Australia as a Good International Citizen: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Australia as a Good International Citizen

1st Edition

By Alison Pert

Federation Press

288 pages

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Description

From time to time, politicians describe Australia as a “good international citizen”. But what does this mean, exactly? What constitutes good international citizenship? And does Australia really qualify as a good international citizen? This book attempts to answer these questions.

Very little has been written about good international citizenship. Most of the limited literature is by international relations scholars and practitioners and therefore naturally tends to focus on Australian foreign policy. Nobody has ventured a definition of the term, or even a list of qualities that a good international citizen should possess. This book therefore begins by proposing such a list, and identifies two particularly important elements: compliance with international law, and support for multilateralism.

Using these elements as a yardstick, Dr Pert then seeks to measure Australia’s good international citizenship throughout its post-Federation history. Account is given of the shenanigans of Billy Hughes at the 1919 peace conference in Versailles (not a great example of good international citizenship); the forgotten contribution to international economic and social cooperation of Stanley Bruce in the late 1930s; “Doc” Evatt’s astonishing performance at San Francisco in 1945, where the United Nations Charter was negotiated, and his personal influence on the form the new world organisation was to take; the almost dormant Menzies years; the Whitlam revolution and re-engagement with the world; and the Fraser reaction. The analysis continues with the Hawke/Keating, Howard, and Rudd/Gillard governments.

One of the main conclusions the book draws from this analysis is that states – whether Australia or others such as the archetypically “good” Scandinavian states – can be paragons of good international citizenship in one area (say, overseas aid) but the opposite in another (such as repulsion of asylum-seekers, or arms exports). Thus, it argues, “good international citizenship” is not a blanket term that can be applied to a state. Instead, a state can be a good international citizen in some areas, and quite the opposite in others. A full account of how Australia rates from this perspective is given from Federation to the demise of the second Rudd government in 2013.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION, CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS A "GOOD INTERNATIONAL CITIZEN"?, CHAPTER 2: FROM FEDERATION TO VERSAILLES 1901-1919, CHAPTER 3: 1919-1941, CHAPTER 4: 1941-1972, CHAPTER 5: WHITLAM AND FRASER 1972-1983, CHAPTER 6: THE HAWKE AND KEATING GOVERNMENTS 1983-1996, CHAPTER 7: THE HOWARD YEARS 1996-2007, CHAPTER 8: THE RUDD AND GILLARD GOVERNMENTS 2007-2013, CHAPTER 9: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

About the Author

Alison Pert has lectured at the University of Sydney in international law, with a special interest in international law on the use of force and international humanitarian law, since 2003. She qualified as a barrister in London after a pupillage with (now) Dame Rosalyn Higgins QC and has practised as a lawyer in government and the private sector in London, Papua New Guinea and Australia. She has represented Australia at international organisations including Unidroit and UNCITRAL, and in treaty negotiations. Her interests in the convergence of politics, international law and international relations led to her doctorate, awarded in 2010, on good international citizenship.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General