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The Rich Tradition of Australian Realism

Published on Sep 1, 2009in Australian Journal of Politics and History0.41
· DOI :10.1111/j.1467-8497.2009.1520a.x
Michael Wesley3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Lowy Institute for International Policy)
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Abstract
Australian International Relations (IR) developed as a discipline at the same time as its emergence in the rest of the Anglophone world. A deep reading of Australian writing on international relations since the 1920s reveals a distinctive tradition of IR scholarship, shaped very much by this country's international circumstances and the pragmatic culture of political inquiry that pervaded its universities and diplomatic institutions. Three characteristics frame the Australian Realist outlook. The first is experiential, a preoccupation with the particularities of Australia's international position — size, isolation, wealth, population, culture — and how these factors can help understand the ways in which Australia relates to the world beyond its shores. The second is systemic pessimism, a tendency to be apprehensive about broader global stability. The third is pragmatism, a predilection for understanding the essential attributes of the situation itself, rather than using the situation to inquire into the general nature of the international system. These characteristics have fostered sustained attention to three sets of issues: geography, demographics and race, and power differentials in Australian Realist scholarship.
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Published on Aug 1, 2017in Pacific Focus0.38
Mark Beeson23
Estimated H-index: 23
(UWA: University of Western Australia),
Jinghan Zeng8
Estimated H-index: 8
(RHUL: Royal Holloway, University of London)
China's remarkable economic development has had profound domestic and international effects. Among the most important of these is China's growing impact on the region of which it is an increasingly important and influential part. For countries such as Australia, which has rapidly become deeply economically integrated with - even dependent on - China, this presents a major and much-discussed challenge as it tries to balance economic and strategic priorities. Australia provides an important and re...
Published on Jul 3, 2017in Third World Quarterly2.16
Christian Downie6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UNSW: University of New South Wales)
There is a growing consensus that the international system needs to be reformed to reflect the changing distribution of power with the rise of the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs). The Group of Twenty (G20) has been at the centre of these discussions. Within the G20, emphasis has been on great powers or rising powers and their capacity to drive reform. Less attention has been given to the preferences and strategies of middle powers in the G20 and their capacity to shape global governance ...
Published on Jan 1, 2016in Asia Policy
Brendan Taylor7
Estimated H-index: 7
Right from the establishment of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in October 2010, Australia has been among its most enthusiastic supporters. In the lead-up to the grouping's third ministerial gathering in November 2015, for instance, Australian defense minister Marise Payne characterized the ADMM-Plus as "Australia's top priority for regional defence engagement."1 In a similar vein, the Gillard government's 2013 defense white paper projected that "Australia will continue to ...
Published on Jan 1, 2014in Australian Journal of International Affairs1.17
Andrew Carr4
Estimated H-index: 4
This article examines whether Australia is a middle power. It identifies the three most popular approaches to defining a middle power: by a country's position, behaviour and identity. The article tests each definition against Australia, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each. Highlighting an earlier systemic approach to defining states, an alternative ‘systemic impact’ definition for middle powers is proposed. This approach, it is argued, provides a more comprehensive manner for ident...
Published on Apr 1, 2013in Australian Journal of International Affairs1.17
Lee Morgenbesser1
Estimated H-index: 1
This article analyses the results of the most recent and largest cross-national survey on the international relations discipline. Completed by scholars in 20 countries, the survey covered the areas of teaching, research, foreign policy, the profession, and the relationship between policy and academia. From an Australian perspective, the key findings include the strong link between what academics teach and research; the narrowing epistemological gap between the USA and Australia; the curious pess...
Published on Feb 1, 2013in Australian Journal of International Affairs1.17
James Cotton35
Estimated H-index: 35
Drawing on the insights of the current literature concerned with the institutions which fostered and supported the emergence of the international relations (IR) discipline, this article reassesses the Australian contribution in the interwar years. From this period, teaching materials and surviving lecture notes, as well as documentation of Australian participation in the International Studies Conference, show that, contrary to the received view, academies and institutions supported a recognisabl...
Published on May 1, 2012in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific1.23
James Manicom5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Balsillie School of International Affairs),
Andrew Kevin O'Neil6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Griffith University)
Assessments of how international actors are responding to China's rise typically focus on rival great powers or on China's Asian neighbors. In these cases, relative power, geographic proximity, and regional institutions have conditioned relationships with China. The relationship of China with the developing world has mainly been defined by power asymmetry and the appeal of the Chinese governance model to authoritarian regimes. Largely absent from this discussion is an understanding of how Wester...
Published on Mar 1, 2011in Australian Journal of Political Science0.84
Andrew Kevin O'Neil6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Griffith University)
Much of the recent Australian security studies literature has focused on contemporary challenges to Australia's role in Asia, the evolving trajectory of defence strategy, and the various factors that have shaped the nation's ‘discourse of threats’. While this body of work is important and valuable, there is a distinct lack of scholarship that discusses the types of future security threats likely to confront Australian policy makers in the twenty-first century. Indeed, there is a tendency among s...
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