This essay argues that three factors explain Australiaâ€™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 benefitsâ€”especially in the areas of conflict management and avoidanceâ€”reflecting Australiaâ€™s pragmatic political culture. Third, the ability of multilateral groupings to facilitate Australian engagement with this regionâ€™s major powers exhibits particular appeal. The essay goes on to highlight shortcomings of the ADMM-Plus from Canberraâ€™s perspective, namely in terms of the groupingâ€™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.
|Publication status||Published - 2016|