would produce 'a vicious circle from which there is no obvious way out' (Indyk 1985:301). Fortunately, the relationship between historical change, ideas and human agency is more complex than he thought, and this is probably why his predictions for the future of Australian international relations proved overpessimistic.
Instead of ensuring the persistence of traditional thinking, the heightened tensions of the early 1980s, combined with a narrowing of debate in the US mainstream, prompted a wave of critical theorising. Emerging Australian scholars took up these new ideas, weighed into the international debate, and turned the new ideas against mainstream scholars who they saw as inappropriately injecting a neoliberal version of realism into national policy-making processes. While this controversy was in full flight locally, though, the end of the Cold War had opened space within the discipline for yet another wave of new thinking, this time associated primarily with the rise of constructivism, but also with new work in critical ethics, postcolonialism, second-generation feminism, and the globalisation of political theory on the one hand, and neoclassical realism and the new English School on the other. Since the mid-1990s, Australians have been actively involved in these developments, but this is a new generation of scholars, a generation influenced by the insights of critical theory but who have pushed beyond inward critique of the discipline to explore the multiple dimensions of evolving global politics.
History thus produces contradictions, international debate has a dialectical quality, politics surrounds the mobilisation of ideas internationally and nationally, and, most importantly, Australian scholarship has been constituted by two socio-intellectual domains: the international discipline and its national quarter. As constructivists like to emphasise, how these phenomena play out is historically contingent, but in the case of Australian international relations over the past two decades, the result has been a dramatic diversification of the intellectual terrain, a diversification that is breeding dynamism, the lifeblood of any field of scholarly inquiry.
This diversification is potentially of great benefit to social debate and public policy in Australia. Confining debate to the marginal differences between realism and rationalism was unproductive even in the heady days of the Cold War. But in the early twenty-first century, when multiple dimensions of globalisation overlie traditional geopolitics, Australia's identity, community solidarity, economic institutions and processes, legal order, and democratic ideals and practices are all being 'externally' conditioned. To comprehend this conditioning, and to respond through considered public debate and government policy will demand thinking 'outside the box'. The variegated nature of contemporary Australian international-relations scholarship can inform such thinking, but only if policy-makers are open to new ideas challenging their 'standard operating assumptions', and international-relations scholars rediscover their capacities as public intellectuals.