1st Edition

Australia on the World Stage History, Politics, and International Relations

    234 Pages 5 Color & 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 5 Color & 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 5 Color & 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Australia on the World Stage: History, Politics, and International Relations offers a fresh examination of Australia’s past and present. From the complex interactions of First Nations to modern international relations with significant partners and allies, it examines the forces that have influenced the place now called Australia both historically and today. It is a unique history told in two parts.

    The first half of the book examines the way Australia acted on the world stage both before and after British colonisation. It outlines the evolution of Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom, first as colonies, then a dominion, and finally as an independent nation. It finishes with a First Nations perspective on foreign relations. The second half of the book provides a wide-ranging history of Australia’s dealings with major powers, the United States and China, as well as its relationships with New Zealand, Aotearoa, the Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Japan, Antarctica, and the United Nations. Written by leading and emerging researchers in their fields, this book encourages the reader to consider Australia’s performance on the world stage over the longue durée, well before the word ‘Australia’ was ever dreamt up.

    This interdisciplinary work challenges lazy stereotypes that see Australia's international history as fixed and uncontested. In revisiting Australia’s foreign relations, this work also asks the reader to consider its future directions. 


    1. When and Where is Australia?

    Bridget Brooklyn, Benjamin T. Jones, and Rebecca Strating

    Part I

    Before Australia

    Lawrence Bamblett

    Australia Before Responsible Government (1606 – 1856)

    Carol Liston

    From British Australasia to Federation: No Linear Progression

    André Brett

    Federation to the Second World War: Australian Identity and Anzac

    Bridget Brooklyn

    British Dominion to Almost Republic: Australia Responds to the End of Empire

    Benjamin T. Jones

    First Nations and Australia: Walking together or walking alone?

    James Blackwell

    Part II

    The Unbreakable Alliance? Strategic Dependence and Australia’s US Alliance

    Rebecca Strating

    The Harder They Fall: Australia-China relations in Xi Jinping’s New Era

    John Fitzgerald

    Australia-Japan Relations: Close ties and shared aspirations

    David Walton

    Australia and Indonesia: The Persistence of Distance between Proximate Neighbours

    Michael O’Keefe

    Pacific Nation or Neighbour?: Australia’s relationship with New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific

    Helen Bones and Nicholas Ferns

    Australia’s Southern Flank: Antarctica

    Elizabeth Buchanan

    Australia and the United Nations

    Roland Burke and Jon Piccini


    Bridget Brooklyn is a Lecturer in Australian History at Western Sydney University. Recent publications are ‘Mary Booth's Imperial Nationalism in the Aftermath of the Great War, in After the Armistice: Empire, Endgame and Aftermath ed. M. J. Walsh & A. Varnava (Routledge, 2021), and ‘Mnemosyne and Athena: Mary Booth, Anzac, and the Language of Remembrance in the First World War and After’, in Expressions of War in Australia and the Pacific: Language, Trauma, Memory, and Official Discourse ed. A. Laugesen & C. Fisher (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

    Benjamin T. Jones is a Senior Lecturer in History at Central Queensland University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Studies Institute. He also serves on the national executive committee of the Australian Historical Association. His most recent books are History in a Post-Truth World (Routledge, 2020) and This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future (Redback, 2018).

    Rebecca Strating is the Director of La Trobe Asia and an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Her most recent book was Defending the Maritime Rules-based Order: Regional Responses to the South China Sea Disputes (East West Center, 2020).