Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced Australia will develop a new foreign policy White Paper, its first since 2003. What has changed for Australian foreign affairs over the last 13 years, and what foreign policy decisions should the new White Paper prioritise over the next decade?  

Last week Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the development of a new foreign policy White Paper to be led by incoming head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, the first woman to lead the department. In the new Policy Forum Pod, Professor Michael Wesley discusses the foreign policy environment shaping Australia’s new White Paper.

Over the last few years Australia has developed a number of White Papers, including the Defence White Paper earlier this year and the Asian Century White Paper developed by Ken Henry in 2012. But not since 2003, when the Howard Government published Advancing the National Interest, has Australia had a white paper devoted solely to foreign policy.

Professor Michael Wesley is Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University. He has published extensively and has authored several books on foreign policy, including The Howard Paradox: Australian Diplomacy in Asia. He won the 2011 John Button Prize for Best Writing in Australian Politics for his book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia.

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