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Protests, Land Rights, and Riots

Postcolonial Struggles in Australia in the 1980s

Barry Morris
Foreword by Albert Bates

216 pages, 11 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-537-0 $80.00/£57.00 Hb Published (December 2014)

eISBN 978-1-78238-538-7 eBook


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Reviews

“This small compact book was, for me, a most welcome read, especially since there has been something of a downturn in Aboriginal history in the academy more recently… How could such a book be a welcome read? It is a sober and somber read, yes, but one which exposes the lies and mumbo-jumbo of the neoliberal regime and its octopus apparatus, as well as its anxiety and fear, to contextualize and scrutinize its central tenets.” · American Historical Review

“Morris deploys the incisive tools of anthropology to deconstruct the way neoliberal policies of the 1980s began to reverse the political gains Australian Aborigines had made in the 1970s…This work is of crucial relevance for thinking beyond the present neoliberal impasse.”  ·  Gillian Cowlishaw, Sydney University

“Morris reveals the lie underpinning so much recent cant but more sets the situation of Aborigines in the context of larger global forces. This is a much overdue work that should contribute to new understanding and which breaks out of some of the enduring categories that continue to inhibit critical thought.”  ·  Bruce Kapferer, University of Bergen

“Morris is not afraid to study systemic interrelationships; how history brings together structure and events in ways that might be unique but not random.”  ·  Andrew Lattas, University of Bergen

Description

The 1970s saw the Aboriginal people of Australia struggle for recognition of their postcolonial rights. Rural communities, where large Aboriginal populations lived, were provoked as a consequence of social fragmentation, unparalleled unemployment, and other major economic and political changes. The ensuing riots, protests, and law-and-order campaigns in New South Wales captured the tense relations that existed between indigenous people, the police, and the criminal justice system. In Protests, Land Rights, and Riots, Barry Morris shows how neoliberal policies in Australia targeted those who were least integrated socially and culturally, and who enjoyed fewer legitimate economic opportunities. Amidst intense political debate, struggle, and conflict, new forces were unleashed as a post-settler colonial state grappled with its past. Morris provides a social analysis of the ensuing effects of neoliberal policy and the way indigenous rights were subsequently undermined by this emerging new political orthodoxy in the 1990s.
 

Barry Morris is the author of Domesticating Resistance, Race Matters and Expert Knowledge. He is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Newcastle.
 

Subject: General Anthropology
Area: Asia-Pacific



Contents

Foreword
Albert Bates

Acknowledgments
Map

Introduction

Chapter 1. Crisis of identity: Aboriginal politics, the media and the law

  • The Brewarrina riot: a summary
  • The media riot
  • The trial riot
  • Royal Commission and Indigenising crime

Chapter 2. Neoliberalism and Indigenous rights in New South Wales

  • The new political order
  • Repealing the Aboriginal Land Rights Act
  • A post-bureaucratic public service
  • Self-sufficiency, not dependency
  • The Perkins Report — strategic retreat
  • Removing land rights from the postcolonial landscape

Chapter 3. Firm government: state of siege

  • Law and order in New South Wales
  • Punishing crime
  • Law and order in north-western New South Wales
  • State of siege

Chapter 4. Postcolonial fantasy and anxiety in the North West

  • The North West as contested space
  • Policing cultural borderlands
  • Postcolonial subjects
  • Contingent jurisprudence

Chapter 5. Police testimony and the Brewarrina riot trial
Co-authored with Kerry Zubrinich

  • A prosecution account of the riot
  • What is a riot?
  • Power relations in the courtroom

Chapter 6. Aborigines behaving badly: legal realism and paternalism

  • The evidentiary effect of video
  • Bodies in pain and paternalism
  • Docile bodies and Aborigines behaving badly
  • Legal realism and paternalism

Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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