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The author holds the position that no one tradition is best-suited in maximizing and advancing Australia's national interests in the international platform not just because all three traditions have their innate strengths but more so because these very same traditions have their innate weaknesses which make us believe that following only one line of foreign policy tradition is all but worry-free.
The Evatt tradition has a widely-known pitfall. It is quite popular in the anti-capitalist discourse that international foreign organizations mainly serve the interests of the Western powerful nations, and Conteh-Morgan (n.d., par. 12) notes, 'Key international institutions (the IMF, World Bank, or WTO), a reflection of international law, are the glue for safeguarding the global politico-economic structure that ensures the dominance of the advanced industrial states (powerful Western states)'. As such, the author of this paper argues that allying with supranational institutions just so Australia can strengthen its clout and advance her own interests is nothing but a futile attempt as these organizations, obviously, have long been a front to pursue the interests of the great powers behind its formation and continuous existence. Quite frankly, there might be no room for Australia when it comes to harping these organizations to advance her own interests.
The Menzies tradition, which pointed us to fixation with a formation of alliance with strong and powerful countries such as the U.S., may not be the case in point now that these very countries have been hardly stricken by current economic hardships as well as continued security threats (Apuzzo & Sullivan 2009, par. 1). This strengthens the above premise I have recently mentioned: such that these powerful nations experience economic deterioration, logically, all the more that they will use their clout in international organizations for self-preservation.
Australia's concentration on Asian affairs poses risks as well. Yes it is true that Australia's trade links in Asia and its importance in Asia have become all the more stronger (Kapisthalam 2006, p.370) but we cannot altogether discount the fact that trade links have importance levels that should garner attention and strong considerations as well.
It is in the very notion that these three traditions have their innate strengths and weaknesses that this author vouched for the 'no one tradition can best aid Australia's foreign policy with its power and interests concerns' position. In the interests of pragmatism, the author acknowledges that these traditions have guided previous Australian administrations in drafting their foreign policies -- the strengths, we can always use to our advantage and the weaknesses, which we all can learn from. It is important that the notion of multiplicity of perspectives come to mind when addressing issues such as this.
Secondly and lastly, the author holds such position in the belief that Australia's foreign strategies should be sensitive to present-day issues and concerns. Yes Australia can learn from these traditions but it should also be realized that these traditions are products of particular socio-historical complexities of the time that they were undertaken which may altogether be different from what the international environment experiences today.
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Murray Philomena et al. (2002), "Common ground, worlds apart: the development of Australia's relationship with the European Union," Australian Journal of International Affairs 56 (3): 395-416.
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