Author Archives: Mark Beeson

Mark Beeson

About Mark Beeson

Mark Beeson is Professor of International Politics at the University of Western Australia. His latest book is Environmental Anarchy? International Relations Theory and Practice in the Anthropocene, (Bristol University Press: 2021 He has also written Environmental Populism: The Politics of Survival; in the Anthropocene Plagrave 2019 Twitter:@Antipodemia

2020: Apocalypse now (or next year)

2020 was an unambiguously bad year. Unfortunately it won’t be the last. Will political rhetoric eventually have to change to acknowledge this?

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China is not the urgent threat; climate change is

Spending priorities by the federal government are increasingly questionable, if not indefensible; they raise fundamental questions about the competence and intelligence of our policymaking elites.

Posted in Climate, Defence and Security, Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

The perils of pedagogy

The government hates social scientists and our views often do little to improve the mental well-being of students. Should we shut up to protect our self-interest and keep our version of the truth from our students to protect them?

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Indefensible policies – Defence Strategic Update

The recently released Strategic Update may please traditional security analysts, but it won’t  influence the behaviour of China or make individual Australians any safer.

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MARK BEESON. The PRC is getting harder to like, but so is the US

China’s foreign and domestic policies are getting increasingly difficult to deal with, but so are America’s. A more even-handed approach to both might make life easier for Australian policymakers.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 3 Comments

MARK BEESON. The blame shifter in chief

Donald Trump is notorious for trying to shift the blame for his mistakes onto others. It’s one of his most egregious failings as a leader.

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

MARK BEESON. What’s at stake in the Coronavirus crisis?

The Coronavirus is causing a political crisis as well as the more obvious medical variety. Some governments may not recover.

Posted in Health, Politics | 4 Comments

MARK BEESON. Morrison’s surprising character defects: faith and optimism

Being a leader, even of a lucky country like Australia, isn’t getting any easier. To be fair, these are difficult times for any leader, even the most competent ones. It’s worth asking how FDR, Churchill or even Bismarck would have … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

MARK BEESON. The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy, Vince Scappatura, Monash Publishing (a review)

One of the most enduring features of Australia’s foreign and strategic policies is the close relationship between this country and the United States. A number of other countries such as Britain and Japan also claim to have a ‘special relationship’ … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence and Security, World Affairs | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. Global governance in the 21st century

Global governance is hard to define, difficult to achieve, but more necessary than ever. 

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. China’s Rise and the rules-based liberal order: Implications for Australia

The prosperity of millions of Australians has become dependent on the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This unambiguous material reality explains why Australian policymakers and commentators spend so much time fretting about how to manage the relationship. The sheer material … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. Politics and climate change: Academia’s missing contribution

Academics who specialise political science are frequently not taking the implications of their discipline seriously when it comes to climate change.

Posted in Climate | 4 Comments

MARK BEESON. Can Trump be socialised into good behaviour and policymaking?

Will Donald Trump have a lasting and possibly pernicious impact on American foreign policy, or will the so-called ‘adults’ in his administration educate him and change his ways? 

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON: Agents of influence

A form of groupthink about relations with China and the United States has become pervasive in Canberra. Ironically, this situation is encouraged by the influence of the US, despite the current hysteria surrounding relations with the PRC.

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MARK BEESON: When worlds collide: The unlikely relationship between Australia and China

The debate about Australia’s relationship with China is characterized by a degree of mutual incomprehension born of difference. Both sides share some of the blame for the current bilateral tensions.

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. Western Australia and the resource curse

 The failure of successive WA governments to tax the resource sector effectively has meant that much of revenue generated by the most recent resource boom was appropriated by the multinational corporations that dominate the sector – more than 80 per … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. The unconventional wisdom

When it comes to military matters, there is – forgive the pun – a remarkable uniformity of opinion. Sensible and serious observers agree that not only is the ANZUS alliance the indispensable bedrock of national security, but Australian policymakers would … Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. Dysfunction rules, OK?

Britain’s election result was a shock, even in today’s volatile political climate.  The outcome is potentially disastrous, but it is unclear whether Corbyn could have pursued his agenda even if he had actually won.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. ANZUS: Too obliging for our own good?

Malcolm Turnbull is dropping everything and travelling to America to meet a man that only recently subjected him to a very public humiliation. Although members of the Trump administration have tried to make amends for this initial snub to a … Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security, World Affairs | 4 Comments

MARK BEESON. What it is to be popular

At a moment when the world needs informed responses to complex problems that transcend national borders, a retreat to nationalist tub-thumping is the last thing we need. Yes, there are important questions about who ‘we’ are and whom national public … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. WA and the politics of the resource curse. Take on the miners at your peril!

WA is but the most glaring example of the way that Australia’s politics have been directly affected by the politics of the so-called ‘resource curse’, when a powerful economic sector uses its disproportionate influence to shape political outcomes.  

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MARK BEESON. Turnbull turns toady for Trump

Let’s hope it’s worth it. Malcolm Turnbull has sacrificed whatever remaining credibility he may still have had as a small ‘l’ liberal in a desperate effort to save his tawdry deal with the American government. What looked like a brilliant … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, refugees, Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. New series: We can say ‘no’ to the Americans?

Getting to ‘no’ Ideas have their moments. The way we think about the world is partly a reflection of who ‘we’ are and partly a consequence of the times we live in. One of the biggest ideas that has informed … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. Trump’s America: the irresponsible stakeholder?

Will China fill the void that will be created by Trump? How times change. A decade or so ago, former World Bank president and deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick suggested to China that it needed to become a “responsible … Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security, Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. WA provides a masterclass in what not to do with a resources boom.

It wouldn’t be too unkind to suggest that Western Australia is not considered as the national benchmark of sophisticated public policy. Indeed, the state has recently attracted much attention – and derision – for the way its policy making elite … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. Crown: the trials of a tributary state.

Of all the indicators of Australia’s evolving relationship with China, Crown Casino’s current problems are some of the most striking, unexpected and revealing. They present an unflattering but painfully accurate vignette of this country’s increasingly dependent relationship with the People’s … Continue reading

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Mark Beeson. Australia still hasn’t had the debate on why we even need new submarines.

Australia is about to make its biggest-ever investment in military hardware. Although we don’t know yet whether Germany, France or Japan will be awarded the contract to build our 12 new submarines, it is possible to make a few confident … Continue reading

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