Imagining the Good Indigenous Citizen: Race War and the Pathology of Patriarchal White Sovereignty

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Aileen Moreton-Robinson


In June 2007, the Australian federal government sent military and policy into Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory on the premise that sexual abuse of children was rampant and a national crisis. This article draws on Foucault’s work on sovereignty and rights to argue that patriarchal white sovereignty as a regime of power deploys a discourse of pathology in the exercising of sovereign right to subjugate and discipline Indigenous people as good citizens.

Article Details

Critical Indigenous Theory (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Queensland University of Technology

 Aileen Moreton-Robinson is a Goenpul woman from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Quandamooka First Nation (Moreton Bay) in Queensland, Australia. She is Professor of Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Studies Research Network, at the Queensland University of Technology. Prior to this appointment she taught women’s studies at Flinders University and Indigenous studies at Griffith University and the University of South Australia. Her books include Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism (2000), the edited collections Whitening Race: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism (2004) and Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters (2007), and a collection co-edited with Dr Maryrose Casey and Dr Fiona Nicoll, Transnational Whiteness Matters (2008).