April 19, 2019

Ep. 17: Geoeconomics; Australia’s consular operations

On this week’s episode, Allan and Darren begin on the topic of geoeconomics, which is a core focus of Darren’s research. Allan first offers his practitioner’s perspective on the definition and context of the term, with Darren following with his academic view. Both recognise that nation-states have long been practicing geoeconomic activities, but that the increasing prominence of the term very much reflects the particular challenges of the present moment. A recent Wall Street Journal story on Myanmar’s successful renegotiation of infrastructure contracts with Chinese financiers becomes the focal point of a discussion of the strategic consequences of economic activity, which in turn sees Allan and Darren debate whether the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota and the Australian port of Darwin indeed harbour such strategic significance as to warrant the geoeconomic frame. The discussion rounds out with Darren asking Allan for his advice on how future Australian governments can integrate geoeconomic approaches into future policy.

Finally, the very high-profile case of Julian Assange, as well as two other members of the Australian community (Hakeem al-Araibi and Yang Hengjun) shine a spotlight on the consular work of Australian diplomats. What is the decision-making calculus the government, and consular officials on the ground, take when deciding whether and how to make representations on behalf of Australians who somehow fall afoul of local authorities while abroad?

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

Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Goes on the Offensive Against China’s Empire-Building Funding Plan” : https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-goes-on-the-offensive-against-chinas-empire-building-megaplan-11554809402

Robert Kagan, “The strongmen strike back”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2019/03/14/feature/the-strongmen-strike-back/?utm_term=.38b19f87a8fa

theringer.com “Talk the thrones” (Season 8, Ep 1 recap): https://www.theringer.com/game-of-thrones/2019/4/14/18308095/talk-the-thrones-game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-1

Vox.com “Who will win Game of Thrones, explained by political science”: https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/4/15/18311189/game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-1-recap-war

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