The Australian identity, national security and the United States alliance : examining Australia’s idiosyncratic foreign policy
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This thesis aims to discover how and why Australia has institutionalised an intimate alliance with the United States. This alliance is understood by Australians as a mechanism to consolidate national security. Throughout Australian history national security has dictated its strategic direction and has been the predominant goal of successive governments. However, national security policies are constructed upon multiple conceptualisations because Australians perceive the world in numerous intertwined ways. The concept of national security has been instilled with various meanings when articulated by different Australian governments. Nonmaterial factors, such as social and cultural norms and values, have moulded Australian interests. This demonstrates the interplay between identity within Australia and foreign policy. Indeed, Australia’s US alliance behaviour is founded upon contradictory worldviews and is nuanced. This is because Australian national security policy is framed by different conceptualisations and is socially constructed. This thesis contends that Australia has subsequently cultivated an idiosyncratic foreign policy.