R.G. Casey and Australian foreign policy: engaging with China and Southeast Asia, 1951-1960

McLean, Craig (2008) R.G. Casey and Australian foreign policy: engaging with China and Southeast Asia, 1951-1960. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The thesis is a study of Richard Casey and the Department of External Affairs in the 1950s, and the policies proposed or adopted by the Department in relation to three Asian nations: China, Indochina and Indonesia. This will illuminate the workings of a key government department that was at the front line of the early Cold War. The 1950s was a crucial decade in fostering relationships with Australia’s northern neighbours, many either emerging from, or fighting against, colonial rule. The actions of the Minister for External Affairs and his Department, whether positive or negative, would lay the foundations of Australian foreign policy for future decades. The thesis explores the ways in which Casey approached different regions in Asia in order to provide an analytical framework of how his policies toward Asia developed over time. The thesis examines whether Casey’s ideas about Asia were influenced by the particular circumstances of each country or whether other imperatives determined his approach to Asia. A study of Casey’s tenure in External Affairs will also involve an analysis of the level of support for Casey and his department both within Federal Cabinet and from Prime Minister Menzies.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15200
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 360000 Policy and Political Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > RFCD Classification > 430000 History and Archaeology
Keywords Australia, China, Southeast Asia, R.G. Casey, Foreign policy
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