Professor Michael Wesley
Restless Continent: Wealth, Rivalry and Asia’s New Geopolitics
Presented by Professor Michael Wesley, Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University
The world has never seen economic development of the speed and scale of Asia’s during recent decades. Home to three-fifths of humanity, this restless continent will soon produce more than half of the world’s economic output and consume more energy than the rest of the world combined. Surprisingly little hard thinking has been done about the future of Asia, despite its clear centrality to the trajectory of the twenty-first century. All but three of the planet’s current and nascent nuclear powers are Asian, and the growth in weapons spending across that continent outstrips that of any other region. Professor Wesley will examine the economic, social, political and strategic trends across the continent and present a road map for thinking about Asia’s future – and the world’s. He will look at the psychology of countries becoming newly rich and powerful and explore the ‘corridors of blood’ – the geography and politics of conflict. And make a case about how to avert a plunge into dispute, even war.
Professor Wesley is Professor and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University. He has published extensively and has authored several books on foreign policy, including The Howard Paradox: Australian Diplomacy in Asia. He won the 2011 John Button Prize for Best Writing in Australian Politics for his book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia. He was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy from 2009 to 2012 and Professor of International Relations and Director of the Asia Institute at Griffith University from 2004 to 2009. He has also taught at a number of other universities in Australia and overseas. Professor Wesley was an Assistant Director-General in the Office of National Assessments in 2003/04 and served as co-chairman of the Security and Prosperity working group at the Australia 2020 Summit in 2008.
After the seminar Professor Wesley will be signing copies of his book Restless Continent: Wealth, Rivalry and Asia's New Geopolitics and copies will be available for purchase at the event.
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