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Dr Tamsin Paige
Deakin Law School

The use of the law to create an ‘other’ who is then used as a scapegoat for society’s problems is a common tactic of governments that lean towards authoritarianism, in reality and in fiction. While this is a well-established trope in literature, each generation updates it in response to the issues faced in contemporary society. This paper seeks to understand contemporary responses to the rise of authoritarian, fear driven politics that rely on using law to create an ‘other’, who is then scapegoated, through the bestselling near future, dystopian fantasy series “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon. Using the series as a text within contemporary social discourse (grounded in the fact that it clearly has a certain level of resonance within society as a bestseller), I will explore how legal exclusion from society generates underground societies grounded in criminality, and how those societies often perpetrate the same sort of othering and injustice on groups within that society. I will also explore the different ways that members of the scapegoated ‘other’ respond to status imposed upon them by the law.

Tamsin Phillipa Paige is a Lecturer with Deakin Law School and consults for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in relation to Maritime Crime. Prior to this, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the research centre: Conflict and Society, in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNSW Canberra @ ADFA. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature, using qualitative sociological methods to analyse international law. She was awarded an Endeavour Scholarship by the Australian Government for her PhD research (conducted at the University of Adelaide and Columbia Law School) on the Security Council and ‘threat to the peace’. Prior to her Security Council work she conducted research into the application and impact of international law in counter-piracy operations in Somalia. In a former life, she was a French trained, fine dining pâtissier.

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