Tensions in the Neighbourhood. "Continental Drift: Australia’s Search for a Regional Identity" by Rawdon Dalrymple and "Making Australian Foreign Policy" by Allan Gyngell and Michael Wesley. [review]
Dalrymple’s book is an exercise in thoughtful restraint. It provides an updated overview of the evolution of Australian foreign policy. In this respect, "Continental Drift" is a worthy successor to Sir Alan Watt’s seminal and equally conservative "The Evolution of Australian Foreign Policy" (1960). Dalrymple charts Australia's steady and unoriginal development as a player on the global stage. This development has seen the country forever riding on (or clinging to, or hiding beneath) the coat tails of 'great and powerful friends' — the UK until 1942, the US thereafter. It is a ride that Australians are loath, or too paranoid, to forfeit. In "Making Australian Foreign Policy", Gyngell and Wesley marry theory and practice sublimely. While it merits a much wider readership, it is destined to become 'the' text for students of foreign policy and for trainee diplomats and managers of Australia’s overseas trade, commerce and security responsibilities.