Anti Risk, Criminal Justice, Prevention and the Revolt Against Uncertainty

  • Leanne Weber (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course


Risky non-citizens: the construction, policing and expulsion of ‘public enemies’ from Australia.

Leanne Weber and Rebecca Powell (Monash University)

While there may be increasing demands from some sectors within neo-liberal democracies for governments to reaffirm their responsibility for the wellbeing of populations, the situation of non-citizens in many of these countries is becoming ever more precarious. In fact, insecure immigration status opens up for governments unique avenues for harsh risk reduction measures that are not available in relation to citizens. Moreover, because of their deportability and lack of political power, it may be even more difficult for non-citizens from vilified groups to claim human rights protections against the misuse of government power than it is for citizens. In this chapter we use the ‘enemy penology’ framing expounded by Krasman (2007) to discuss three groups of non-citizens defined by their visa types and ethnicity who have been ongoing targets for risk reduction measures in Australia. We analyse the policies and political rhetoric that constructs them as risks to community safety, justifies the use of targeted policing towards them, and increasingly leads to their deportation or removal, sometimes in the absence of immigration violations or criminal convictions. We argue that the ramping up of risk-based and pre-emptive measures against these groups has implications beyond the potential violation of their human rights at the individual level. The rise of executive power, adoption of pre-crime models at the nexus of immigration and crime control, and lack of regard for rehabilitation objectives and human rights protection, all signal the broadening of the securitisation agenda beyond counter-terrorism, and progression along a dangerously undemocratic path. We conclude that the continued focus on the reduction and pre-emption of risk, combined with the rise of nationalist sentiments, create conditions conducive to the development of a ‘preventive state’ (Krasmann 2007) that, while as-yet not fully realised in Australia, is at least visible on the horizon.
Period29 Nov 201830 Nov 2018
Event typeWorkshop
LocationWellington, New ZealandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational