Tag Archives: Critical Policy Studies

From the barrel of the gun: Policy incursions, land, and Aboriginal peoples in Australia

Gulson, K. N., & Parkes, R. J. (2010). From the barrel of the gun: Policy incursions, land, and Aboriginal peoples in Australia. Environment and Planning A, 42, 300-313.

This paper focuses on the enduring traces of colonialism within the Australian nation-state and the ongoing challenges to Aboriginal peoples’ rights, especially land rights.We try to make sense of contemporary federal government and New South Wales state, or provincial, government policy changes which connect land use, access and ownership to social welfare, and which target Aboriginal peoples in remote, or outback, areas and the inner city. We connect these two policy initiatives by pointing to the tension between social and planning policies, conceptions of landownership, and the notion of Aboriginal self-determination. We try to understand the rationale and enactment of these policies through the idea of policy incursions. We argue that policy incursions represent a constellation of settler nationalism, the enactment of a white national imaginary, and the exploitation of crisis that reinscribe Aboriginal people in 21st-century Australia as objects of state policy, while marginalising them as subjects of the state.

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In the shadows of the mission: Educational policy, space, and the ‘colonial present’

Gulson, K. N., & Parkes, R. J. (2009). In the shadows of the mission: Educational policy, space, and the ‘colonial present’. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 12(3), 267-280.

This paper is concerned with enduring histories and micro-geographies of the (post)colonial Australian nation, played out through contemporary connections between Aboriginality, inner Sydney and educational policy change. This paper traces the ‘racialization’ of space and place in the Sydney inner city suburb of Redfern, including the Aboriginal-‘owned’ residential area commonly known as the Block; it then outlines aspects of an educational policy change in inner Sydney, specifically the relationship of policy proposals to the positioning of Aboriginal people; and, last, focuses on connecting the notions of Aboriginality and space to educational policy change through Derek Gregory’s idea of the ‘colonial present’. It explores how the idea of the ‘colonial present’ as ‘performance of space’ might help to understand the racialisation of the inner city and education policy discourses. It concludes that the ‘colonial present’ is a way of understanding how the ‘racialisation’ of the inner city and education policy discourses can, on the one hand, ‘reaffirm’ deficit views of Aboriginal people as irredeemably ‘Other’ and as ‘failure’, yet, on the other hand, can however precariously mobilize ‘impure resources’ to undo colonial enclosures.

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