HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Power shift : Australia's future between Washington and Beijing

by Hugh White

Series: Quarterly Essay (Nº 39)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
221814,089 (3.5)None
In Quarterly Essay 39, Hugh White considers Australia's place between Beijing and Washington. As the power balance shifts and China's influence grows, what might this mean for the nation? Throughout our history, we have counted first on British then on American primacy in Asia. The rise of China as an economic powerhouse has challenged US dominance in the region and raised questions for Australia that go well beyond diplomacy and defence, questions about the kind of country we are and how we see our place in the world. Will China replace the US as regional leader? Should we continue to divide Asia between our biggest ally and our biggest trading partner? How to define the national interest in the Asian Century? This visionary essay considers the shape of the world to come and the implications for Australia as it seeks to carve out a place in a new order.… (more)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

http://shawjonathan.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/quarterly-essay-39/

As with every Quarterly Essay, this issue includes correspondence on the previous one. There are no fireworks in the discussion of QE38, David Marr’s Power Trip. A couple of journalists add corroborating anecdotes about Rudd’s leadership style (David Marr describes these as symptomatic of ‘a new, and welcome, spirit of indiscretion’; I read them as a bit of a pile-on). Kerryn Goldsworthy deftly despatches whole swathes of attack on the essay and dispenses a little relevant information about literary forms. James Boyce corrects and enriches David Marr’s understanding of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his probable significance for Rudd. In responding, David Marr replies almost entirely to criticisms that were made elsewhere: perhaps it would have been polite to give those critics the right of pre-reply here (he quotes Sylvia Lawson and Allison Broinowski and gives them a one-word reply: rubbish).

Hugh White’s essay, Power Shift, is about something other than personalities and politics as horse race:

"Our leaders, and by extension the rest of us, are assuming that Asia will be transformed economically over the next few decades, but remain unchanged strategically and politically. It is an appealing assumption because the past forty years have been among the best times in Australia’s history, and it has been easy to believe that American power would continue indefinitely to keep Asia peaceful and Australia safe. That has been a cardinal mistake."

The essay proceeds with the logical clarity (though not the soul-destroying aridity) of a PowerPoint demonstration. ‘Since 1788,’ White says, stating the obvious but unsettling truth, ‘Australia has always enjoyed a very close and trusting relationship with the world’s strongest power, and we just take that for granted.’ Well, not for much longer – and we need to think about this. The main history of our times, he proposes, may not be in the place that’s getting the most attention:

"The day-to-day management of the [US–China] relationship gets a lot of detailed attention, but presidents and other senior figures avoid substantial analysis of America’s long-term intentions towards China. One reason is 9/11. For almost a decade, America’s political leaders have convinced themselves that a small group of fugitives on the run in Pakistan poses a bigger challenge to America’s place in the world than the transformation of the world’s most populous country. Future historians will find that hard to explain."

To be fair to White’s argument, he goes on immediately after this to acknowledge that Barack Obama signalled that the blinkers were coming off after his visit to China in November last year. All the same, he has a point.

It’s a very interesting essay, which I recommend as an antidote for the personality-preoccupied, narrative-driven writing that accounts for most political commentary in our newspapers these days. ( )
  shawjonathan | Sep 12, 2010 |
no reviews | add a review

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

In Quarterly Essay 39, Hugh White considers Australia's place between Beijing and Washington. As the power balance shifts and China's influence grows, what might this mean for the nation? Throughout our history, we have counted first on British then on American primacy in Asia. The rise of China as an economic powerhouse has challenged US dominance in the region and raised questions for Australia that go well beyond diplomacy and defence, questions about the kind of country we are and how we see our place in the world. Will China replace the US as regional leader? Should we continue to divide Asia between our biggest ally and our biggest trading partner? How to define the national interest in the Asian Century? This visionary essay considers the shape of the world to come and the implications for Australia as it seeks to carve out a place in a new order.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.5)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 1
3.5
4 1
4.5
5

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,050,339 books! | Top bar: Always visible