The Hugh White Thesis: Five Years On

acri-utsAustralia-China Relations Institute, UTS

5.30 pm for a 6.00 pm start, Tuesday August 11 2015
Bloomberg Auditorium, level 27, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

In 2010 Professor Hugh White challenged Australians when he wrote ‘Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing’, published in the academic journal Quarterly Essay. White argued that in order to meet its interests in Asia Australia should persuade the US to relinquish primacy in the region. He asserted that the best outcome for stability in the Asia-Pacific would be a power-sharing agreement between these two great nations. He posited a ‘Concert of Asia’ to balance state interests and achieve shared leadership between major powers in the region. White’s thesis prompted a vociferous response from many political commentators and Quarterly Essay in the subsequent issue published replies from Gareth Evans, Bruce Grant, Michael Wesley, Lyric Hughes Hale, Robert Kaplan, Harry Gelber and David Uren. Five years on has the White analysis been confirmed? Is Australia’s foreign policy challenge more acute? What propelled this debate? And where does it stand?

Hear Hugh White discuss these questions on a panel with James Brown, Director of the Alliance 21 Project at the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, chaired by Bob Carr, former Foreign Minister and Director of ACRI. The Alliance 21 Project is a platform for strategic thinking on the challenges and opportunities facing Australia-US relations in the 21st century. Formerly an Australian Army Officer and Military Fellow at the Lowy Institute, Captain James Brown is well placed to explore the development of Australia’s strongest alliance and its strategic implications in the Asia-Pacific.

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