Author Archives: Joseph Camilleri
In Australia security policy is made largely behind closed doors, and subject to remarkably little scrutiny by parliament or our mainstream media. It has at best a fleeting presence in our political and public discourse.
On closer inspection, the immense financial, institutional, and rhetorical investment in this elaborate security edifice rests on questionable assumptions. The costs may far outweigh any likely benefits.
The Prime Minister has just announced the most hawkish turn in Australia’s defence policy since the end of the Cold War. All in the name of national security, the mantra of governments intent on justifying sprawling, costly and often unaccountable … Continue reading
To enter into a sustained and productive dialogue with China, Australia needs to do its homework. As indicated In Parts 1 and 2, both government and society have to cultivate a better understanding of contemporary China, its history, culture, economy … Continue reading
In Part 1 we saw that the post-1945 Western dominated world order is rapidly giving way to a multicentric world, in which different players, each with its own system of governance and civilisational inheritance, are vying for power and influence. … Continue reading
There is a growing sense that it’s time to step off the merry-go-round of China bashing and the Australia bashing that inevitably follows. But what is to take its place? Many would like to see a more solid foundation for … Continue reading
For some time now we have been routinely mishandling our relations with China. Our petulant demand for an international Covid-19 inquiry, whose thinly veiled purpose was to point the finger at Beijing’s misdeeds, is the latest in a long series … Continue reading
For weeks now Covid-19 has dominated the world’s media. We’ve had endless facts, advice and commentary on the virus itself, the number of deaths and infections, the level of testing, the do’s and don’ts of hygiene and social distancing, the … Continue reading
China is in the news and rightly so. If it’s not events in Hong Kong, it’s the China-US trade dispute, or tensions in the South China Sea, Beijing’s expanding influence in the South Pacific, the prospect of a Chinese military … Continue reading
It is two weeks since Australia went to the polls, but are we any wiser as to what actually transpired at the ballot box and during the preceding weeks of mind numbing electioneering? Politicians and commentators alike have single-mindedly focused … Continue reading
If ‘just peace’ requires peacemaking and peacebuilding to be sensitive to the cries of the poor and the cries of the Earth, how relevant is it to Australia’s present circumstances? If what is proposed is a holistic approach to the … Continue reading
Endemic violence, the hallmark of the last hundred years, shows no sign of abating. The death toll resulting from war in the 20th century is 187 million and probably higher. The number of armed conflicts in the world has risen … Continue reading
The acute tensions that disrupted the recent APEC summit, the Brexit fiasco in Britain, the rise of populist discourse and movements in much of Europe, the ‘theatre of the grotesque’ in Trump’s America, are just a few of the symptoms … Continue reading
Australia’s handling of its relations with China is rapidly descending into farce. Geoff Raby’s excellent piece (30 April) makes abundantly clear the principal factor at work, namely a nostalgic attachment to the US-led regional and global order of earlier years.
Across the country there is much amusement, and a good deal of bewilderment. People are asking: how can our subservience to Washington’s bidding hit such an all-time low? How can a government think it can shape Australia’s future security and … Continue reading
The result of the recent snap election called by Shinzo Abe and Japan’s steady military build-up are a portent of things to come. The Korean crisis, which owes at least as much to Washington’s flexing of military muscle as to … Continue reading
In the vain hope of minimising the catastrophic consequences of America’s 16-year long military intervention, Donald Trump has just announced yet another surge in its military presence in Afghanistan. Australia, like other allies, will also be asked to do more, … Continue reading
It is hard not to conclude that our major parties have been the primary stumbling block. They seem singularly ill equipped to envisage, let alone manage, the institutional changes called for by a globalising and increasingly interdependent world. If innovation … Continue reading
Australia at the crossroads of time and imagination Can Australia rise to the challenge of a rapidly transforming world or is it bound to the myths of a bygone age?
In a long and often exasperating presidential campaign, Americans and the world have been subjected to Donald Trump’s odious and often incoherent rhetoric, and from both sides much vitriol and endless accusations of deceit, crookedness and sexual misconduct. In this … Continue reading