Emotions and Australian foreign policy
A dissertation on emotions and Australian foreign policy, completed by Political Studies BA(Hons) student Isaac Holliss in his final year, has been published in a prestigious international journal.
It appeared in the May 12 edition of St Antony's International Review, a graduate student journal run out of the University of Oxford, which is published twice a year and features articles on international affairs.
Isaac’s essay explored why Australia intervened in the Solomon Islands in July 2003, despite only six months prior having publicly ruled out any intervention. Australia deployed peacekeeping forces to restore order amid lawlessness in Honiara.
“This presents an apparent puzzle—what happened between January and July 2003 that changed the minds of Australian policymakers?,” Isaac asks.
He turns to emotions to help explain the change in Australia’s attitude toward intervention.
“The role of emotion in global politics is increasingly receiving greater attention from international relations scholars. The article builds on recent advances in psychological research which suggest that emotion plays an important role in constituting rationality. It argues that humiliation, confidence, and pride—conferred on Australia’s leaders by their involvement in the invasion of Iraq—played a significant part in Australia’s decision to intervene in the Solomon Islands.”
Isaac graduated at the ceremonies held in May. He has accepted a position as an analyst in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and plans to return to graduate study in a few years time.