Continental Drift : Australia's Search for a Regional Identity book cover
1st Edition

Continental Drift
Australia's Search for a Regional Identity

ISBN 9781138725317
Published January 12, 2018 by Routledge
250 Pages

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Book Description

This title was first published in 2003. Original, insightful and well-organized, Rawdon Dalrymple studies Australia's sense of vulnerability and attachment to distant protectors which has coexisted with tendencies of both assertiveness and complacency. Penetrating and authoritative the book examines the cautious development of Australian relations with East Asia during the 1980s and 1990s, with detailed coverage of the background to the Australian effort and critical analysis of where Australian forays into the politics of the region leave its standing in East Asia and the world today.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Living with vulnerability - from the beginning to 1983; Approaching an independent Australian foreign and defence policy; The persistence and decline of dependence; Promoting Australia's Asian future; Commitments and hesitations; Development, values, solidarity and fault lines; Australian efforts to qualify; Dealing with Indonesia; East Timor and the watershed in policy; Opportunities and constraints; Bibliography; Index.

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During a distinguished career in the Australian foreign service, Rawdon Dalrymple was on the Board of the Asian Development Bank, Minister in the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Australian Ambassador to Israel, Indonesia, the United States and Japan and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs. After retirement in 1994 he worked with Australian and international companies doing business in Asia and since 1997 he has taught at the University of Sydney where he has been a Visiting Professor. He has written extensively on international relations and has a monthly column in a major Japanese newspaper.


'Rawdon Dalrymple offers a very perceptive and well founded analysis of Australia’s policies towards East Asia over the past twenty years. Having served as Australian ambassador to Japan, the United States and Indonesia over twelve years he is extremely well informed on his subject. He offers trenchant and sometimes discomforting views on the consequences of Australian foreign policy for Australia’s relationship with East Asia in particular. He lets the reader in on many of Canberra’s secrets as to who did what and why. Well written, the book is hard to put down before the last page is reached.' Professor Robert O’Neill, University of Oxford, UK 'Dalrymple addresses Australia's biggest Foreign Policy issue authoritatively and with profound insight. The story of a hundred years of ignoring and attempting to reconcile the tension between this country's history and geography leads into the great challenges ahead. A splendid book in the best tradition of the top diplomat as reflective author.' Professor Ross Garnaut , Australian National University, Australia 'A joy to read...The author's insights are penetrating...This book is destined to be a CLASSIC. It really is a piece of first-rate scholarship and writing.' Dennis Rumley, Associate Professor, University of Western Australia, Australia ’ excellent book...worth reading...’ 'Rawdon Dalrymple had a distinguished diplomatic career...This is a thought-provoking book.' New Zealand International Review 'Dalrymple's book makes clear that we have no choice but to achieve a closer engagement with the Asian region, and it is the type of serious scholarly reflection that will be an outstanding resource for those who have the task of formulating new strategies.' Agenda