Thank you for joining Quarterly Access for its second issue of what has already been a turbulent year for international politics.
President Trump’s turn to unilateral foreign policy measures and isolationist trade policies signifies a concerning shift in great power politics. As a security guarantor in both the European and Asia-Pacific region and global hegemon in trade rules, the retreat of the US under President Trump leaves a vacuum for developing powers such as China and Russia to grasp at this opportunity for global and regional influence. In this context, what role can Australia play?
The second issue of Quarterly Access for the year focuses on the emerging opportunities for Australia to utilise its middle power capacities to position itself as a favourable trade, cultural and climate change partner.
James M. Carey opens the issue with an exploration of how Australia can better utilise its ‘cultural diplomacy’ to develop stronger partnerships with Pacific countries. In view of China’s expanding influence through its aid and development funds, James recommends that Australia utilise the transformative power of cultural exchange to foster likeminded partners in the region.
Jake Kite assesses the benefits of the recent free trade agreement between Australia and Peru. Jake argues that the agreement needs to be recognised as an important development in Australia’s continued improvement of economic and cultural ties with Latin America, a region that Australia has historically overlooked.
Chris Smith contends that in the climate of uncertainty and suspicion toward China’s regional influence, Australia should try to engage with China on climate change by focusing on critical projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative.
In the context of shifting power dynamics and the questioning of established world orders, Quarterly Access aims to contribute to the discussion by bringing unique and critical perspectives from young professionals and graduates in Australia.
Tamara Tubakovic, Editor-in-Chief.