Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ Category

Fear of a non-white planet

August 18, 2011

The Indian political psychologist Ashis Nandy has suggested that Australia’s tendency to see itself as a colonial power, when in actual fact it is a colonised society, means that there has been an ongoing struggle for our supposedly rightful status as ‘a European colonial power with a civilizing mission.’ This struggle has fostered a fear that ‘even faint streaks of yellow, black, or brown detract from Australia’s nationhood’, which in turn has promoted the active denial of cultural space to others.  This anxiety is now a feature of Australian political culture, playing out in electoral battles and other ideological contests concerning, for example, our acceptance or rejection of asylum seekers.

Page 32 of Sarah Maddison’s “Beyond White Guilt”


Book: “There goes the neighbourhood”

July 2, 2011

Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Wesley this month releases There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia. At the heart of the book is a paradox: Australia is richer than it has ever been after two decades of prosperity, and has escaped relatively unscathed from the global financial crisis. Our riches stem from our increasing trade engagement with the world, especially the flowering Asian economies to our north, and yet as a nation we are increasingly insular, complacent and incurious about that world. Upheavals are afoot, and it seems we don’t want to know. “Australia is entering a strange new world”, argues Wesley, “for which it is nowhere near psychologically or attitudinally prepared.”
Neighbourhood Watch
Luke Stegemann, Adelaide Review May 2011

Defence? It’s a gas…

June 23, 2011

Defence focus shifts to oil, gas
John Kerin and Peter Kerr
Australian Financial Review 23 June 2011
More of Australia’s soldiers, fighter aircraft and warships will probably be moved to Western Australia and the Northern Territory to refocus the country’s defence on Asia and to protect oil and gas fields driving the resource boom….

[Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett] downplayed suggestions that the United States would piggyback on the move to develop a greater military presence in the area – possibly basing warships at Perth’s Garden Island.