Australia seeks its security and prosperity in world that is much more connected and interdependent than ever before. And yet, it is a world that is increasingly characterised by competition and contest. In this international context, the Australian government’s priorities are the defence of the nation; its citizens; and Australia’s economic and strategic interests. The government also highlights the importance of a ‘secure, open and prosperous Indo– Pacific’ region (DFAT 2017: iii; DWP 2016). The key values that inform Australia’s foreign policies are its political, economic and religious freedom, liberal democracy, the rule of law, respect, and equality (DFAT 2017: 11). This chapter considers Australia’s place in the world, and begins with an examination of the important influences and events that have shaped it historically. It then considers the changes taking place internationally, and the current challenges for Australia’s ongoing security and prosperity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian government and politics
EditorsAlan Fenna, Rob Manwaring
Place of PublicationMelbourne, VIC
PublisherPearson Education Australia
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780655700753
ISBN (Print)9780655700746
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Australian politics
  • government priorities
  • International relations
  • power politics


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