Australia as an Asia-Pacific Regional Power: Friendships in Flux?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Australia as an Asia-Pacific Regional Power

Friendships in Flux?, 1st Edition

Edited by Brendan Taylor


220 pages

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During recent years, in its traditional role as an important Asia-Pacific regional power, Australia has had to cope with a rapidly changing external security environment and a series of new challenges, including a rising China, an increasingly assertive United States, and most notably the Global War against Terror.

This book considers the changing nature of Australia’s identity and role in the Asia-Pacific, and the forces behind these developments, with particular attention towards security alignments and alliance relationships. It outlines the contours of Australia’s traditional role as a key regional middle power and the patterns of its heavy reliance on security alignments and alliances. Brendan Taylor goes on to consider Australia’s relationships with other regional powers including Japan, China, Indonesia and India, uncovering the underlying purposes and expectations associated with these relationships, their evolving character – particularly in the post Cold War era – and likely future directions. He discusses the implications for the region of Australia’s new ‘Pacific doctrine’ of intervention, whether Australia’s traditional alliance preferences are compatible with the emergence of a new East Asian security mechanism, and the impact of new, transnational and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and failed states.

Table of Contents

Foreword Coral Bell Part 1: Laying the Table 1. Introduction Brendan Taylor 2. Alliances and Alignments in the Twenty-First Century William Tow Part 2: Dining with Giants 3. Australia–United States Paul Dibb 4. Australia–Japan Brendan Taylor and Desmond Ball 5. Australia–China Michael Wesley 6. Australia–India Sandy Gordon Part 3: Working the Room 7. Australia–Indonesia Allan Gyngell 8. Australia–South Pacific Hugh White 9. Australia–New Zealand Robert Ayson 10. Australia–Singapore Ron Huisken Part 4: Washing Up 11. Threats without Enemies: Are Australia’s Alliances and Alignments Still Relevant? Christopher Chung 12. Australia’s Changing Alliances and Alignments: Towards a New Diplomatic Two-Step? Pauline Kerr and Shannon Tow

About the Editor

Brendan Taylor is a Lecturer in the Graduate Studies in Strategy and Defence program at the Australian National University. He is a specialist on Northeast Asian security, American foreign policy, economic statecraft and alliance politics.

About the Series

Routledge Security in Asia Pacific Series

Series editors: Leszek Buszynski and William Tow, both Australian National University


New security concerns are emerging in the Asia Pacific region as global players face challenges from rising great powers, all of which interact with confident middle powers in complicated ways. This series puts forward important new work on key security issues in the region. It embraces the roles of the major actors, their defense policies and postures and their security interaction over the key issues of the region. It includes coverage of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, the Koreas, as well as the middle powers of ASEAN and South Asia. It also covers issues relating to environmental and economic security as well as transnational actors and regional groupings.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / International
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies