Building Citizens: Empire, Asia and the Australian Settlement
Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 29-43, 2010
16 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2011
Date Written: February 24, 2010
Australia’s diplomatic and political relationship with Asia has been the basis on which the boundaries and membership of its political community have been constructed. This essay uses the example of the Australian Settlement as a strategy of citizenship and state building located within the political framework of an imperial association. Hence, the narrative of Australian Settlement depended on a notion of freedom – a civic identity – in a liberal imperial association and set against a racial order within her immediate region. This dual sovereignty became especially important as a middle power ‘mask’ of the state. This paper argues that these middle power ideas with respect to Australia’s position in a liberal imperial association provided the basis for an eclectic group of individuals to develop innovative ideas about Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific that anticipated ideas of Asian engagement.
Keywords: Australa-Asia, Australian settlement , middle power, state formation, stateness
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