david mccallum on history, governance, and liberalism in australia


David McCallum, ‘Liberal Forms of Governing Australian Indigenous Peoples’, Journal of Law and Society 38, 4 (2011)

This article considers three different historical events from the point of view of their connections to aspects of the history of liberal political reason: the actions of the British in New South Wales in the early nineteenth century in their claim to sovereignty over Indigenous lands; the establishment of Aboriginal missions and subsequent removal of Aboriginal children in the early twentieth century; and the Northern Territory Emergency Response and suspension of the Australian Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act (1975) early in the twenty-first century. The aim is to point to gaps between present claims about liberalism and ‘actual existing liberalism’, review the basis for examining accounts of governance deploying ‘authoritarian liberalism’ and ‘race war’ as central concepts, and call into question the Northern Territory campaign as an ‘exceptional’ event.

%d bloggers like this: