Knowing-and-yet-not-knowing about European border deaths

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Rapid changes associated with globalisation have led to the violent policing of territorial borders across the Global North. In Europe, the ongoing project of constructing a unified identity for an expanding European Union (EU) has created further pressure to separate included groups from surplus populations. The resulting fortification of external borders and intensification of internal controls have led to thousands of fatalities. But despite this mounting death toll, no EU agency is held to account for border-related deaths, and the carnage has failed to capture the attention of a seemingly unaware or uncaring public. In this article I acknowledge the efforts of NGOs to monitor and mourn the many deaths occurring at Europe's physical, internal and external borders, and draw on post-Holocaust literatures on moral exclusion and the sociology of denial to identify systemic processes that prevent these deaths from being recognised as large-scale human rights abuses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-57
Number of pages23
JournalAustralian Journal of Human Rights
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


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