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Type: Conference paper
Title: Fear, security and the other: competing conceptions of India in the Australian colonial imagination
Author: Davis, A.
Citation: Proceedings of the Australian Political Studies Association Conference, held in Hobart, Tasmania, 24-26 September, 2012: pp.673-695
Publisher: APSA
Publisher Place: online
Issue Date: 2012
Conference Name: Australian Political Studies Association Conference (2012 : Hobart, Tasmania)
Statement of
Alexander Davis
Abstract: The constructivist project in international relations (IR) has recently extended beyond the transhistorical approach of Alexander Wendt to examine the foundations of state identity. Scholars such as Srdjan Vucetic, Anthony Burke and Priya Chacko have recently examined state and identity formation in the context of Indian and Australian foreign policy. This paper examines Australia’s development of a unique national identity in the context of its external imperial relations with India. The first section discusses the theoretical approaches taken in IR to state formation and state identity and the forming of Australia identity. The second section examines Australia’s perception of India through analysis of the negotiations between Indian and the Australian colonial governments on the regulations over ‘coolie’ labourers and internal debate within Australia on whether or not Indian indentured labour should be accepted. It concludes by examining the affect of colonial ideology on the forming of Australian national identity. It will be argued that India held a potentially friendly / potentially threatening place in Australian national thought during this formative period of Australian identity. The ambivalent position of India in Australian thought played a part in forming Australian identity as conceptually ‘white’ and can be viewed as having a lasting effect on what is perceived as possible in Australian foreign policy.
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0020126878
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Appears in Collections:History publications

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