Women, Borders, and Violence



Borders are of central concern to criminologists because of the concentration of political and material resources mobilised in their “defence”, for the physical exclusion of people and for their signifying role in the enactment of legal and social processes aimed at identifying people as illegal. The effective “illegalisation” of migration that Dauvergne (2008) elegantly outlines in her work on making people illegal has been centred on border control imperatives that operate in symbiotic relationship with moral panics around unregulated migration flows. Yet it is not migration in its entirety that has fuelled such concerns but rather the unregulated migratory flows that run from the Global South to the Global North (Young, 2007). The escalation of regulatory efforts against extra legal migration has taken on domestic and international significance at the same time that “illegal” has become a noun used to describe people rather than their actions (Bacon, 2007). This has occurred largely because of a range of factors mostly attributed to globalisation, but which have significant historical antecedents around identity and sovereignty as well as political expediencies around performances of effective government. In many ways this book takes much of this scholarship for granted. It does so in order to ask the question: what are women’s experiences of policing when they cross borders extra legally? The answer has overwhelmingly focused on the complex interplay between state and non-state agents, operating in formal and informal contexts. It has done so by mapping the nonlinear journeys of women to and through global frontier lands between the Global North and Global South. While it charts their many vulnerabilities, particularly in relation to sexual and gender-based violence and political community, it also identifies points of resistance, albeit often of a limited kind. In this chapter I try to draw together the strands of arguments offered in the preceding chapters and consider some of the implications for criminology.


Asylum Seeker Organise Crime Moral Panic Forced Migration Gender Violence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice & CriminologyMonash UniversityCaulfield EastAustralia

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