Australia’s strategic culture: constraints and opportunities in security policymaking

Burns, Alex and Eltham, Ben 2014, Australia’s strategic culture: constraints and opportunities in security policymaking, Contemporary security policy, vol. 35, no. 2, Summer, pp. 187-210, doi: 10.1080/13523260.2014.927672.

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Title Australia’s strategic culture: constraints and opportunities in security policymaking
Author(s) Burns, Alex
Eltham, BenORCID iD for Eltham, Ben
Journal name Contemporary security policy
Volume number 35
Issue number 2
Season Summer
Start page 187
End page 210
Total pages 24
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2014-05
ISSN 1743-8764
Keyword(s) strategic culture
foreign policy
defence policy
military history
international relations
Summary  This article draws on fourth generation strategic culture debates to show the gap between the rhetoric of Australian defence and the more modest reality. Our analysis shows that these limits derive from tensions between national strategic culture and organizational strategic subcultures. There are serious debates in the nation regarding the preferred course of the Australian military and security policy. This article frames these debates by examining the ‘keepers’ of Australia's national strategic culture, the existence of several competing strategic subcultures, and the importance of norm entrepreneurs in changing defence and national security thinking. Strategic subcultures foster compartmentalization, constraints, and bureaucratic silos that narrow national conceptions of security threats and opportunities, and impinge on the formation of coherent foreign and defence policy in relation to the Asia-Pacific region. This analysis shows that a distinct national strategic culture and organizational strategic subcultures endure beyond individual governments, placing potential limits on Australia's interface with other Asia-Pacific strategic cultures in the future.
Notes Special issue : Strategic Cultures and Security Policies of the Asia-Pacific
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13523260.2014.927672
Field of Research 160607 International Relations
160604 Defence Studies
160601 Australian Government and Politics
Socio Economic Objective 940301 Defence and Security Policy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor & Francis
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Created: Wed, 25 Jun 2014, 16:44:44 EST by Ben Eltham

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