This book focuses on security practices, civil liberties and the politics of borders in liberal democracies.
In the aftermath of 9/11, security practices and the denial of human rights and civil liberties are often portrayed as an exception to liberal rule, and seen as institutionally, legally and spatially distinct from the liberal state. Drawing upon detailed empirical studies from migration controls, such as the French waiting zone, Australian off-shore processing and US maritime interceptions, this study demonstrates that the limitation of liberties is not an anomaly of liberal rule, but embedded within the legal order of liberal democracies. The most ordinary, yet powerful way, of limiting liberties is the creation of legal identities, legal borders and legal spaces. It is the possibility of limiting liberties through liberal and democratic procedures that poses the key challenge to the protection of liberties.
The book develops three inter-related arguments. First, it questions the discourse of exception that portrays liberal and illiberal rule as distinct ways of governing and scrutinizes liberal techniques for limiting liberties. Second, it highlights the space of government and argues for a change in perspective from territorial to legal borders, especially legal borders of policing and legal borders of rights. Third, it emphasizes the role of ordinary law for illiberal practices and argues that the legal order itself privileges policing powers and prevents access to liberties.
This book will be of interest to students of critical security studies, social and political theory, political geography and legal studies, and IR in general.