How Australian engagement with Asia could develop beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
- Professor Nicholas Farrelly, Head of Social Sciences
Every generation of Australian thinkers and policy-makers grapples with the conceptual and practical aspects of engaging Asia. Over the past decade, we have seen the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the 2016 Defence White Paper and the 2012 Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, among various other policy and intelligence reviews. These analyses all pointed, with the best available judgment, to the opportunities and risks of Australia’s entanglements with increasingly assertive and economically successful Asian powers. Many recent books and articles have also sought to interpret the changes, big and small, in Australia-Asia relations.
From 2020, a volatile and uncertain strategic environment - profoundly and rapidly re-shaped by the global pandemic - will present new and difficult questions for us all. We want to know: How will priorities change across Asia, especially at a moment of such abrupt economic crisis? What does any new strategic balance require of Australia? Which economic and political changes are most worrying? What might Australia do to positively influence the direction of change? With the last question in mind, this presentation will offer an initial assessment of how Australian engagement with Asia may develop beyond the pandemic, focusing on three important countries: Indonesia, Thailand and China. It will also explore some possible implications for Tasmania.
About the Speaker
Professor Nicholas Farrelly commenced as Head of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania in January 2020. After graduating from the Australian National University with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Asian Studies, he completed his M.Phil and D.Phil at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2006, Nicholas founded New Mandala, a website which has gone on to become the preeminent public forum in Southeast Asian Studies. From 2011, he held a number of key academic positions in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, including as Deputy Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs and as Director of the ANU Myanmar Research Centre, an institution he helped establish in 2015. From 2017-2019 Nicholas was an Associate Dean in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.