A pragmatic partner: Australia and the ADMM-plus

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    This essay argues that three factors explain Australia’s enthusiastic embrace of the ADMM-Plus and of Asian multilateralism more generally. First, Australia has long displayed an almost visceral fear of being excluded from these groupings and of its marginalization from Asia as a consequence. Second, Canberra is interested in such groupings when they deliver practical benefits—especially in the areas of conflict management and avoidance—reflecting Australia’s pragmatic political culture. Third, the ability of multilateral groupings to facilitate Australian engagement with this region’s major powers exhibits particular appeal. The essay goes on to highlight shortcomings of the ADMM-Plus from Canberra’s perspective, namely in terms of the grouping’s inability to meaningfully constrain major-power dominance and maintain the international rules-based order. So long as the ADMM-Plus continues to deliver tangible benefits in the other three areas outlined above, however, these perceived shortcomings are unlikely to prove decisive.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-88
    JournalAsia Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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