The Evolution of Australian Foreign Policy is a book that presents a modern-day argument concerning Australia's external affairs policies in the 21st century. The book makes the case that it is time for Australia to move on from its historic British colonial roots and its subsequent subservient roles within the empires of Great Britain and the United States since Federation in 1901. The ongoing military debacle and strategic disaster of the U.S.-led Iraq War has triggered a movement within Australia's intellectual and political communities to rethink Australian foreign policy. An impressive group of dissenters began to question Australia's blind obedience to the post-World War II American empire. And, since the extraordinary publication of The Palace Letters, in 2020, the charm and distinction of being a part of the British Commonwealth has begun to lose its glory and uniqueness for a growing number of Australians. In truth, Australia is a nation in transition. It is becoming an independent Republic. A nation of Australians. Led by an Australian president elected by Australians. The nation of Australia has come of age. No more masters of any kind to rule over it. Australia has finally become the master of its own destiny and fate in the 21st century.
Randall Doyle is professor in the History department at Central Michigan University.
Section I: Australia in the 21st Century: Voices of Dissent and Visions of Independence
Chapter 1: The Reckoning – Australia’s Unfinished Journey Toward Independence
Chapter 2: Herbert Vere Evatt and Gough Whitlam – Visions of an Independent Australia
Chapter 3: Professor Hugh White’s Journey to Create an Independent Australia
Section II: Voices of Dissent and the Status Quo – The Battle for the Soul of Australia
Chapter 4: Dispatches and Observations – Australia, America, China, and the Indo-Pacific
Conclusion: Australia Confronts Its Destiny and Fate in the 21st Century
Doyle’s passion for Australia comes from his family tie, his military service, and his long-term scholarly pursuit. He covers a wide range of topics, including Australia’s historical relations with Britain, its recent ties with the United States, and its current economic interactions with China. His vision that Australia has to disengage itself from a self-imposed colonial past in order to be a truly independent nation free from fear, obligation, or favor is thought-provoking. His belief that Australia will soon become a republic is tantalizing. In any case, he has offered his witty remarks, poignant critiques, and persuasive comments on Australia’s past, contemporary status, and future role in the global affairs.
Doyle has once again given the East Asia and Pacific policy community a cogent analysis of Australia and the promise and limitations of its foreign policy. This book is required reading for anyone trying to understand the crossroads that Australia and the Indo-Pacific region finds itself and the implications for the choices ahead.