On this Democracy Sausage, Mark Kenny is joined by former long-time public servant Allan Behm to discuss community values in the COVID-19 crisis, the “serious vacancies in leadership” around the world, and learning the lessons of history to understand China’s behaviour.
In launching Australia’s new Defence Strategy Update recently, Prime Minister Scott Morrison drew parallels between the strategic and economic threat Australia currently faces with that faced by the world in the 1930s and 40s. While China’s growing assertiveness is not the only cause of this uncertainty, it is likely front of mind for many in the Australian government. But is this analogy with contemporary Western history useful, or should we be digging deeper into China’s own history to better understand the present? What does the recent lack of ‘subtlety’ in the actions of the Chinese government say about its self-perception? And, with many major Western democracies struggling to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, how fit are their leaders to navigate this changing global order and prevent major conflict? On this Democracy Sausage Second Serve, we’re joined by experienced former public servant, now head of The Australia Institute’s International and Security Affairs program, Allan Behm.
Allan Behm is Head of the International and Security Affairs program at The Australia Institute, CEO of FearLess – a charity that works with people living with the consequences of post traumatic stress – and Chair of the Canberra Writers Festival board.
Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.
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This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.