Skip navigation
Skip navigation

The struggle of autonomy and authenticity: framing the savage refugee

Zagor, Matthew

Description

James Hathaway has described refugee law as ‘fundamentally oriented to the promotion of autonomy’. Borrowed from the Kantian roots of liberal rights theory, this theme has come to the fore as refugee advocates decry increasingly draconian experiments in deflection and deterrence. But what exactly does it mean for a refugee to exercise autonomy? And how is it connected to that other popular refrain – that those who arrive irregularly by boat in Australia, despite high recognition rates, are not...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorZagor, Matthew
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-24T22:40:45Z
dc.identifier.issn1350-4630
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/98430
dc.description.abstractJames Hathaway has described refugee law as ‘fundamentally oriented to the promotion of autonomy’. Borrowed from the Kantian roots of liberal rights theory, this theme has come to the fore as refugee advocates decry increasingly draconian experiments in deflection and deterrence. But what exactly does it mean for a refugee to exercise autonomy? And how is it connected to that other popular refrain – that those who arrive irregularly by boat in Australia, despite high recognition rates, are not ‘genuine’ refugees? By examining the assumptions underpinning autonomy as a contemporary political value, and working within the theoretical construct that identifies a state's ‘recognition’ of autonomy with authenticity, this article explores tensions within both public discourse on refugees and the discipline of refugee law itself. It considers how and why the refugee exercising ‘authentic’ moral agency by boarding a boat is depicted not just as a threat, but as inherently irrational (and thus not ‘authentically’ autonomous) and less ‘genuine’ (and thus virtuous) than the ‘passive’ refugee languishing in a camp overseas, awaiting ‘our’ redemptive touch. Finally, it asks whether refugee law similarly suffers from the contradictory moral promise of human rights law which places autonomy at its heart while in practice requiring that humanity be split between victim, savage and redeemer.
dc.publisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
dc.sourceSocial Identities
dc.titleThe struggle of autonomy and authenticity: framing the savage refugee
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume21
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor180114 - Human Rights Law
local.identifier.absfor180119 - Law and Society
local.identifier.absfor220204 - History and Philosophy of Law and Justice
local.identifier.ariespublicationu1015647xPUB24
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationZagor, Matthew, ANU College of Law, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage373
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage394
local.identifier.doi10.1080/13504630.2015.1071702
local.identifier.absseo970118 - Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:50:32Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84941784223
CollectionsANU Research Publications

Download

File Description SizeFormat Image
01_Zagor_The_struggle_of_autonomy_and_2015.pdf419.62 kBAdobe PDF    Request a copy


Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Updated:  19 May 2020/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator