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From Howard to Abbott: Explaining change in Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa

Pijovic, Nikola

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This thesis examines Australia’s foreign policy engagement with African states and issues between 1996 and 2015. However, it effectively tells the story of Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa in the quarter century since the end of the Cold War. Examining the rule of three ideologically different Australian governments, the thesis argues that Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s experienced notable...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorPijovic, Nikola
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-18T02:03:48Z
dc.date.available2017-04-18T02:03:48Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/114616
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines Australia’s foreign policy engagement with African states and issues between 1996 and 2015. However, it effectively tells the story of Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa in the quarter century since the end of the Cold War. Examining the rule of three ideologically different Australian governments, the thesis argues that Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s experienced notable changes. The purpose of this thesis is to explain why these changes came about and what drove them. It argues that in order to understand changes in Australia’s foreign policy towards Africa, it is necessary to appreciate both structural and agential factors which have jointly impacted this foreign policy engagement. On the structural side the thesis recognizes issues such as the end of the Cold War and particularly apartheid in South Africa, as well as Africa’s post-millennial economic growth and the global commodities boom as highly salient factors underpinning a changing foreign policy engagement with Africa. On the agential side, the thesis recognizes the primacy of the interconnectedness of political party foreign policy outlooks and Australia’s key decision-makers (prime and foreign ministers) in affecting that changing foreign policy engagement. In utilizing the case study of foreign policy towards Africa, the thesis highlights a significant degree of partisanship in Australian foreign policy. This has broader implications for the understanding of Australian foreign policy in general. The thesis makes a distinction between what are perceived as core or fundamental, versus marginal or peripheral areas of Australia’s overall foreign policy agenda. It argues that while on core or fundamental issues and relationships, Australian foreign policy may exhibit a great degree of bipartisanship, on what are perceived as marginal or peripheral issues and relationships, the country’s’ foreign policy can be quite partisan. This thesis offers a four-fold contribution: firstly, to the understanding of Australia’s foreign policy engagement with African states and issues; secondly, to the understanding of Australia’s foreign policy more broadly; thirdly, to the field of Foreign Policy Analysis and its emphasis on the importance of agents in foreign policy-making; and fourthly, to Political Science, recognizing the importance of both structure and agency in driving political change.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectAfrica
dc.subjectAustralian foreign policy
dc.subjectmiddle power
dc.subjectforeign policy engagement
dc.subjectstructure and agency
dc.subjectSouth Africa
dc.titleFrom Howard to Abbott: Explaining change in Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorWesley, Michael
local.contributor.supervisorcontactmichael.wesley@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2017
local.description.notesThe author deposited 18/04/17
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2016
local.contributor.affiliationNational Security College, The Australian National University
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