Governance and the policing
of contested space
This chapter links various issues which relate policing to space, community and governance. Through the notion of space we can explore the intersection between the physical world and social world, how both are constructed by particular relations and how policing plays a part in their regulation. In particular the ‘racialisation’ of space and its connection to concepts of community and governance are discussed. What does ‘community’ mean and how does it relate to Indigenous people? How are Indigenous people creating new social spaces and reconstructing community on their own terms through new mechanisms of policing and order maintenance? There is a growing literature on the cultural geographies of place (Jackson and Penrose 1993), some of which has dealt explicitly with the construction of Aboriginal localities such as Redfern (Anderson 1993).
This literature considers both the material construction and the representational or semiotic construction of place. Social space is seen as a modality through which racial subordination has been constructed and naturalised (Keith 1993, p. 209). The process of criminalisation has been intimately connected to racialisation. Minority groups are subordinated through policing, regulation and subsequent criminalisation around their position in social spaces. Policing and the criminal justice system has a determining role in constituting social groups as threats and in producing a society built on racialised boundaries. In Keith's terms (1993, p. 193), ‘the process of criminalisation itself now constitutes a significant racialising discourse’.
The relationship between culture and space, and the regulation