Mabo, Freedom and the Politics of Difference

Paul Patton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper attempts to demonstrate the applicability of certain themes from post‐structuralist theory to issues raised by the Mabo judgment and the subsequent debate over native title. It outlines some common features of a post‐structuralist conception of society, commenting particularly on conceptions of freedom and the shared concern with difference. It then shows how questions of difference and identity raised by Mabo may be described in post‐structuralist terms, and contrasts the treatment of difference by Derrida and Deleuze from a political point of view. Finally, the paper suggests ways in which Mabo may be seen as a significant event, and an exercise of freedom, in Deleuzian terms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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