“Rediscovery”, “Reinvigoration” and “Redefinition” in Perpetuity: Australian Engagement with India 1983–2011

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Abstract

For the past twenty-five years Australia's bilateral relationship with India has been typified by an ongoing process of “rediscovery”, irrespective of whether Labor or Liberal administrations have steered foreign policy. This article explores the reasons why this might be the case by analysing Australia's foreign policy approaches to India spanning the period 1983 to 2011. It interrogates various Labor and Liberal strategies that have been mobilised to “reinvigorate” the relationship and searches for reasons why they have only been partially successful in strengthening Australia's rapport with India. The authors draw upon discussions with strategic affairs editors of India's major daily newspapers and current affairs journals to gain insights into Indian impressions of Australia from a political and foreign policy perspective.

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