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Honouring a Nation »

A History of Australia's Honours System

Authored by: Karen Fox
Publication date: January 2022
The first detailed history of imperial and national honours in Australia, Honouring a Nation tells the story of the honours system’s transformation from instrument of imperial unity to national institution. From the extension of British honours to colonial Australasia in the nineteenth century, through to Tony Abbott’s revival of knighthoods in the twenty-first, this book explains how the system has worked, traces the arguments of its supporters and critics, and looks both at those who received awards and those who declined them. Honouring a Nation brings to life a long history of debate over honours, including wrangles over State rights, gender imbalances in honours lists, and the emergence and hardening of the Labor/Liberal divide over British awards, illuminating issues that are still part of Australian life—and of the honours system—today. The history of the honours system is equally the history of the nation, revealing who Australians were, what they have become, what they value, and the things that have unified and divided them. ‘National honours are a fraught recognition of merit. They beg many questions: who decides, why some people are recognised, and others ignored. Honours provide a window to the soul of the nation and invite us to consider who we really are and what we value. These are big issues to ponder. Karen Fox provides many of the answers in this timely, lively and important book.’ — Julianne Schultz AM FAHA, Emeritus Professor Media and Culture, Griffith University ‘Give Karen Fox a gong: for distinguished service to Australian culture in recognition of her authoritative yet entertaining account of how a supposedly egalitarian country embraced knighthoods, OAs and other baubles.’ — Richard White, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and author of Inventing Australia ‘Karen Fox has written an intelligent, incisive and intriguing account of how Australians have acknowledged and elevated their fellow citizens, from the founding of the first colony to the present day … a work packed with insights about the ever-shifting determinants of social hierarchy, individual merit and public esteem … a thoroughly stimulating read.’ — Stuart Ward, Head of the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen ‘At last, a definitive account of the Australian honours system, from the First Fleet to 2021. Honours serve as a prism through which to view imperial strategies, federal rivalries and partisan, class-based and gender politics, with many scandals and controversies along the way. Karen Fox has given us a book that is both topical and compelling on evolving national identity and honours as a symbol of exclusion or inclusion.’ — Marian Sawer AO, Emeritus Professor, The Australian National University

Papua New Guinea »

Government, Economy and Society

Publication date: 2022
Papua New Guinea (PNG), a nation now of almost nine million people, continues to evolve and adapt. While there is no shortage of recent data and research on PNG, the two most recent social science volumes on the country were both written more than a decade ago. Since then, much has changed and much has been learnt. What has been missing is a volume that brings together the most recent research and reports on the most recent data. Papua New Guinea: Government, Economy and Society fills that gap. Written by experts at the University of Papua New Guinea and The Australian National University among others, this book provides up-to-date surveys of critical policy issues for PNG across a range of fields, from elections and politics, decentralisation, and crime and corruption, to PNG’s economic trajectory and household living standards, to uneven development, communication and the media. The volume’s authors provide an overview of the data collected and research undertaken in these various fields in an engaging and accessible way. Edited by Professor Stephen Howes and Professor Lekshmi N. Pillai, Papua New Guinea: Government, Economy and Society is a must-read for students, policymakers and anyone interested in understanding this complex and fascinating country.

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A Genealogy of Bamboo Diplomacy »

The Politics of Thai Détente with Russia and China

Authored by: Jittipat Poonkham
Publication date: January 2022
In 1975, M.R. Kurkrit Pramoj met Mao Zedong, marking the eventual establishment of diplomatic relations and a discursive rupture with the previous narrative of Communist powers as an existential threat. This book critically interrogates the birth of bamboo (bending with the wind) diplomacy and the politics of Thai détente with Russia and China in the long 1970s (1968–80). By 1968, Thailand was encountering discursive anxiety amid the prospect of American retrenchment from the Indo-Pacific region. As such, Thailand developed a new discourse of détente to make sense of the rapidly changing world politics and replace the hegemonic discourse of anticommunism. By doing so, it created a political struggle between the old and new discourses. Jittipat Poonkham also argues that bamboo diplomacy – previously seen as a classic and continual ‘tradition’ of Thai-style diplomacy – had its origins in Thai détente and has become the metanarrative of Thai diplomacy since then. Based on a genealogical approach and multi‑archival research, this book examines three key episodes of Thai détente: Thanat Khoman (1968–71), M.R. Kukrit Pramoj (1975–76), and General Kriangsak Chomanan (1977–80). This transformation was represented in numerous diplomatic/discursive practices, such as ping‑pong diplomacy, petro‑diplomacy, trade and cultural diplomacy, and normal visits.

Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation »

Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century

Publication date: December 2021
In an era of great power competition, the role of alliances in managing escalation of conflict has acquired renewed importance. Nuclear weapons remain the ultimate means for deterrence and controlling escalation, and are central to US alliances in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. However, allies themselves need to better prepare for managing escalation in an increasingly challenging geostrategic and technological environment for the US and its allies. While the challenge of great power competition is acute at both ends of Eurasia, adversary threats, geography and the institutional context of US alliances differ. This book brings together leading experts from Europe, Northeast Asia, the United States and Australia to focus on these challenges, identify commonalities and differences across regions, and pinpoint ways to collectively manage nuclear deterrence and potential escalation pathways in America’s 21st century alliances. ‘Nuclear weapons play an important role in deterrence and preventing military conflict between great powers, while also posing an existential threat to humanity. It is vital that we have a nuanced understanding of this important challenge, so that such weapons are never used. This book offers many important perspectives and makes a significant contribution to the overall debate about these powerful weapons.’ — The Hon Julie Bishop, Chancellor, The Australian National University, Former Foreign Minister of Australia ‘This timely book identifies a wide range of challenges US alliances both in the Indo-Pacific and Euro-Atlantic face as they seek to ensure the value of US extended deterrence, particular the US nuclear umbrella, against China and Russia. This unique collection of chapters written by experts in US allies in both regions presents widely varying security perceptions and priorities. To understand such differences is the key to globally strengthen the US alliance systems, which are a significant advantage Washington enjoys over the two competitors.’ — Yukio Satoh, former President of The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) ‘This is a timely and thoughtful collection of essays that should serve to jumpstart public discussion and debate—the absence of which is widely noted and much bemoaned. Each contributor examines an aspect of the complicated, multifaceted nuclear debate by discussing the range of dilemmas from deterrence to disarmament. The various views set out here are more relevant than ever as Russia, China and the United States flex their nuclear muscles in new and sometimes dangerous ways. This book should be read by anyone interested in the preventing the use of nuclear weapons and understanding complexities of alliances in an increasingly dangerous world.’ — Madelyn Creedon, former Principal Deputy Administrator of the US National Nuclear Security Administration and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs

Japan at War and Peace »

Shidehara Kijūrō and the Making of Modern Diplomacy

Authored by: Ryuji Hattori
Publication date: December 2021
The question of how to maintain the continuity of diplomacy while developing democracy without military intervention is an old and new issue. The challenge can be described as a dilemma between democracy and diplomatic coherence. This dilemma is not unique to the twenty-first century; it has been a constant challenge to the development of democracy. In non-Western countries, democratisation originated in the nineteenth century and has had many successes and failures. After the Russo-Japanese War, political parties began to take power in Japan. The best embodiment of diplomacy in Japan’s emerging democracy—the development of parliamentary democracy and mass-based democracy—is Shidehara Kijūrō (1872–1951), who served as foreign minister from 1924 to 1927 and from 1929 to 1931, and was prime minister from 1945 to 1946. As a diplomat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shidehara had long grappled with the issue of how to ensure diplomatic coherence in modern Japan, which was becoming increasingly democratic. Although Shidehara succeeded to some extent in promoting diplomacy in cooperation with the US and the UK under party politics, the rise of the military after the Manchurian Incident forced him to retire for a period. However, after the Pacific War, Shidehara became prime minister of the US-occupied Japan and attempted to restore cooperative diplomacy under party politics. Shidehara came to the conclusion that the way to achieve both democracy and diplomatic coherence was through nonpartisan diplomacy towards peace. This book examines the tension between diplomacy and democracy, focusing on Shidehara’s life and exploring modern Japan’s footsteps. Shidehara was undoubtedly one of Japan’s most important diplomatic figures.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 13, Number 4, 2021 »

Publication date: December 2021
Surrounded by great powers, South Korea has weathered the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic in its own unique way. Aspirations for greater autonomy and self-reliance are also driving significant changes to Seoul’s political and security postures amid intensifying regional tensions, and serve as a backdrop as South Koreans elect their next president in early 2022. This East Asia Forum Quarterly examines how South Korea is confronting the big challenges of our time, including public health, green energy, political polarisation, minority rights, denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and the global rise of K-pop.
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Made in China Journal: Volume 6, Issue 2, 2021 »

Publication date: December 2021
Since its announcement in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the main lens through which both observers and stakeholders trace China’s global footprint. Whether cheered on as a new engine of economic development in a fraught and increasingly unequal world or frowned on as a masterplan through which the Chinese authorities are attempting to establish global hegemony, the infrastructure component of the BRI has become such an important frame in discussions of Global China that less tangible aspects that are not in its purview tend to be lost or overlooked. One of these neglected dimensions is China’s long history of international engagement aimed at building economic, political, social, and cultural ties in both the Global North and the Global South. Frequently, we tend to forget how the international presence of Chinese actors we are currently observing did not just happen overnight, but was built on decades of experience of China’s interaction with the rest of the world. In the belief that examining these historical precedents can help us shed light on both the continuities and the discontinuities in the practices of today and that only by digging into the dirt of history can we excavate the roots of the dynamics we are witnessing, this issue is dedicated to the ‘archaeologies of the BRI’.

Xinjiang Year Zero »

Publication date: 2021
Since 2017, the Chinese authorities have detained hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in ‘reeducation camps’ in China’s northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region. While the official reason for this mass detention was to prevent terrorism, the campaign has since become a wholesale attempt to remould the ways of life of these peoples—an experiment in social engineering aimed at erasing their cultures and traditions in order to transform them into ‘civilised’ citizens as construed by the Chinese state. Through a collection of essays penned by scholars who have conducted extensive research in the region, this volume sets itself three goals: first, to document the reality of the emerging surveillance state and coercive assimilation unfolding in Xinjiang in recent years and continuing today; second, to describe the workings and analyse the causes of these policies, highlighting how these developments insert themselves not only in domestic Chinese trends, but also in broader global dynamics; and, third, to propose action, to heed the progressive Left’s call since Marx to change the world and not just analyse it. ‘Xinjiang Year Zero provides an analysis of the processes of dispossession being experienced by Uyghurs and other indigenous peoples of China’s Uyghur region that is sorely needed today. Most politicians and their followers today, whether on the left or the right, view what is happening to the peoples of this region through a twentieth-century lens steeped in dichotomies that are obsolete in describing the nature of states today—those of capitalism vs socialism and democracy vs totalitarianism. The contributors to this volume explore what is happening in Xinjiang in the context of the twenty-first century’s racialised and populist-fuelled state power, global capitalist exploitation, and ubiquitous surveillance technology. At the same time, they invite the reader to reflect on how the processes of dispossession in the Uyghur region during the twenty-first century are repeating the colonial practices of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that have shaped our current global system of inequality and oppression. The result offers an analysis of what is happening in Xinjiang that emphasises its interconnectedness to what is happening around us everywhere in the world. If you believe that the repression in this region is a fabrication to ‘manufacture consent’ for a cold war between the “West” and China, you need to read this book. Afterwards, you will understand that if you want to stop a return to the twentieth-century geopolitical conflicts embodied in the idea of a cold war, you must establish solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of China’s northwest and call for the end to the global processes fuelling their dispossession both inside China and outside.’ — Sean R. Roberts, Director of International Development Studies, The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and author of The War on the Uyghurs ‘Xinjiang Year Zero provides a highly readable and utterly necessary account of what is happening in Xinjiang and why. By showing how the mass detentions of Uyghurs and other Xinjiang Muslims are linked to both global capitalism and histories of settler colonialism, the edited book offers new ways of understanding the situation and thus working toward change. A must-read not only for those interested in contemporary China, but also for anyone who cares about digital surveillance and dispossession around the globe.’ — Emily T. Yeh, University of Colorado Boulder, author of Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development ‘The crisis in Xinjiang has engendered its own crisis of interpretation and action at a time of growing geopolitical rivalry: how to condemn the atrocities without supporting hawkish voices, particularly among US politicians, who seek to Cold War-ise the US relationship with “Communist China”? How to critique China for colonialism, racism, assimilationism, extra-legal internment, and coerced labour when many Western nations are built on a history of those same things? Xinjiang Year Zero not only provides non-specialists a thorough, readable, up-to-date account of events in Xinjiang. This much-needed book also offers a broader framing of the crisis, drawing comparisons to settler colonialism elsewhere and revealing direct connections to global capitalism and to the rise of technological surveillance everywhere.’ — James A. Millward, Georgetown University, author of Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang

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The Genesis of a Policy »

Defining and Defending Australia's National Interest in the Asia-Pacific, 1921–57

Authored by: Honae Cuffe
Publication date: November 2021
The years 1921–57 marked a period of immense upheaval for Australia as the nation navigated economic crises, the threat of aggressive Japanese expansion and shifting power distributions with the world transitioning from British leadership to that of the US. This book offers a reassessment of Australia’s foreign policy origins and maturation during these tumultuous years. Successive Australian governments carefully observed these global and regional forces. The policy that developed in response was an integrated one—that is, one that sought to balance Australia’s particular geopolitical circumstances with great power relationships and, in assessing the value of these relationships, ensure that the nation’s trade, security and diplomatic interests were served. Amid the economic and strategic uncertainty of the interwar years, the Australian government acknowledged the shifting power distributions in the global and Asia-Pacific orders and that neither the policies of Britain nor the US completely served the national interest. The nation, accordingly, sought to intervene within the policies of the great powers to ensure its particular interests were secured. This geopolitically informed, interventionist approach, which had its genesis in the 1930s, is traced throughout the 1940s and 1950s, highlighting Australia’s gradual and uneven transition from the British world order to that of the US and the frank assessments made about which relationship best served Australia’s interests. The Genesis of a Policy identifies a comprehensive and pragmatic approach—albeit not always effectively executed—in Australian foreign policy tradition that has not been previously examined.

New Dimensions of Connectivity in the Asia-Pacific »

Publication date: November 2021
There is no bigger policy agenda in the East Asian region than connectivity. Costs of international connectivity are indeed falling, in the movement of goods, services, people and data, leading to greater flows, and to the reorganisation of business and the emergence of new forms of international transactions. There are second-round effects on productivity and growth, and on equity and inclusiveness. Participating in trade across borders involves significant set-up costs and, if these costs are lowered due to falling full costs of connectivity, more firms will participate, which is a driver of productivity growth and innovation at the firm level. Connectivity investments are linked to poverty reduction, since they reduce the costs of participating in markets. This volume includes chapters on the consequences of changes in both physical and digital connectivity for trade, for the location of economic activity, for forms of doing business, the growth of e-commerce in particular, and for the delivery of new services, especially in the financial sector. A study of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is also included. These studies are preceded by an assessment of the connectivity performance in the Asia-Pacific region and followed by a discussion of impediments to investment in projects that contribute to productivity. The collection as a whole provides the basis for a series of recommendations for regional cooperation. The Pacific Trade and Development (PAFTAD) conference series has been at the forefront of analysing challenges facing the economies of East Asia and the Pacific since its first meeting in Tokyo in January 1968.