This time on Democracy Sausage we take a look at Southeast Asia: how the governments of the region are responding to Australia’s new defence stance, how they have responded to COVID-19, and how they are balancing the great powers of the US and China. The panel also takes a look at the outcome of the weekend’s Eden-Monaro by-election.

Just as Australia is carefully calibrating its relationship with China, the countries of Southeast Asia are having to balance their role now and into the future between two great powers, and do this while battling a pandemic. So how does the region view Australia’s new defence stance, and can the countries of ASEAN walk the strategic tightrope in this era of volatility? Joining Professor Mark Kenny to discuss these issues, as well as the outcome of the Eden-Monaro by-election, are Associate Professor Bjoern Dressel, James Massola of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and regular podleague Dr Marija Taflaga.

Dr Bjoern Dressel is Associate Professor at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. His research focuses on issues of comparative constitutionalism, judicial politics and governance, and public sector reform.

James Massola is Southeast Asia Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He has been a Walkley and Quills finalist on three occasions, won a Kennedy Award for outstanding foreign correspondent, and is the author of The Great Cave Rescue.

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 HeraldThe Age, and The Canberra Times.

Dr Marija Taflaga is Director of the Australian Politics Studies Centre in the ANU School of Politics and International Relations. Her major research is on political parties and particularly the Liberal Party of Australia. She has previously worked in the Australian Parliamentary Press Gallery as a researcher at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

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