Griffith Asia Institute - Research Seminars

Griffith Asia Institute - Research Seminars

Principal speaker

Professor Andrew O'Neil

Less Geneva, More Jakarta? Assessing Australia’s Asia Pivot

While much attention has understandably been devoted to analysing the consequences of the US ‘pivot’ to Asia, Australia has recently sought to define something of its own regional pivot. In September 2011, one month before Hillary Clinton’s article in Foreign Policy that outlined the foundation of the Obama administration’s ‘turn back’ to Asia, the then Gillard Government commissioned a White Paper on ‘Australia and the Asian Century’, which was released in October 2012. When the Abbott Government came to power in September the following year, it quietly shelved the Asian White Paper but argued that Australia needed ‘less Geneva and more Jakarta’ in its foreign policy. This slogan was based on the claim that the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Governments had lost sight of Australia’s economic and strategic priorities in Asia in pursuit of more abstract recognition on the world stage. This presentation evaluates the extent to which the Abbott Government has pursued a genuine pivot to Asia, or whether its approach has been more akin to a pirouette. It does this by discussing Australia’s relations with China, Indonesia, and Japan - the regional ‘Big Three’ in economic and strategic terms.

Andrew O’Neil is Professor of Political Science and Head of the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University. From 2010 to 2014, he was Director of the Griffith Asia Institute and previously Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Flinders University. Prior to entering academia in 2000, Andrew worked as a Commonwealth Public Servant.

Andrew has taught and supervised at all levels in Australian universities and has delivered classes at Nankai, Hiroshima, and National Chengchi Universities. As part of research teams, he has won funding from the Australian Research Council (most recently for a Discovery Project on extended deterrence with Stephan Fruhling from ANU) and between 2009 and 2013 Andrew was editor-in-chief of the Australian Journal of international Affairs.

He is the author of two sole authored books and two co-edited books, the most recent of which (with Bruce Gilley) is Middle Powers and the Rise of China to be published by Georgetown University Press in September 2014. Andrew is a former member of the Australian Foreign Minister’s National Consultative Committee on National Security Issues and is presently an advisory board member of the Lowy Institute’s G20 Studies Centre. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Intelligence History, the Korean Journal of International Studies, and Security Challenges.

Research Seminars are held on Thursdays at Nathan Campus, from 12:30 - 13:50 during semester. For more info please contact Belle Hammond on 07 3735 4705 or email

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RSVP on or before Monday 16 March 2015 , by email, or by phone 54705

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