By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Australia in International Politics: An Introduction to Australian Foreign Policy
By Stewart Firth (Allen & Unwin, $55.00, softcover, 356 pages)
The face of Australia, along with the rest of the world, changed rapidly after terrorists destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and severely damaged the Pentagon building on September 11, 2001.
Security against terrorism jumped the scale of importance in Australia’s foreign policy.
Safety measures against terrorism are also constantly at the forefront since the 2002 Bali bombings and the explosion outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004.
The third edition is written by one of Australia’s most experienced teachers of international relations in which Stewart Firth explains Australian foreign policy for readers new to the field.
He “taught the substance of this third edition” so Australia in International Politics is not only comprehensive, but it also provides a balanced and insightful appraisal of trends under Labor and the Coalition.
There’s detailed analysis of foreign policy under former Prime Ministers Hawke, Keating, Howard and why Rudd is proving to be an “effective” foreign minister.
This book also focuses on the protective preparations of some public areas and points out a fundamental structural change in world affairs, with increased globalisation of economic activity. By showing how the nation is responding to these changes, it describes how Australian foreign policy has evolved since Federation and how it is now made.
It examines recent issues such as Australia’s military involvement in East Timor, Iraq, Solomon Islands; Australia’s partial withdrawal from the UN human rights treaty system, the refugee issue, and the decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
It explains Australian economic initiatives such as the Free Trade Agreement with the USA in the context of globalisation and the Cairns Group, points to the intrusive nature of contemporary free trade and assesses defence and regional security, growth in foreign aid and human rights.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.