Department of International Relations Research Seminar
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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.