Unipolar anxieties: Australia's Melanesia policy after the age of intervention

16 November 2015


As a consequence of its membership of a US-centred global alliance network, Australia’s regional obligations in the South Pacific are as pertinent to Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands’s drawdown as they were to its inception. Canberra’s imperatives in the Pacific have been stabilization and the exclusion of hostile interests. Three challenges—the rise of China, the Islamic State insurgency, and the democratic discontinuities in key regional players—have undermined interest in interventions in both Australia and the US. The growing influence of Asian powers in the Pacific has given rise to new exclusion concerns in Australia, and to a greater degree in the US. Rather than retrench from the South Pacific, Canberra has an opportunity to re-conceive the Pacific as an arc of opportunity, particularly in developing new forms of engagement with rising regional powers.

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Joanne Wallis, Michael Wesley, 2015, Unipolar anxieties: Australia's Melanesia policy after the age of intervention, Crawford School of Public Policy, viewed 29 April 2017, <http://apo.org.au/node/60934>.

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