After Unipolarity: Where is the Asian regional order heading, and what should we be doing about it?

Professor Hugh White AO

5.30pm-6.30pm, Wednesday 7 August 2024

National Office

Old Government Buildings Lecture Theatre 1, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, 55 Lambton Quay, Pipitea Wellington 6011

In essence, Australia’s commitment to AUKUS is a vote to help preserve Asia’s US-led unipolar strategic order. But what are the alternatives?  What kinds of new regional order might emerge to take the old order’s place if it cannot be preserved?  And how would we fare in them?

Hugh White’s presentation will explore these questions, looking at the global context as shaped by the war in Ukraine and the alignment between China and Russia. It asks if the global Rules Based Order fails, what will take its place – authoritarian hegemony or politically diverse multipolarity? And what would it mean for Asia, and more particularly for Australia and New Zealand?

Professor White’s address will be followed by an additional expert discussant. 

Attendance is free. Pre-registration is required.

About Professor Hugh White AO

Hugh White AO is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. His work focuses primarily on Australian strategic and defence policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, and global strategic affairs especially as they influence Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has served as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments, as a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, as a senior adviser on the staffs of Defence Minister Kim Beazley and Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and as a senior official in the Department of Defence, where from 1995 to 2000 he was Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence, and as the first Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). In the 1970s he studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper. His major publications include Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing, [2010], The China Choice: Why America should share power, [2012], Without America: Australia’s future in the New Asia [2017], and How to defend Australia [2019]. 

Contact the National Office

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In essence, Australia’s commitment to AUKUS is a vote to help preserve Asia’s US-led unipolar strategic order. But what are the alternatives?  What kinds of new regional order might emerge to take the old order’s place if it cannot be preserved?  And how would we fare in them?

Hugh White’s presentation will explore these questions, looking at the global context as shaped by the war in Ukraine and the alignment between China and Russia. It asks if the global Rules Based Order fails, what will take its place – authoritarian hegemony or politically diverse multipolarity? And what would it mean for Asia, and more particularly for Australia and New Zealand?

Professor White’s address will be followed by an additional expert discussant. 

Attendance is free. Pre-registration is required.

About Professor Hugh White AO

Hugh White AO is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. His work focuses primarily on Australian strategic and defence policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, and global strategic affairs especially as they influence Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He has served as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments, as a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, as a senior adviser on the staffs of Defence Minister Kim Beazley and Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and as a senior official in the Department of Defence, where from 1995 to 2000 he was Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence, and as the first Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). In the 1970s he studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper. His major publications include Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing, [2010], The China Choice: Why America should share power, [2012], Without America: Australia’s future in the New Asia [2017], and How to defend Australia [2019]. 

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