Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne
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Earlier this year, a security pact between Solomon Islands and China reactivated patronizing discourses that frame the Pacific as Australia’s backyard. With a new government in Canberra pledging to move beyond geopolitical manoeuvring and listen to the concerns of its Pacific neighbours, this panel reflects on how Australia’s engagements in Solomon Islands have been experienced by Solomon Islanders.
What lessons should have been learned by a multi-billion-dollar, fifteen-year Australian-led intervention mission? What challenges are Pacific journalists facing as they report on issues of regional and global significance? How have Australian policies shaped political possibilities in Solomon Islands and for Solomon Islanders in Australia?
In this talk, professor Shahar Hameiri will discuss his new co-authored book: Fractured China: How State Transformation is Shaping China’s Rise. The book intervenes in the central debate in International Relations today: is China’s rise a threat to the established international order?
Fractured China shows that it depends what one means by “China”. For China is not the monolithic, unitary actor that many assume. Forty years of state transformation – the fragmentation, decentralisation and internationalisation of party-state apparatuses – have profoundly changed how its foreign policy is made and implemented. Today, Chinese behaviour abroad is often not the product of a coherent grand strategy, but results from a sometimes-chaotic struggle for power and resources among contending politico-business interests, within a surprisingly permissive Chinese-style regulatory state.