Australia’s Refugee Politics in the 21st Century STOP THE BOATS!
Boat arrivals have defined and divided 21st-century Australia. This book examines the ‘Stop the Boats’ era from between the 2013 and 2022 federal elections. During this time the dominant political view has been that to accept a single boat, family or person is to risk being overwhelmed by many others. It follows that government must do whatever it takes to command Australia’s borders and deter unauthorized arrivals; that is, Stop the Boats!
This book sets out the key political events and arguments for and against Australia’s assurance that anyone who comes without permission will never be able to stay. It examines the impact of this commitment on regional and international relations, on those who seek refuge in Australia, and on those who call it ‘home’. This volume serves as a valuable political history and analysis for scholars, policymakers, students, journalists and anyone who is interested in questions of contemporary exclusion and belonging.
"I came to Australia by boat in 2013 and was detained with hundreds of other children when Tony Abbott came to power promising to 'Stop the Boats!' Today, I am a father and call Australia 'home', even though the government has said I cannot stay. I have trusted Kim Huynh with my story and trust this book to help me better understand what I have been through."
Ali, Rohingya Refugee, featured in ABC Radio Canberra’s Hailing Ali series
"Why does Australia remain so divided on whether or not to stop the boats? Huynh makes a compelling case for the need to grapple with fundamental questions of sovereignty, identity, and gender if we are to break the cycles of violence playing out in Australia’s border policies. Huynh’s insight, honesty and eloquence mark him as one of our finest scholars, journalists, and writers."
Associate Professor Anne McNevin, Department of Politics, The New School for Social Research
"Well-written and comprehensive, Stop the Boats! reminded me of many events and debates that took place during a long political saga that shows little sign of ending. Dr Huynh offers a framework to understand how border policies have developed and accounts for their shocking impact, not only on asylum seekers and refugees, but also on those who are 'safely' inside countries like Australia. Just as importantly, he offers a way out."
ANU Emeritus Professor John Minns and Refugee Action Campaign Committee Member