θράκης
Σχολή Επιστημών Αγωγής

logo elpse

Ελληνική Ψυχολογική Εταιρεία



Για οποιαδήποτε πληροφορία, μπορείτε να επικοινωνείτε με την εταιρεία διοργάνωσης του συνεδρίου

logo praxicon

Εθν. Αντιστάσεως 101 Καλαμαριά, Θεσσαλονίκη Τ.Κ. 55 134
Τηλ.: 2310 460 682 - 2310 460 652 | Fax: +30 2310 435 064

Ασφάλεια Πληρωμών μέσω ασφαλούς συστήματος ePOS Paycenter της Τράπεζας Πειραιώς - Winbank ePOS Paycenter


©2020 elpse2019. All Rights Reserved. Designed by alta-vista