From state-centric to transversal borders: Resisting the ‘structurally embedded border’ in Australia

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, I present new research that extends our understanding of the ‘structurally embedded border’ by identifying acts of resistance to restrictive federal policies perpetrated by providers of health and education services for asylum seekers in Australia. Situating the analysis within the theorization of borders, rather than the politics of resistance, reveals that opportunities for resistance are inherent within borders themselves, and arise from their performative and contested nature. Efforts to ‘fill gaps’ in service provision undermine federal policies aimed at attrition; while avoiding incorporation into networks of information exchange thwarts the expansion of the federal surveillance apparatus. While the transformative impact of these efforts appears to be dwarfed by the massive in/exclusionary powers of the federal state, these multiple acts of resistance create transversal borders of their own that in small, often temporary, and yet significant, ways begin to redraw the boundaries of inclusion from within.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-246
Number of pages19
JournalTheoretical Criminology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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