With the Australian federal election happening on Saturday 18 May, in this episode Allan and Darren follow the practice of all government departments in preparing an “incoming government brief”: a document presented to the new (or returning) minister for each department, for the purpose of providing a descriptive overview of what the department does, and highlighting the most important issues facing that particular portfolio as the new term commences.
Allan and Darren’s brief contains three “chapters”. Chapter 1 is on the structure of national security and foreign policy making, and the discussion turns on the best way of coordinating decision-making given the complex challenges faced in Australia’s international relations. Chapter 2 is on Donald Trump, where Allan and Darren largely agree on the impact of the Trump presidency on the world so far, but diverge slightly in their resulting degree of pessimism. Chapter 3 is on China, where the disagreement is more on the quality of Australia’s policy response to this most difficult set of policy dilemmas. Along the way, the two discuss recent events relating to Iran, the White House’s contrasting approaches to diplomacy, the second Belt and Road Forum and the US-China trade war.
As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: email@example.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 with audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.
“Morrison says 'no difference' with Bishop on China relationship”, SBS News: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/morrison-says-no-difference-with-bishop-on-china-relationship
Tyler Cowen, “How real news is worse than fake news”, Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-09-05/how-real-news-is-worse-than-fake-news
Adam Tooze, “Is this the end of the American century”, London Review of Books: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n07/adam-tooze/is-this-the-end-of-the-american-century
Tanner Greer, “The utterly dysfunctional Belt and Road”, Scholar’s Stage Blog: http://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-utterly-dysfunctional-belt-and-road.html
Andrew Batson, “The Belt and Road is about domestic interest groups not development”: https://andrewbatson.com/2019/05/02/the-belt-and-road-is-about-domestic-interest-groups-not-development/
Nadege Rolland, “Beijing’s response to the Belt and Road Initiative’s ‘pushback’, Asian Affairs (currently free to access): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03068374.2019.1602385?scroll=top&needAccess=true&