Protecting white Australia

John Howard’s announcement of the Northern Territory emergency response and the ongoing colonial project

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


This paper challenges the asymmetries of power reproduced in Prime Minister John Howard’s announcement of the Northern Territory Emergency Response. Specifically, I argue that Howard enacts and extends Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s (2004) possessive logic of patriarchal white sovereignty. His language not only constructs white men as the owners of the ‘Australian’ nation-state but with the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act and deployment of troops ‘on the ground’, it also mobilises the Agambenian (1998) figure of “bare life” and “the camp” in order to legitimise the continuing invasion and dispossession of Indigenous people’s land and lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNEO : journal for higher degree research in the social sciences and humanities
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventThe annual NEO Higher Degree Research and Honours - Sydney, Australia, Sydney
Duration: 4 Aug 20125 Aug 2012


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