We are delighted to bring you a special edition of the podcast, a recording of a live event at which Allan Gygnell moderated a panel discussion on the topic: “Towards reinvigorating Australian foreign policy studies”.

The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper highlighted how forces of change are challenging the rules-based global order upon which Australia’s security and prosperity has depended since the Second World War. At this moment of uncertainty in Australian foreign policy, how well-equipped are Australian academics to contribute to navigating a way forward? Asking this question invites reflection on the state of foreign policy studies in Australia as well as the extent to which the study and practice of foreign policy are (or could, or even should be) connected.

The Panel was comprised of three very distinguished guests:

  • Professor Valerie M. Hudson, the ANU Vice Chancellor’s “Australia in the World” Visiting Fellow and Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair in the Department of International Affairs of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University;
  • Mark Kenny, Senior Fellow at the ANU Australian Studies Institute and former chief political correspondent and national affairs editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times; and
  • Professor Jacqui True, Professor of Politics & International Relations and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at Monash University.

The event was held on Thursday 14 March 2019 on campus at the Australian National University, in partnership with the ANU Australian Studies Institute and the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. It was the concluding event of a day-long conference on the topic of Australian Foreign Policy Studies chaired by Professor Hudson and Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific (from whom you will also hear from on the podcast).

Our thanks go to Martyn Pearce of the Crawford School for his production and editing support.

Relevant links

Event page: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/cap-events/2019-03-14/towards-reinvigorating-australian-foreign-policy-studies

Valerie’s bio: http://www.vmrhudson.org/

Mark’s bio: http://ausi.anu.edu.au/people/mark-kenny

Jacqui’s bio: https://research.monash.edu/en/persons/jacqui-true

The impact of nuclear weapons is the major theme this week. Darren begins by asking Allan for his practitioner’s perspective on the question whether nukes are a stabilising force in international affairs. The discussion then moves to North Korea: what were Allan’s expectations in the leadup to the recent summit in Hanoi between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, and where does the world stand now? Are we in a better position on this issue than we were when Trump took office? Does it matter that Kim was granted international legitimacy through his participation at the Singapore and Hanoi summits?

The latest on the India-Pakistan tensions follows, with a particular focus on the logic of “off-ramps” in crisis situations like these, and the role of “fake news” in creating them. Darren cannot decide whether fictional narratives are a good or a bad thing in these precarious situations, while Allan offers insight into the meaningful role Australia can play in tense situations involving Pakistan.

Finally, a free trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia has finally been signed and awaits ratification. What took everyone so long?

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Our thanks go to AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help both with research and audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

Relevant links

Kenneth Waltz, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb” in Foreign Affairs: https://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~fczagare/PSC%20504/Waltz.pdf

Christine Fair, “India’s and Pakistan’s Lies Thwarted a War—For Now” in the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/03/india-pakistan-kargil-kashmir/584392/

“Pakistani army chief reaches out to Australia, UK” in the Sydney Morning Herald: www.smh.com.au/world/pakistani-army-chief-reaches-out-to-australia-uk-20190301-p511bx.html?btis  

DiploPod interview with Evan Feigenbaum: https://player.fm/series/diplopod/where-is-the-us-china-relationship-going

Red flags: Why Xi’s China is in jeopardy by George Magnus: https://georgemagnus.com/tag/red-flags/

This week Allan and Darren begin their discussion with a focus on the Five Eyes intelligence grouping, which has been thrust into the limelight after US Secretary of State Pompeo’s warning that allowing Huawei’s participation in 5G infrastructure could jeopardise intelligence cooperation. Allan explains the history and purpose of the grouping, and both question what United States can and should be trying to achieve on this issue.

Australian coal exports are next on the agenda, the question being whether reports of delays at the Chinese port of Dalian reflect political interference or something else, such as good old fashioned protectionism. Would that be ‘better’ than economic coercion? The discussion evolves into a reflection on how China is often treated as a “unitary actor” when, in reality, policy coordination is exceptionally difficult and one should be cautious when imputing grand strategic precision behind reports like these.  

Darren then asks Allan to provide some context for how the Australian government approaches the question of sovereign recognition, given Australia has joined with the United States and others in recognising the leader of the Venezuelan opposition as the country’s interim head of state. Finally, the discussion turns to breaking news of brewing conflict between India and Pakistan, which no doubt will be a larger focus in the next episode!

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

Our thanks go to AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help both with research and audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

 

Relevant links

Julia Limitone, “Pompeo slams Huawei: US won't partner with countries that use its technolog”, Fox Business: https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/pompeo-slams-huawei-us-wont-partner-with-countries-that-use-its-technology

Financial Times piece quoting Robert Hannigan: “UK says Huawei is manageable risk to 5G”: https://www.ft.com/content/619f9df4-32c2-11e9-bd3a-8b2a211d90d5

Reuters piece reporting on Australian coal bans at Dalian Port, “Exclusive: China's Dalian port bans Australian coal imports, sets 2019 quota – source” :  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-australia-coal-exclusive/exclusive-chinas-dalian-port-bans-australian-coal-imports-sets-2019-quota-source-idUSKCN1QA0F1

The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben Macintyre: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/253399/the-spy-and-the-traitor-by-ben-macintyre/9781101904190

(An even-handed) review of Stranger Things 2, by Alan Sepinwall: https://uproxx.com/sepinwall/stranger-things-2-review-netflix-second-season/

In this first podcast recording of 2019, Allan Gyngell and Darren Lim use the opportunity provided by the new year to look back at 2018 and ask how the events of the past 12 months have shaped their worldviews. Allan focuses on the speed in which the international system is changing, while Darren wonders at the extent to which political institutions are able to moderate some of the wilder swings in politics and policy within democracies across the globe.

On the topic of Australia’s performance in 2018, while there is no doubt that the government was focused very much on itself for much of the year, the two disagree on whether, overall, Australia could still have performed better in its foreign policy. Allan is less forgiving, while Darren wonders whether the structural constraints were too great for any government to overcome.

Looking forward, the two discuss Sino-US relations and in particular the common challenges faced by Australia and its partners in managing the trade-offs in relations with China. Allan is also keenly watching the impact of science and technology on competition between nation-states, and Darren wonders whether both governments and the general public may rapidly change their approach to using and regulating social media.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us: australia.world.pod {at} gmail.com with any feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also connect with Darren on twitter: @limdarrenj 

We want to thank outgoing AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell for their outstanding help in getting the podcast up and running last year. We also welcome new AIIA intern Charles Henshall and thank him for his assistance. Rory Stenning composed our theme music.

 

Relevant links

 A World on Edge: The End of the Great War and the Dawn of a New Age, by Daniel Schonpflug: https://www.amazon.com/World-Edge-End-Great-Dawn/dp/1627797629

“The Argument”, a podcast from the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-argument

January 9, 2019

Ep. 11: Dennis Richardson

In this very special episode of the podcast (the final recording of 2018), Allan and Darren interview Dennis Richardson, one of the most distinguished public servants in Australia’s history. Dennis is the only person to have served in the following positions: Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister (Bob Hawke); Director General of Security (including during the 9/11 attacks); Australian Ambassador to the United States; and Secretary to both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Defence.

Dennis and Allan both joined the then Department of External Affairs as graduates in 1969 and, as you will hear, much has changed, and much is still the same! Dennis offers his thoughts on a wide-ranging set of issues including the centralisation and securitsation of foreign policy, an assessment of the United States under Trump, the “economics versus security” debate in Australia, and what qualities political leaders need to be successful in navigating today’s complex world.

A reminder: we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod@gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We give our warmest thanks to outgoing AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell for their stellar support in helping us launch the podcast. We also thank Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Stay tuned for new episodes in the weeks ahead!

In the penultimate episode of Australia in the World for 2018, Darren interviews Danielle Cave and Tom Uren, both of whom work on cyber issues at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). The conversation (recorded in late October) steers away from the current news of the day, instead taking a macro perspective on this emerging issue. What does the term “cyber” even mean? Why should Australian policymakers, and indeed ordinary Australians, care about the issue? What are the major policy areas where attention is needed? How should we resolve the tension between the need to regulate activity in cyberspace to improve the medium and its users’ welfare, versus the risks to free flows of information and exchange that increasingly interventionist and heavy-handed governments might pose?

In the realm of international affairs, what are the major sites of contestation between major powers in cyber? How does Australia’s vision of a “open, free and secure internet” contrast with notions of “cyber sovereignty” pushed by governments such as China’s? Finally, what do we now know about the risks posed by “disinformation” using cyber means, especially with respect to elections? How are the social media companies responding, and to what extent should governments involve themselves? What might Australia’s vulnerabilities be to cyber voter interference?

A reminder: we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod{at}gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Relevant links

Danielle’s bio: https://www.aspi.org.au/bio/danielle-cave

Tom’s bio: https://www.aspi.org.au/bio/tom-uren

In this final current events-related podcast for 2018, Allan and Darren discuss the recent round of regional summits, including the ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit and the APEC meetings. The mid-November week of summitry captures very well the essence of the current rivalry between the United States and China, and the challenges this poses for Australia and other states in the region. Their discussion covers the significance of President Trump’s absence, contrasts the different approaches to leadership taken by the United States and China, and looks into why APEC members were unable to agree on a joint communiqué. The two also cover alleged “tantrum diplomacy” by the Chinese delegation at APEC, and also the joint announcement by the US, Australia and Papua New Guinea of an upgrade of the naval base on Manus Island. The podcast then looks forward to the G20 meetings in the context of a recent speech by Australia’s G20 Sherpa David Gruen, and finishes with an update on the Khashoggi killing, with Donald Trump again refusing to accept the conclusions of his intelligence agencies.

Important programming note: we have recorded two more podcasts (both interviews) that we hope to post in the next month. Moreover, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: australia.world.pod{at}gmail.com We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Relevant links

John Rogin, “Inside China’s ‘tantrum diplomacy’ at APEC”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2018/11/20/inside-chinas-tantrum-diplomacy-at-apec/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d08fe361d4e4

Peter Hartcher, “Frontline in US-China power struggles reaches Australia’s doorstep”: https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/frontline-in-us-china-power-struggle-reaches-australia-s-doorstep-20181119-p50gvz.html

David Gruen’s speech at the Lowy Institute: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/news-and-media/multimedia/audio/david-gruen-global-economic-order-and-role-g20

Kai-Fu Lee’s book “AI Superpowers”: https://aisuperpowers.com/

Yuval Noah Harari in The Atlantic, ‘”Why technology favours tyranny”: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/yuval-noah-harari-technology-tyranny/568330/

The Binge Mode podcast by Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion: https://www.theringer.com/binge-mode

It has been a busy few weeks for international affairs, and this week Allan and Darren cover three pairs of issues. To begin, a pair of foreign policy speeches by PM Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Next, the two discuss Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s first visit to China, pairing that with the Australian government’s raft of new initiatives for engagement with the South Pacific, what Darren is (affectionately) terming the “South Pacific Pivot / Rebalance”. The conversation also takes a quick detour into the State of Victoria’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Finally, a pair of elections—the US midterms and a new President in Brazil. 

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Relevant links

Scott Morrison’s speech at the Asia Society: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/keynote-address-asia-briefing-live-beliefs-guide-us

Bill Shorten’s speech at the Lowy Institute: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/foreign-policy-next-labor-government

Scott Morrison’s speech at Lavarack Barracks: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/address-australia-and-pacific-new-chapter

Paul Krugman in Foreign Affairs, “Competiveness: A dangerous obsession” https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1994-03-01/competitiveness-dangerous-obsession

Ludovico Einaudi, “Divenire”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8SkX9CSJQo

ANU School of Politics and International Relations: US Post-Midterm Election Roundtable (held on Monday 12 November): https://bit.ly/2qKmzwB

Allan and Darren cover four issues in this latest episode. They begin by discussing the announcement by Prime Minister Morrison, in the lead-up to the recent Wentworth by-election, that the government would review its long-standing policy regarding whether Jerusalem should recognised as the capital of Israel, as well as Australia’s support for the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal. Next, using the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and Australia’s sanctioning of individuals in the Myanmar military as entry points, Darren asks Allan how governments balance competing interests on the question of human rights violations. Third, President Trump continues his battle international institutions, this time Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The podcast concludes by highlighting two areas of Australian diplomacy that have received relatively less attention: a new strategy to combat the death penalty, and the recent trade ministerial meeting in Canada—without either the US or China being invited.

 

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

 

Relevant links

 

Daniel Drezner on Trump and the Universal Postal Union: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/10/18/trump-administrations-brinksmanship-with-checks-notes-universal-postal-union/?utm_term=.9c9b150eb180

 

Launch of Australia’s Strategy for Abolition of the Death Penalty: https://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/Pages/2018/mp_mr_181015.aspx

 

ANU School of Politics and International Relations: US Post-Midterm Election Roundtable (Monday 12 November, 6pm): http://politicsir.cass.anu.edu.au/events/us-post-midterm-election-roundtable

Allan and Darren devote the bulk of this episode to Sino-US relations in the context of Vice President Mike Pence’s recent speech at the Hudson Institute. They discuss the primary audience for the speech and the significance of the fact that it was Pence, and not Donald Trump, who delivered it. Darren asks Allan to evaluate the “bet” the West made in the 1990s and early 2000s to try to integrate China into the US-led international order, Allan discusses the risks of trying to “other” China, and the two discuss alternative views inside China itself on how to interpret Pence’s speech. Finally, they analyse the speech through an Australian lens, in light Australia’s longstanding interest in keeping the US engaged in the region. 

Finally, Allan offers some reflections arising out of the excellent 2018 AIIA National Conference held on Monday 15 October.

As always, our thanks go to AIIA interns Stephanie Rowell and Mani Bovell, Martyn Pearce of the ANU’s Crawford School, Rory Stenning for composing our theme music, and AIIA CEO Melissa Conley-Tyler.

Relevant links

2018 AIIA National Conference highlights

Vice President Mike Pence's Remarks on the Administration's Policy Towards China 

Jeff Colgan and Robert Keohane in Foreign Affairs: The Liberal Order is Rigged

Chen Dingding in The Diplomat: 3 Types of Chinese Reactions to Mike Pence’s China Speech

Prime Minister of Australia The Hon Scott Morrison MP speech at Chinese-Australian Community Event

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