Ep. 58: Mailbag! US failures; fearing abandonment; the Quad & democracy; grading China policy; DFAT in 2050
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Thrilled that the podcast is about to cross the 100,000 lifetime download threshold (thank you all!), Allan and Darren try something new this week – answering mailbag questions. Is the US a ‘failed state’, and would ‘strategic autonomy’ be realistic for Australia? Will the title of Allan’s book on Australian foreign policy, “Fear of abandonment”, be appropriate for the next 70 years of Australian foreign policy? Are there any lessons for Australia and the Indo-Pacific from the recent ‘Abraham Accords’ between Israel and the UAE/Bahrain? Is the Quad viable as an ‘Arc of Democracy’, and are there any major takeaways from the ministerial in Tokyo this past week?

Allan and Darren have their strongest disagreement in assigning a grade to the Australian government’s China policy since 2017, and have an interesting discussion about what control any government can have over public discourse. Next, what will the DFAT of 2050 look like? And finishing with some ‘meta’ questions – is the podcast a useful vehicle to help discipline their thoughts, and has each changed the other’s mind?

We thank AIIA intern Mitchell McIntosh for his help with research and audio editing and XC Chong for research support. Thanks as always to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant Links

Hugh White, How to defend Australia (2019): https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/how-defend-australia

Allan Gyngell, Fear of abandonment: Australia in the world since 1942 (2017): https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/fear-abandonment

Allan Renouf, The frightened country (1979): https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/LIB16176

Brendan Taylor, “Realist optimist: Coral Bell’s contribution to Australian foreign and defence policy (2014): http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p303831/pdf/9.-Realist-Optimist-Coral-Bell%E2%80%99s-Contribution-to-Australian-Foreign-and-Defence-Policy.pdf

Marise Payne, “Australia-India-Japan-United States Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting”, Media Release, 6 October 2020: https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/australia-india-japan-united-states-quad-foreign-ministers-meeting

Scott Morrison, “Where we live”, Speech at Asialink, 27 June 2019: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/budget-of-skewed-priorities

Alex Oliver, “A budget of skewed priorities”, Lowy Interpreter, 7 October 2020: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/budget-of-skewed-priorities

Allan Gyngell and Michael Wesley, Making Australian Foreign policy (2012): https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139168632

John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (2011), Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11910982-george-f-kennan

Christopher Hill, The changing politics of foreign policy (2003), Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/414234.The_Changing_Politics_of_Foreign_Policy

Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (2014), Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18490568-age-of-ambition

Richard McGregor, The Party: The secret world of China’s communist rulers (2010), Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7822182-the-party

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