David McCallum, ‘Criminal neglect: tracing the category of the Aboriginal “neglected child”‘, Settler Colonial Studies, 2015
Abstract: There were times in Australian history when the singular, awesome power of ‘the Crown’ was wielded over colonial subjects of the British Empire, including citizen settlers occupying new lands and subject populations whose territories were claimed on behalf of the sovereign. This article presupposes that many consequences of invasion under eighteenth century conventions of conquest and rule are still evident in present-day Australian liberal forms of governing, including powers to restrict and control the basic life conditions of Aboriginal peoples, their occupation of lands and life sustenance, and their close interactions with State authorities. The paper considers one aspect of the sociology and politics of liberal modes of governing: the function of specialist knowledges that inform modes of governing Aboriginal peoples, in this case the exercise of powers concerned to know and manage the Aboriginal ‘neglected’ child and their effects on the criminalising of Aboriginal children into the present.
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