Why do we support Donald Trump? The perverse consequences of alliance politics

Event details

Department of International Relations Research Seminar

Date & time

Monday 18 September 2017
3pm–4.30pm

Venue

SDSC Reading Room, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra

Speaker

Professor Mark Beeson, University of Western Australia

Contacts

Bell School

Donald Trump is possibly the most unpredictable, unprepared, and temperamentally unsuited person ever to be elected president of the US. Even his own political party is aghast at some of his actions. The familiar basis of US regional engagement that has been in place for half a century may be replaced by a more ‘transactional’ approach to foreign policy that places ‘America’s national interest’ ahead of all others. Yet Australia’s political and strategic elites continue to offer largely uncritical support for the alliance in general and even for Trump himself. This takes some explaining and ought to be the subject of intense debate and scrutiny. Remarkably enough, however, the conventional wisdom about the benefits of the alliance and the need for Australia to support the US remains in place. This presentation considers why this is the case and what it might mean.

Mark Beeson is Professor of International Politics at the University of Western Australia. Before joining UWA, he taught at Murdoch, Griffith, Queensland, York (UK) and Birmingham, where he was also head of department. He is the founding editor of Critical Studies of the Asia Pacific.

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