Australian Foreign Policy

Controversies and Debates

Daniel Baldino, Andrew Carr, Anthony J. Langlois

Australian Foreign Policy

Controversies and Debates

Daniel Baldino, Andrew Carr, Anthony J. Langlois






6 Jun 2014


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The emphasis of Australian Foreign Policy: Controversies and Debates is to expose and examine the core debates and multiple dilemmas that define foreign policy in Australia. Each chapter is made up on an introduction and a debate which encourages critical understanding of the multiple influences on the formulation, implementation and transformation of Australian foreign policy. This format weighs the pros and cons of various controversial interpretations of major events related to foreign policy in the 21st century. Key bilateral relationships, including China, Indonesia and the US, are investigated and contemporary issues such as human rights, transnational terrorism, international environmental issues, human security and economic globalisation are featured. 

Key features

  • Discussion questions at the end of each chapter encourage readers to critically evaluate the debates.
  • Coverage of contemporary issues such as Australia’s relationships with China and Indonesia, asylum seekers and climate change - will engage readers.
  • Boxes throughout the text  - explain key definitions and documents, and emphasise extra information and materials.

This book is the recipient of the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ publication support grant.


Part I: Origins & Organisation of Australian Foreign Policy
Debate Point: Should Realism guide Australia's National Interest?
2. The Liberal/Labor Tradition
3. Media and the Making of Foreign Policy
Debate Point: It is unwise for governments to make foreign policy in response to media-driven agendas
4. Australian Diplomacy and Multilateralism
5. The Global Economy
Debate Point: Does an open-free market economy make Australia more or less secure in a globalised world?
6. Terrorism
Debate Point: The threat of terrorism is exaggerated
Debate Point: Australia is, and always has been, a pliant ally - a lapdog - that too readily follows the US
8. ANZUS and the Rise of China
9. Relations with Indonesia
Debate Point: Indonesia remains Australia's biggest blind spot
10. Australia in the Pacific
Debate Point: Australia should be seen as a 'bully' or 'neo-colonialist' in light of its foreign policy in the Pacific region and its relationships with its regional neighbours
Part III: The Future of Australian Foreign Policy
Debate Point: The world is becoming more hostile and Australia should increase its defence spending
12. Good International Citizenship
13. Australia and Climate Change
Debate Point: Is Australia a climate change laggard rather than a climate change leader?
Debate Point: The debate about asylum seekers proves that Australia is a frightened country
15. Religion and Foreign Policy



Daniel Baldino - Head of the Politics and International Relations Discipline, University of Notre Dame
Andrew Carr - Research Fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University
Anthony J. Langlois - Associate Professor and Head of International Relations in the School of International Studies, Flinders University 


Adela Alfonsi
Daniel Baldino
Alison Broinowski
Scott Burchill
David Cappo
Andrew Carr
Malcolm Cook
James Curran
Rawdon Dalrymple
Rémy Davison
Timothy Doyle
Martin Drum
Tim Dunne
Robyn Eckersley
Josh Frydenberg
Martin Griffiths
Ian Hall
Neil James
David Martin Jones
Shamsul Khan
Anthony J. Langlois
John Langmore
Peter Leahy
Matt McDonald
William Maley
Andrew O’Neil
Melissa Parke
Peter Robertson
Jonathan Schultz
Peter van Onselen
Tim Verhoeven
Joanne Wallis

Lecturer Resources

The following resources are available for lecturers who prescribe Australian Foreign Policy: Controversies and Debates for their course:

  • PowerPoint slides

For more information about the resources for Australian Foreign Policy: Controversies and Debates, please contact your Oxford Territory Manager.

Sample Pages