For a progressive realism: Australian foreign policy in the 21st century

Nick Bisley, Robyn Eckersley, Shahar Hameiri, Jessica Kirk, George Lawson, Benjamin Zala

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    What ideas and concepts might be used to reinvigorate a progressive approach to Australian foreign policy? In contrast to the clarity of the international vision provided by right-wing movements, there is uncertainty about the contours of a progressive approach to contemporary Australian foreign policy. This article outlines the basis of a ‘progressive realism’ that can challenge right-wing accounts. Progressive realism combines a ‘realistic’ diagnosis of the key dynamics that underpin contemporary world politics with a ‘progressive’ focus on the redistribution of existing power configurations. Taken together, these two building blocks provide the foundations for a left-ofcentre foreign policy agenda. We apply progressive realism to four policy areas: pandemic politics, aid and infrastructure in the Pacific, climate change, and a crisis in the Taiwan Strait. This analysis, in turn, highlights the challenges and opportunities for progressive political actors in crafting foreign policy both within and beyond Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)138-160
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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