Australian Outlook

In this section

Australia in the World – Episode 19

16 May 2019
By Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA and Dr Darren Lim
In episode 19 of Australia in the World, Allan and Darren prepare an

In the lead up to the federal election, Allan and Darren use episode 19 of Australia in the World to prepare an “incoming government brief.” They outline the most important issues the new government will face in the realms of national security, foreign policy and relations with the United States and China.

With the Australian federal election approaching on Saturday 18 May, Allan and Darren follow the practice of all government departments in preparing an “incoming government brief”: a document presented to the new (or returning) minister for each department, for the purpose of providing a descriptive overview of what the department does and highlighting the most important issues facing that particular portfolio as the new term commences.

Allan and Darren’s brief contains three “chapters.” Chapter 1 is on the structure of national security and foreign policy making, and the discussion turns on the best way of coordinating decision-making given the complex challenges faced in Australia’s international relations. Chapter 2 is on Donald Trump, where Allan and Darren largely agree on the impact of the Trump presidency on the world so far but diverge slightly in their resulting degree of pessimism. Chapter 3 is on China, where the disagreement is more on the quality of Australia’s policy response to this most difficult set of policy dilemmas. Along the way, the two discuss recent events relating to Iran, the White House’s contrasting approaches to diplomacy, the second Belt and Road Forum and the US-China trade war.

Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA is national president of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and an honorary professor at the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

Dr Darren Lim is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj.

Our thanks go to AIIA intern Charlie Henshall for his help with audio editing, and Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.