All of us knew Owen Harries, the three instigators of this book, Tom Switzer, Sue Windybank, and me. We admired his thinking, his ideas, the craft he applied to wordsmithing, the jesting and jostling in debate, the integrity he displayed respecting others’ viewpoints, the originality he brought to important questions.
On one view, Gough Whitlam was a passing flash, whose government was not around long enough to have had an appreciable impact on Australian foreign policy. On another, Whitlam’s foreign policy changes were immense and long lasting. This chapter, necessarily briefly, discusses the promise, creativity, problems, and influence of Whitlam’s foreign policy. Through such analysis, mature reflection on Australia’s legacy in relation to its obligations to and treatment of our alliances, commitment to the region, and human rights is enabled.
Of course, everyone wants better relations with China.
I cannot imagine anyone in the ALP in 2021 who today does not hope for the emergence of a Palestinian state. How this outcome might occur is where differences emerge.
This paper helped refine my thinking on aspects of the old self-interest versus morality “debate”. Hopefully, when I get around to writing something interesting about Owen Harries, the preparation and discussion helps.
Slightly edited (for coherence) transcript of a Frank Talk discussion with Bill Overholt, Senior Research Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Michael Easson for the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue, on Saturday 27 March 2021 in Sydney and Friday 26 March 2021 in Boston.
Owen Harries (1930-2020), foreign policy adviser, thinker, gadfly, editor, and advocate of the “national interest” realist tradition, died last week. His influence was profound in Australia and globally. He persuaded, stung, prodded those around him to think.
For seventy-five years, 1942–2017, Joseph Schumpeter’s fearful warning to Americans about the messy breakdown of capitalism and the political order fell short.
Thank you Albert Dadon, the Convenor of the Dialogue, for suggesting this Panel topic. Anyone involved in international politics, in diplomacy, has considered the role and potential of the United Nations.
Welcome, everyone. Today’s topic is much anticipated – China’s Ambition: How Far Can They Go? We are joined by a very distinguished panel – former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott; Business China CEO and Singapore MP Tin Pei Ling; Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, The Honourable Tobias Ellwood; security correspondent and famous Israeli journalist Yossi Melman; and University of Sydney and Hudson Institute academic, Dr. John Lee.