The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 21
International Relations
Christian Reus-Smit

In his 1985 survey of the Australian study of international relations, Martin Indyk concluded that 'in the harsh international climate of the 1980s it is hard to envisage that anything but Realism, with the occasional Rationalist bloom to relieve the sense of gloom, will thrive in Australia' (Indyk 1985:300). The terrain of intellectual debate would remain confined, as it had been for most of the post-1945 period, to disagreements between those who stressed the ubiquitous struggle for power among states and those who believed that states formed an international society, compelled by common interests and bound by rules and institutions. 1 While acknowledging that this realist–rationalist condominium had produced significant insights into international relations, Indyk (1985:301) asked whether it had 'provided a basis for accurately analysing international conflict' or 'illuminated the opportunities for Australia in world politics'. His answer (Indyk 1985:301) was not encouraging:

we are still very much in the dark about much of what constitutes world politics. And this must raise doubts about the adequacy of the Australian school's world view and level of analysis.

Like many of the predictions made by international-relations scholars during the 1980s, Indyk's have proven mistaken. In the past two decades there has been a dramatic shift in the study of international relations in Australia, to the point where realist and rationalist works are but two features in a more pluralist and variegated intellectual landscape – a landscape that now includes established bodies of critical theory, constructivism, feminism, and normative scholarship. This has left Australian scholars far better equipped to understand the complexities not only of international relations, narrowly defined, but also of the wider complex of world politics in which such relations are embedded. The story is not all good news, though. As the general study of international relations in Australia has broadened and diversified, the study of Australian foreign policy has languished. With some notable exceptions, established commentators have shifted their focus to other aspects of international relations, and the new generation of theorists and generalists have shown little interest in the subject, isolating it from the rich intellectual resources they have mobilised.

This chapter explains the nature and development of international relations as a social science in Australia since the mid-1980s. 2 After briefly characterising the field

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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