Dominant discourses and strategies of the post-11 September 'war on terror' reflect an ideological absolutism that has left the democratic space of civil society in the Asia-Pacific severely curtailed and compressed. Recovery of this distinct space of freedom, so crucial to 'civilisational' amity, begins with the strategic deconstruction of the totalising logics and practices underwriting not only the words and deeds of religious militants but also those of state actors. Accordingly, amity is best sought not through uncritical fidelity to essentialist and exclusivist understandings of subjectivity, but acknowledgement and acceptance of the reality that the self is necessarily indebted to the other, to which the former must exercise an ethical responsibility.
The extent to which the Pacific Solution and other refugee policy developments under the Howard government were contested within Canberra circles will not be known until cabinet files are opened many years hence. However, if recent research into the White Australia policy is anything to go by, the files may shed unappreciated nuance on the context and reasoning behind such developments. We cannot pre-empt this research, but we can explore documents to which we do have access to deepen insight into Australia's refugee policy foundations, and to prepare the ground for more informed assessments of recent developments. Using archived policy files, this article examines the internal debates that surrounded Australia's accession to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. The picture that emerges challenges simplistic assessments as to the motives of policy makers of the time. It also shows how different government departments—in this case Immigration and External (now Foreign) Affairs—can support policy changes for different reasons, at different speeds, and not always in the order that might be expected.
The research note investigates the growing economic and political interaction between two important Pacific Rim players, Chile and New Zealand, and analyses the rationale for the Closer Economic Partnership that is currently under discussion. Having analysed the data on trade between the countries it suggests that a mixture of strategic and symbolic geopolitical/geo-economic factors are driving the agreement rather than the desire to increase bilateral commodity exchange. As it is presently constructed, the agreement is likely to bestow disproportionate benefits on specific corporate actors in certain sectors. A research agenda for monitoring the broader impacts of the agreement is offered.
Clarkson's algorithm is a three-staged randomized algorithm for solving linear programs. This algorithm has been simplified and adapted to fit the framework of LP-type problems. In this framework we can tackle a number of non-linear problems such as ...
Given the scale of destruction, and the international responses to the disaster, it has been clear from the outset that the tsunami in Aceh would also have far-reaching internal and external political consequences for Indonesia. Within Indonesia's domestic context, the disaster has forced the government to deal with the problems of xenophobia, the resolution of the Aceh conflict, and the imperative of good governance. The tsunami has also presented an opportunity for much closer bilateral relations between Indonesia and some key aid-providing nations, especially Australia, and the US. Despite some encouraging improvements in the aftermath of the disaster, the long-term effects of tsunami aid on Indonesia's relations with Australia and the US should not be taken for granted.
At the heart of the post-11 September world lie several critical issues surrounding US power: its unprecedented primacy, the way in which it is exercised, and how it is perceived and received around the world. Even as US primacy and 'hard' power projection have been reinforced, the terrorist attacks and Washington's responses have adversely affected the vital 'soft' foundations of its power: the appeal of American values and culture; the perception that US hegemony is benign; and the apparent legitimacy of the exercise of American power. These trends will, in the longer term, constrain US hegemonic power by limiting the effectiveness of foreign and security policies. At the international level, Washington will experience increased friction and costs in dealing with its allies and other friendly states; and at the domestic level, the Bush and subsequent administrations will have to take into account rising domestic costs of 'blowback'.
This article argues that in contrast to the USA, United Kingdom, and Australia, the impact of 9/11 on Japanese executive power largely has been restricted to the realm of Japan's foreign policy and relations, with comparatively little effect on domestic policy. Indeed, the 9/11 attacks and ensuing War on Terror served mostly to augment an already existing trend in Japan towards constitutional reform and away from the duopoly on political power and policy traditionally shared between the Japanese bureaucracy and the Liberal Democratic Party factions. Yes Yes
This article argues that the perceptual shock of 11 September transformed the mental picture which shapes the Australian government's approach to national security. The expansive and transformationalist range of strategic concepts introduced post-11 September by key government ministers and the prime minister in their public commentary, and formally expressed in a variety of post-11 September policy releases, have been substantial enough to conclude that the central geostrategic narrative underpinning Australia's pre-11 September strategic posture has been diluted sufficiently to render it 'one of many' shapers of Australia's post-11 September strategic orientation. It is this article's finding that the perceptual shock of 11 September has been sufficiently consequential to produce a paradigm shift in Australian strategy.
Australia's victory in securing temporary seats on the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Executive Board has been much celebrated. This provides an important platform for Australia to further the agenda of women's rights worldwide. As part of this agenda, Australia has provided a commitment to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security through the development of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012–2018, released in 2012. This article examines the early thoughts and efforts towards the implementation of this plan. It demonstrates that while there is a broad rhetorical commitment to implementation by Australian actors, there are nonetheless challenges that may threaten its success. Based in part upon interviews with Australian government representatives and policy makers, and activists and advocates of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, this article highlights the success, challenges and opportunities that have so far been associated with implementing this important Resolution.
Relations with the United States dominated Australian foreign affairs in 2003. Australia confirmed itself as one of America's leading supporters in the increasingly controversial global 'war on terror', went to war with the US in Iraq, signed up to be a part of the US missile defence shield, underwent intense free trade agreement negotiations with the US (finalised in February 2004), and the political leaders of the US and Australia also made national visits - John Howard to George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas and President Bush to Canberra. Looking back on the year in review, it is hard to find a time when Australian foreign policy has been more American-centric or when Australia has received so much individual attention from a presidential administration.
This article analyses the evolving uses of social media during wartime through the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Spokesperson Facebook and Twitter accounts. The conflict between Israel and Hamas-affiliated groups in November 2012 has generated interesting data about social media use by a sovereign power in wartime and the resultant networked discourse. Facebook data is examined for effective patterns of dissemination through both content analysis and discourse analysis. Twitter data is explored through connected concept analysis to map the construction of meaning in social media texts shared by the IDF. The systematic examination of this social media data allows the authors’ analysis to comment on the evolving modes, methods and expectations for state public diplomacy, propaganda and transparency during wartime.
In the bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the Australian government emphasised international peace and security and Indigenous peoples as two of the eight key elements supporting its nomination. Australia's positive track record in support of the UN Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, including the delivery of an Australian National Action Plan (NAP) along with recognition of historical injustices to Indigenous Australians, was highlighted as a valid and important argument in favour of its nomination. The Australian NAP, however, has all but ignored the local context in its development and application, focusing instead on its commitments abroad. This framing of the Australian NAP is informed, firstly, by the WPS agenda policy framework applying to conflict and post-conflict situations, and, secondly, by its location within the UN mandate, requiring those situations to be internationally recognised. This article applies Nancy Fraser's tripartite justice framework to reveal that the Australian NAP gives rise to the political injustice of ‘misrepresentation’ in relation to intra-state (violent), domestically situated Indigenous–settler relations, which are denied the status of ongoing internationally recognised conflict. The author suggests that the remedy to this injustice is to reframe and recognise the conflict status of Indigenous–settler relations in the localisation of the Australian NAP. This localisation creates openings for Indigenous Australian women to engage with the WPS agenda in meaningful ways.
This essay introduces the special issue on ‘Risk, Regulation and New Modes of Regional Governance in the Asia-Pacific’ and provides an analytical framework to understand the emergence, consolidation and resistance to these modes of governance. The article proposes the concept of ‘regulatory regionalism’, which points to the creation of new state spaces of regional governance, transforming - rather than transcending - the national space of the state. In particular, the essay explores the creation of these governance spaces through the mobilisation of political projects of risk management. The strength of this framework of regulatory regionalism is that it facilitates an understanding of new modes of regional governance within the context of political projects of market-making and state transformation in individual countries. This approach to the understanding of regional governance takes us beyond the moribund debates on Asian integration which dominate the international relations literature.
This article assesses the global profile of Australian International Relations (IR) scholarship by measuring the presence of Australian-based scholars in leading journals and presses, relative to other non-US scholars. It presents three alternative conclusions, depending on the benchmark adopted. The first perspective, low impact, suggests that on the basis of publications in top journals, Australian IR scholars are doing a bad job, that is, Australian scholars have a much smaller presence in leading journals than could reasonably be expected. The second view, a bookish lot, is based on publication in leading book presses, and presents a much more positive picture. The third alternative, a very British affair, concludes that according to both journal and book data Australian scholars are notable for their disproportionate representation in British rather than American publication outlets. These claims are supported with publication data from top outlets over the past decade as determined by Australian and international rankings.
A spectre is stalking the world: the spectre of a rich Chinese state buying strategic resources, hollowing out companies, gobbling up financial institutions and threatening the sovereignty of the countries in whose resources and companies it invests. The China Investment Corporation (CIC) - a sovereign wealth fund company (SWF) - is the stalking horse of the Chinese state. Using the CIC as an example, this article argues that the warning about SWFs has little to do with their size, the speed of their growth or what SWFs have or have not done. It is about a shifting power relationship in the global economy. This broader realignment may have been occurring slowly, but it is happening. Neither side - those who have been writing the rules of the game for international political economy and those who are historically rule-takers - is fully willing to acknowledge the shift and take responsibility to build a new architecture of an international financial system that can accommodate interests of old and new players. Yes Yes
What is the ‘Women, Peace and Security agenda’ and why is it relevant now for Australia? During 2013–14, Australia is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and, with a growing foreign military, peacebuilding and aid presence around the world, the country must play a role in preventing conflict, in protecting women and girls from violence before, during and after conflict, and in encouraging the participation of women in these peace and security decisions in order to create the structural, gender-equal conditions for lasting peace. This article highlights the promises made by Australia during the campaign for the Security Council seat. It evaluates the credibility of the campaign commitments by assessing Australia's foreign policies and overseas aid spending on women and peacebuilding in Asia and the Pacific; exploring the avenues for government-funded research on women, peace and security issues to influence government policies and programs; and taking stock of the government's record of engaging with civil society in developing and carrying out its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The article suggests concrete actions that would allow Australia to fulfil its promises and progress its international leadership on the major pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
This paper compares controversial health technology provisions in two important United States free trade agreements with developed nations: with Australia and with South Korea. It examines the multinational corporate forces behind the medicines and medical devices components of these texts and their likely impacts in this area upon Australian trade negotiations with China and India. It also examines the implications of some recent changes to US trade policy for this area in subsequent bilateral deals, such as that with Peru. This article argues it is important that the Australian government change policy and, like recent administrations in the United States, now systematically approach such impending trade agreements with a view of assisting the partners’ regulatory frameworks to maximally enhance national and transnational benefit from their medicines and biotechnology industries.
The Australian Labor government's key initiative to address the issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, was launched at a time when the period of great advances in international arms control was already drawing to a close. Between 1987 and 1995, the international community had witnessed an unprecedented level of activity in the arms control field. This paper will first trace the origins of the Canberra Commission initiative as a non-traditional and innovative exercise in arms control diplomacy by a leading middle power. It will then survey the progress of the Report after its unfortunately-timed birth and assess its preliminary impact at the international level, before examining more recent initiatives in the United Nations and by other states to advance the Commission's findings. Finally, this analysis suggests that reconvening the Canberra Commission would be a timely and appropriate response to current nuclear crises and uncertainties, providing Australia with an opportunity to contribute further to the twin security goals of non-proliferation and disarmament.
Japan's response to the 'war on terror', in the form of the despatch of the JSDF to the Indian Ocean and Iraq, has given policy-makers and academic analysts grounds for believing that Japan is becoming a more assertive military power in support of its US ally. This article argues that JSDF despatch does not necessarily mark a divergence from Japan's previous security path over the short term. This is because its policy-makers have continued to hedge around commitments to the US through careful constitutional framing of JSDF missions and capabilities, allowing it opt-out clauses in future conflicts, and because it has also sought to pursue economic and alternative diplomatic policies in responding to terrorism and WMD proliferation in the Middle East. However, at the same this article argues that Japan has established important precedents for expanded JSDF missions in the 'war on terror', and that over the medium to longer terms these are likely to be applied to the bilateral context of the US-Japan security treaty in East Asia, and to push Japan towards becoming a more active military power through participation in US-led multinational 'coalitions of the willing' in East Asia and globally.
Afghanistan was Australia's longest war, yet the consensus between Australia's major political parties on the commitment never wavered over 12 years. The bipartisan unity held even as the nature of the war changed and evolved, Australian casualties rose and popular support fell away. The enduring centrality of the US alliance explains much—probably almost all you need to know—about the unbroken consensus of the Australian polity. Afghanistan was an example of the Australian alliance addiction, similar to Vietnam. As with Vietnam, the Australian military left Afghanistan believing it won its bit of the war, even if the Afghanistan war is judged a disaster. As Australia heads home it finds the USA pivoting in its direction; with all the similarities that can be drawn between Vietnam and Afghanistan, this post-war alliance effect is a huge difference between the two conflicts.
During the third quarter of 2009, there was a spate of reports in the news media and on the Internet accusing Burma and North Korea of engaging in a range of activities that potentially threatened regional security. It was claimed that the Naypyidaw regime had developed a close relationship with Pyongyang that included North Korea's sale to Burma of conventional weapons, assistance in the development of Burma's defence infrastructure and arms industries, and even collaboration on a nuclear weapons program. Given the lack of hard evidence, however, these reports raised more questions than they answered. Burma's nuclear status remains unknown. Another puzzle is why no government or international organisation has yet made an official statement on this particular issue, despite all the publicity it has attracted. Should it be determined that Burma does indeed have a secret nuclear weapons program, then a key question would be whether the generals are likely to be any more receptive to international concerns than they have been in the past, on other issues. Yes Yes
The 2007 demonstrations in Burma posed the greatest threat to military rule there in almost twenty years. The involvement of thousands of monks across the country was of particular concern to the authorities as well as their threat of performing a religious boycott against them. This article traces the importance of Buddhism to the political legitimacy of rulers in Burma and examines how the authorities' relationship with the Sangha has undergone significant changes under military rule. It compares the 2007 demonstrations with earlier protests and examines how the regime's legitimacy has suffered as a result of yet another crackdown, significantly this time against demonstrations led by the largest institution outside of the tatmadaw. Yes Yes
The Bush administration's continuing emphasis on US military deterrence of the PRC on behalf of Taiwan threatens to undermine the posture of 'strategic ambiguity' that the United States has proclaimed since 1979. This article argues for the retention of 'strategic ambiguity' and traces the origins of revisionist sentiment towards this effective conflict avoidance mechanism to reactions within the US foreign policy community to the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait crisis. Case studies of this crisis and its predecessors in 1954-55 and 1958 demonstrate that US military deterrence was not a decisive factor in their resolution. US and PRC initiatives and responses in the 1950s crises introduced the essential elements of 'strategic ambiguity' into the triangular relationship between themselves and Taiwan. In particular, they established a precedent for the United States and the PRC in circumscribing the issue of Taiwan so as to achieve a political accommodation.
The rise of China and its implications for stability in both the Asia-Pacific region and the world more generally continues to exercise the minds of scholars and policy makers alike. In particular, questions of the geostrategic importance of shifting power patterns marked, in particular, by China's elevation stand at the forefront of contemporary scholarship concerned with international and Asian security. The three works with which this article is primarily concerned all seek to address the challenges posed by a resurgent China. Yes Yes
This article speculates about possible parallels between the experience of the Athenian empire and the Americans' rationale for their presence in Iraq. Leaders in both countries sought to make their worlds safe for democracy by military invasion. The Athenian experience is described, drawing on Thucydides and other primary and secondary sources. Then there is a sketch of the scholarly treatment accorded the Athenian empire by writers through to the present day. Finally, allusions to the classical experience by several contemporary writers are examined. These writers articulate a common pessimism about the future prospects for the American presence in Iraq.
Private security companies (PSCs) have emerged in the past 20 years, offering a vast menu of military and security services that were in the past largely the responsibility of government agencies. While PSC operations are often thought to be largely confined to war/conflict zones and failed states in Africa and the Middle East, many PSCs are currently active in Southeast Asia, where they operate within the context of growing economies and comparatively stable polities. The demand for private military and security services in this region comes in part from the maritime sector, where PSCs are today employed to secure ports, vessels and offshore energy installations. Using an analytical framework based on new institutionalism theory, this article focuses on anti-piracy services provided by PSCs in Southeast Asia and examines how the employment of PSCs to secure shipping affects the control of force by states. Yes Yes
The Indo-Pacific seems to have come of age. In a growing body of literature on this subject, the rise of India and China, as well as the ensuing great-power competition and deepening economic links across the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions are often seen as mere (albeit new) geopolitical realities, which the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ can best capture. This article, however, questions the ‘naturalness’ of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ and illustrates how it is largely a product of geopolitical imaginations about the perceived ‘rise of China’—imaginations that are shared among some influential observers and practitioners, particularly in the USA, Australia, Japan and India. Fuelled by their collective anxieties about China's growing influence in Asia, the ‘Indo-Pacific’ is not an innocent or neutral description, but is a manufactured super-region designed to hedge against a perceived Sino-centric regional order. In doing so, it is complicit in the production of great-power rivalries and regional security dilemmas. It is thus important that the ‘Indo-Pacific’ construct be subject to critical re-examination and re-imagination.
Despite the efforts of the Canberra Commission and the Tokyo Forum, the future holds little hope for nuclear disarmament. Dismal though the prospect must seem, the world is likely to include more rather than fewer nuclear-weapons states in coming decades. Unfortunately or otherwise, nuclear weapons remain a keystone of global security. That certainly does not make them a cure-all for the world's military problems, but managing without them would be much harder than living with them. If we are going to have to live with nuclear weapons for a protracted period of time, it is important that both policy-makers and the public focus more consciously on the central importance of the stability factor in nuclear strategy and arms control. Reductions in nuclear deployments are valueless if they lead to greater strategic instability. By placing the emphasis on continued stability, we minimise the greatest concern of all, the prospect of actual nuclear use. Conversely, policies for stable nuclear-weapons management risk being pulled in all the wrong directions by premature attempts at nuclear disarmament.
At the end of Word War II, Soviet occupation forces removed countless art objects from German soil. Some of them were returned during the 1950s, but most either disappeared for good or were stored away secretly in cellars of Soviet museums. The Cold War then covered the issue with silence. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, museums in St Petersburg and Moscow started to exhibit some of the relocated art for the first time in half a century. The unusual quality of the paintings-mostly impressionist masterpieces-not only attracted the attention of the international art community, but also triggered a diplomatic row between Russia and Germany. Both governments advanced moral and legal claims to ownership. To make things even more complicated, many of the paintings once belonged to private collectors, some of whom were Jews. Their descendants also entered the dispute. The basic premise of this article is that the political and ethical dimensions of relocated art can be understood most adequately by eschewing a single authorial standpoint. Various positions, sometimes incommensurable ones, are thus explored in an attempt to outline possibilities for an ethics of representation and a dialogical solution to the international problem that relocated art has become.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and its member states have repeatedly professed their commitment to the protection and advancement of women's economic and human rights. Such commitments have included the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region in 1988, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region in 2004, and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012, as well as the establishment of the ASEAN Committee on Women in 2002 and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Women and Children in 2009. However, none of these regional commitments or institutions expressly take up the core concern of the Women, Peace and Security agenda set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000. ASEAN has no 1325 regional action plan and, amongst the ASEAN membership, the Philippines is the only state that has adopted a 1325 National Action Plan. The authors explore the possible reasons for the lack of ASEAN institutional engagement with 1325, outline the case for regional engagement, and suggest specific roles for the ASEAN Secretariat, donor governments and individual member states to commit to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 as a regional priority.
This paper explores ASEAN's attempts at investment liberalization. Investment liberalization is variously associated with net positive effects on inflows of investment capital, technology transfer, employment, export generation, economic growth and development. As a net historical beneficiary of investment flows, the paper hypothesizes that ASEAN's stated commitment to investment liberalization should by now be realizing progress in each of four areas: a). absolute reductions in national autonomy in relation to investment screening and conditionality provisions; b). increased transparency in respect of member-states national investment regimes; c). enhanced standardization and codification of regulatory standards governing investment related provisions across member states; and d). enhanced centralized coordination and decision making in respect of investment governance. Each of these areas is investigated in relation to ASEAN's three primary investment agreements and the ensuing regimes that govern investment provisions and policy practices among member states.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is now a global public health threat with many medical, ethical, social, economic, political, and legal implications. (Abdullah et al. 2003) No man is an island. (John Donne) The security of the state is dependent on the security of its individual citizens. If they are not secure, the state is not secure. Traditional, state-dominant, conceptions of security are ill-equipped to provide understanding into the array of security concerns that now confront nation-states. In November 2002, one of these new security concerns, a corona pulmonary virus jumped the species barrier to begin infecting people in southern China. Three months later this virus was unwittingly transmitted from mainland China to Hong Kong. From there it spread rapidly throughout most of Southeast Asia as well as through parts of the Americas and Europe. Now known as the SARS—Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome—virus, it became a major threat to the stability and prosperity of Southeast Asian countries. This article reviews the spread and impact of the SARS virus within Southeast Asia from a human security perspective. It is intended that the utilisation of human security in this instance will not only provide a better understanding of the impact of SARS on regional states but will also advance the conceptualisation of the human security model.
Focusing on the South-East Asian region and looking specifically at activism around the position of migrant domestic workers in the region, this article seeks to evaluate why migrant activist organisations appear to have had, at best, modest influence on gendering the International Labour Organization's approach to labour rights. The author argues that this is largely due to how dominant understandings of labour rights have neglected the significance of social relations of reproduction (i.e. those 'care-related' activities associated with the household) to the functioning of the labour market. Furthermore, a transnationalisation of social relations of reproduction is manifested in the increased feminisation of labour migration in the region and this highlights further problems with dominant labour rights perspectives that remain largely state-centric in their approach. The significance of South-East Asian states in promoting localised regimes of citizenship/immigration and industrial relations greatly limits the ability of activist groups to claim and utilise the language of human rights. Nonetheless, the article argues that a concern with the human rights of female migrants can potentially destabilise dominant understandings of labour and human rights. More generally, the article seeks to demonstrate the insights that a critical feminist human rights approach can bring to studies of work and employment within international political economy. Yes Yes
Many conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region have included sexual violence crimes targeted primarily against women. However, in comparison to other regions, Asia-Pacific states have been reluctant to embrace international law innovations to end impunity for such crimes into the future, as evidenced by their unwillingness to become signatories to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Of the 39 countries constituting the Asia-Pacific region, only 17—less than half—have joined the Rome Statute. This article initially surveys some of the reasons for non-ratification of the Statute. It further examines the role of civil society and the potential normative impact of the Statute to enhance national sexual violence legislation and prosecutions. Finally, it identifies some practical steps that the Australian government could take to encourage regional states to ratify, implement and enforce the Rome Statute in order to further protect all victims of international crimes and bolster the broader Women, Peace and Security framework.
The India-Pakistan peace process, technically known as the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) has sailed through numerous highs and lows in bilateral relations since 1997. It has remained susceptible to unforeseen incidents which have derailed the process several times in the past. However, since 2003 April it has progressed steadily, baring suspension for a while, with support from the highest level. This paper dwells upon the history of the peace process since it inception in 1997 and examines the progress made in the eight baskets of issues namely Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) Siachen; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project; Sir Creek; Terrorism and Drug Trafficking; Economic and Commercial Cooperation; Peace and Security; and, Promotion of Friendly Exchanges in various fields. The analysis of the peace process in this paper hinges on two key questions. First, has any change in the mindset of both sides come about over the years due to the peace process? And second, what are the prospects of resolving the pending issues in the future talks?.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) came into being on 1 July 2002. A four-person team opened an office in The Hague and will collect reports and allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity until judges and a prosecutor are appointed towards the end of 2003. Although the court was heralded by many states and international lawyers as the most important positive development in international law since the formation of the United Nations, it did not get off to an auspicious start. The Bush administration was concerned that US military forces operating overseas would be particularly vulnerable to what it described as 'politicised' prosecutions. It therefore insisted that not only would it not be a part of the ICC, but also that it would not sanction the continuation of UN peacekeeping operations. Closer to home, the Australian Senate only ratified the ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, after a bitter debate that split both the Liberal and National parties. This was the case even though the Howard government-and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in particular-had been a leading advocate of the court and ratification of the Rome Statute had been a Liberal Party election promise in 2001. The cost that Downer, and pro-ICC Attorney-General Daryl Williams had to pay in order to appease restive conservative backbenchers, the National Party, and an increasingly reluctant (and pro-US) Prime Minister and secure the ratification was a declaration that reaffirmed the primacy of the Australian judicial system over the ICC. The declaration insisted that no Australian would be prosecuted by the court without the consent of the Attorney-General, and asserted Australia's right to define what is meant by the crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Australia's relations with its neighbours in the South Pacific challenge theories of international relations and foreign policy analysis. Most existing analysis eschews an explicitly theoretical approach in favour of empirical description and ‘common sense’ explanations. Yet repeated patterns of interaction suggest that there is scope for developing a more theoretical understanding of the relationships between Australia and the Pacific islands. Moreover, lying at the margins in several dimensions of interstate relations, these relationships test theories and thus provide a basis to delimit or refine them. This article explores three important ways in which theories of international relations and foreign policy analysis and the study of Australia–Pacific island relations can benefit each other. First, Pacific island resistance to the projection of Australian power tests theories about the tactics available to ‘micro-powers’. Australia's frequent reorientation of and regular distraction from its approach to the Pacific islands provide evidence about ‘under-institutionalised’ policy making. Finally, the interaction of Australia's global ‘middle power’ status with its regional dominance challenges ideas of ‘middle power leadership’ and ‘strategic personalities’. These three insights lead to novel hypotheses about the conduct of foreign policy by non-great powers under conditions of extreme asymmetry.
How to deal with a rising China constitutes one of the most seminal challenges facing the ANZUS alliance since its inception a half a century ago. Australia must reconcile its geography and economic interests in Asia with its post-war strategic and historic cultural orientation towards the United States. It must succeed in this policy task without alienating either Beijing or Washington in the process. The extent to which this is achieved will shape Australia's national security posture for decades to come. Three specific components of the 'Sino-American-Australian' triangle are assessed here: the future of Taiwan, the American development of a National Missile Defence (NMD), and the interplay between Sino-American power balancing and multilateral security politics. The policy stakes for Australia and for the continued viability of ANZUS are high in all three policy areas as a new US Administration takes office in early 2001. The article concludes that Australia's best interest is served by applying deliberate modes of decisionmaking in its own relations with both China and the US and by facilitating consistent and systematic dialogue and consultations with both of those great powers on key strategic issues.
The well-documented failure of many experts to predict many events of strategic importance—from 9/11 to the global financial crisis to the Arab Spring—has led to a fashionable belief amongst some academics and popular commentators that prediction is a ‘fool's errand’. Problems inherent in forecasting political events, such as cognitive biases, strategic interaction, complexity effects and various others, make this an attractive position. However, although a proper degree of humility is warranted about the ability to predict strategic events, this article argues that not making predictions at all is not an option. No genuinely workable policy advice could flow to Australian policy makers unless analysts are able, however roughly, to try to forecast the future. Moreover, with some hard, determined work, social scientists have recently produced work which promises to be able to foresee important events such as state failures and civil wars with reasonable accuracy. Experts should be encouraged to make, and should routinely be evaluated on, predictions about their area of expertise. Even failed predictions can be useful in pointing up gaps in knowledge and understanding which would otherwise have remained opaque.
The 2013 Australian Defence White Paper categorically termed Australia's zone of strategic interest the Indo-Pacific, the first time any government has defined its region this way. This raises questions about what the Indo-Pacific means, whether it is a coherent strategic system, the provenance of the concept and its implications for Asian security as well as Australian policy. Indo-Pacific Asia can best be understood as an expansive definition of a maritime super-region centred on South-East Asia, arising principally from the emergence of China and India as outward-looking trading states and strategic actors. It is a strategic system insofar as it involves the intersecting interests of key powers such as China, India and the USA, although the Indo-Pacific subregions will retain their own dynamics too. It suits Australia's two-ocean geography and expanding links with Asia, including India. The concept is, however, not limited to an Australian perspective and increasingly reflects US, Indian, Japanese and Indonesian ways of seeing the region. It also reflects China's expanding interests in the Indian Ocean, suggesting that the Chinese debate may shift towards partial acceptance of Indo-Pacific constructs alongside Asia-Pacific and East Asian ones, despite suspicions about its association with the US rebalance to Asia. Questions about Australia's ability to implement an effective Indo-Pacific strategy must account for force posture, alliance ties and defence diplomacy, as well as constraints on force structure and spending.
For a middle power with a relatively short history of framing a self determined foreign policy, Australia has actively sought to engage with both its immediate region and the wider world. Elite agreement on this external orientation, however, has by no means entailed consensus on what this orientation might involve in terms of policy. Consequently, two, often conflicting, traditions and their associated myths have informed Australian foreign policy-making. The most enduring tradition shaping foreign policy views Australia as a somewhat isolated bastion of Western civilisation. In this mode Australia's myth is pragmatic, but uncertain and sees Asia as both an opportunity and a potential threat which requires the support and counsel of culturally similar external powers engaged in the region to ensure stability. Against this, an alternative and historically later tradition crafted a foreign policy that advanced Australian independence through engagement with a seemingly monolithic and increasingly prosperous Asia. This paper explores the evolution and limitations of these foreign policy traditions and the myths that sustain them. It further considers what features of these traditions continue to have resonance in a region that has become more fluid and heterogeneous than it was during the Cold War and which requires a foreign policy flexibility that can address this complex and strategically uncertain environment.
The University of Queensland's School of Political Science and International Studies organised a round table in Canberra on 27 June 2001 that brought together a select group of government policy-makers and academic specialists to discuss the issue of ballistic missile defence (BMD). The round table provided useful insights into Australian thinking on the issue. This report seeks to summarise the essence of those discussions in order to contribute to the broader national debate.(1)