Is Asylum by Boat just another Fraser Hagiography?
Project SafeCom's Jack Smit casts a critial eye over a newly published book
Reading Notes for Claire Higgins, (2017), Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia's Refugee Policy (Sydney: UNSW Press).
These Reading Notes are my summarised findings around the question whether the book Asylum by Boat reinforces the romantic notion, now well established in Australia (see e.g. Cooke, 2015), that the Fraser government singularly and uncompromisingly complied with all of Australia's obligations under the UN Refugee Convention, and whether claims hold true that this period represented, as Robert Manne (2010) claims, "the halcyon years for boatpeople". Although these pages can be read as if they are, my notes are not a "book review", because I only highlight what I regard as the most controversial aspects of Fraser's 'boat people legacy', mostly in line with the pressure points explored in my previous research.
The book was written following the author's Doctoral Thesis at University of Oxford (Higgins, 2013), but also with the support from, and in close collaboration with, the University of NSW Kaldor Centre for International Law. The author extensively uses several significant primary sources. Amongst them are:
Note: All hyperlinked entries open in a new page, including the resources stored on this website.
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