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Articles Contribution To Australian Foreign Relations Study

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What Is The Articles Contribution To Australian Foreign Relations Study?




The article selected for critical review in this paper is option/question two. The main focus of this article is the examination of whether Australia can be defined as is middle power. The article acknowledges 3 foremost famous approaches to aid in the definition of a middle power: by identity, behavior of a country as well as position. Each of the mentioned definition is tested vis-à-vis Australia.

The test highlights the weaknesses and strengths of each definition. The article proposes a new-fangled systemic definition for a middle power by first highlighting the previous systemic approach for state definition (Carr 2014). The article argues that the new approach offers a more detailed way for recognizing whether a given country such as Australia falls under the middle power definition alongside the global security insinuations. 

The article undertakes a thorough examination of what individual approach implies with respect to middle powers alongside the particular predictive or analytical techniques the individual definition provides for the improvement of the understanding of Australia, if determined as a middle power (Wilkins 2016). The 3 definitions analysed remain extremely unswerving in acknowledging Australia as a middle power. However, this article identifies the existing antagonistic debate within the available literature as to what particular approach is superior.  

The article accordingly gives a response by highlighting the past tradition as well as purposes for a systemic impact mechanism that emphasizes on the states’ capacity to affect the global system.

Article and Australia’s Foreign Relations Development

The article has identified Australia as middle power with ability to change a particular aspect of international order via formalized structures like international institutions and treaties, along with formal means like balances and norms of power. Australia has carved out a distinct role over previous 20 years in nuclear policy by being an international titleholder of non-proliferation besides decreasing chemical weapons’ ability as well as taking a leadership responsibility in Proliferation Security Initiative (Wilkins 2016). It has culminated in South East Asian norms towards asymmetrical immigration as well as has made key impact in fields of economics as well as trade liberations alongside assisting create besides elevating G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. 

Source Usefulness for Australian Foreign Relations’ Study

The article is a useful source in helping readers understand the foreign relations of Australia. It gives the relevant evidence to showcase that Australia state has the capability to provide credibly for its own defence and has as well as demonstrated diplomatic leadership. This suggests that Australia is a middle power country, one which is unable to dictate other nations, as prodigious powers, or at others’ mercy, like lesser powers, however, with the definable aptitude to influence the global system, particularly about Australia’s essential interests.

The claim by the government of Australia as the middle power prestige is progressively under menace looking to long term. This is because of the absence of latest illustration of ability or capability to impact particular fundamentals of global system. The external causes of this declining authority is increase of additional powers with regional alongside international influence, besides weakening of multilateral structures (Thyagarajan et al. 2015). The internal factors like a slump in business leadership along with invention, for instance, within Julia Gillard or John Howard- imaginably, ill performed leadership initiatives-specifically under Kevin Rudd, culminating in a deficiency of community backing for ingenuities. 

The article has also explained effectively that cuts on defense budget by the Australian government will imperil the country’s ability over the long run, for its individual defense or substantially contribute to the regional skirmish (Edquist 2014).  The substantial increase in military expenditure in Asia, that is almost hitting the arm race degrees, puts extra pressure on the Australia’s government to keep up, otherwise risk losing the status of the middle power.      


Article’s Strengths and Weaknesses

The main strength of the article lies within its useful ability to identify the new systemic impact approach to understanding the definition of a state as the middle power by confirming that Australia is indeed a middle power. Most importantly, the ability of the article to put to test the new systemic approach and identifies its merits and demerits for the suggestion for future research (Dal and Kur?un 2016).

The new alternative definition is tested and merits and demerits provided thereby giving suggestions for future study. Moreover, the article’ strength lies within its ability to add to the literature to understanding Australian foreign relations (Cooper and Parlar Dal 2016). For example, whereas the initially conventional definition coming to a common deduction, the new systemic impact approach entails additional broader an array of needs, hence a healthier comprehension of insinuations of this finding that Australia is a middle power.

The weakness of the systemic impact approach is that it needs extra space to justify, and, hence cannot explore claims of several middle powers while at the same time being a stronger ground for making middle power’s claims (Cooper and Mo 2013). 

Missing Points

The author could have used several countries’ claims but the systemic impact approach restricted this as it required an extra space to justify. 

Article’s Contribution to Australian foreign relations Study

The major contribution made is the introduction of the most suitable systemic impact approach away from the initial known controversial three famous definitions (identity, position and country behavior) (Bisley 2014). Thanks to this article, scholars of our times can now effectively understanding the foreign relations of Australia. Unlike, the initially known three approaches that did not keep pace with polarity shifting international system, the systemic impact approach has kept the pace and has helped scholars change their perspective of which particular states fall under the middle powers (Carr 2014).

The article has helped us understand the significance of middle powers change with changing aptitude to impact evolving system. Using the systemic impact approach, scholars are now best suited to connect the famous attraction of middle powers to whatever is essential (power to alter) instead of merely whatever is quantifiable or rather ideologically commendable.

Further, by assisting intellectuals get over the present three definitions “impasse”, the article-adopted approach of defining middle powers stands best to enable academics to move on to stress on significant empirical deliberations upon what particular functions middle powers play as well as how it is influencing regional along with international security for Australia (Bellamy 2014).



Bellamy, A.J., 2014. Australia and International Peacekeeping: Policies, Institutions, and Doctrines. In Asia-Pacific Nations in International Peace Support and Stability Operations (pp. 31-57). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Bisley, N. (2014). Australia and Asia’s Trilateral Dilemmas. Asian Survey, 54(2), 297-318.

Carr, A., 2014. Is Australia a middle power? A systemic impact approach. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 68(1), pp.70-84.

Cooper, A.F. and Mo, J., 2013. Middle Power Leadership and the Evolution of the G20. Global Summitry Journal, 1(1), pp.1-14.

Cooper, A.F. and Parlar Dal, E., 2016. Positioning the third wave of middle power diplomacy: Institutional elevation, practice limitations. International Journal, 71(4), pp.516-528.

Dal, E.P. and Kur?un, A.M., 2016. Assessing Turkey’s middle power foreign policy in MIKTA: Goals, means, and impact. International Journal, 71(4), pp.608-629.

Edquist, C., 2014. Innovation policy: A systemic approach. Tema, Univ.

Thyagarajan, N., Jacobs, D.C., Bowman, J.D., Barry, N., Beardsley, A.P., Bernardi, G., Briggs, F., Cappallo, R.J., Carroll, P., Deshpande, A.A. and de Oliveira-Costa, A., 2015. Confirmation of wide-field signatures in redshifted 21 cm power spectra. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 807(2), p.L28.

Wilkins, T., 2016. Australia and middle power approaches to Asia Pacific regionalism. Australian Journal of Political Science, pp.1-1


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