Globalisation and the policing of internal borders

This project is funded through an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship awarded to Associate Professor Leanne Weber. In Australia, as elsewhere in the developed world, internal border policing is intensifying and diversifying as globalisation increases anxieties about inclusion and belonging. This research program will explore the construction of internal borders that are sometimes aimed at physically excluding unwanted populations from Australia, and at other times are designed to keep subordinate groups in their place.

It will critically analyse three types of internal borders operating within Australia: structurally embedded borders that enforce the boundaries based on immigration status; socially constructed borders produced by the policing of public places that reinforce notions of entitlement and belonging; and borders created by new forms of welfare policing which differentiate supposedly ‘responsible’ from ‘irresponsible’ citizens.

Through a series of situated case studies, the project will explore the role played by race, place and inequalities in citizenship in maintaining these boundaries, and identify strategies for enhanced inclusiveness in the face of rapid global change. The academic contribution of the research will be to enhance the theorisation of the border and to integrate literatures on border control, post-colonialism, globalisation, social inclusion and citizenship.


Weber, L 2018, ‘Taking the Border for a Walk: A reflection on the agonies and ecstasies of exploratory research’ in R Powell, A Fili & S Jahnsen (eds.), Criminal Justice Research in an era of Mass Mobility, Routledge, Abingdon

See Leanne’s blog post on tracing the internal border here.