Testing the creativity of Kevin Rudd's middle power diplomacy: EU-Australia partnership framework versus the Asia-Pacific community

Baba G., KAYA T. Ö.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC, vol.14, no.2, pp.239-269, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier


The 2007 Australian Parliamentary Elections brought a new dynamic to Australia's foreign policy: the Kevin Rudd factor. The Prime Minister sought to develop a more proactive and multi-faceted foreign policy around 'Creative Middle Power Diplomacy'. This study aims to cast light on the dynamism in Australia's Foreign Policy with Kevin Rudd within the framework of middle power activism. The research firstly focuses on the difficulties of defining and classifying middle powers through which it will put forward specific 'commonalities' for successful middle power foreign policy outcomes. The study of the EU-Australia Partnership Framework and the Asia-Pacific Community proposals - both of which were priorities for Kevin Rudd - reveal the potential and limits of middle power activism. This study argues that in today's world, middle powers have growing potential to pursue specific foreign policy goals but their ability to achieve these goals is constrained by Great Powers' interests and consent, and also by the nature or 'commonalities' of middle power diplomatic practice.