Ukraine Analytica 2(28)

FROM DOWN UNDER: WHY IS AUSTRALIA SO INVOLVED IN THE WAR IN UKRAINE?

Geographically, Australia is far from the war raging in Ukraine; nevertheless, it is the largest non-NATO contributor of defence assistance to Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion, it has been a close ally by providing military, financial, humanitarian, and political support. Why is Australia so involved in a war in which the battlefield is so far away? This paper analyses the engagement of Australian foreign policy and the geopolitical security power balance through AUKUS and ANZUS. It will also argue that Australian involvement in the conflict has lingered since 2014 by evoking the memories of MH17. It will additionally examine the Australian multicultural social fabric that corroborates with the #StandwithUkraine movement and the impact of the war on the Australian domestic economy. Lastly, it will conclude by identifying what lessons Australian foreign policy should learn from Ukraine, and advocating for the need to focus on the post-war recovery.



Izabela Pereira Watts, PhD, is a Lecturer in International Studies and Political Sciences at the University of Wollongong and in Global Development at the University of New South Wales in Australia. She is a former UN peacekeeper and an expert in peacebuilding, democracy building and fragile states. Book author of “Peace or Democracy? 14 peacebuilding dilemmas after civil wars (upcoming Routledge-UK 2022).”


Images are for demo purposes only and are properties of their respective owners. Published by NGO “Promotion of Intercultural Cooperation” (Ukraine), Centre of International Studies (Ukraine),  with the financial support of the Representation of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Ukraine, International Renaissance Foundation and RAND Corporation, and the U.S. Department of State

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