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James Curran

James Curran

James Curran is Professor of Modern History at Sydney University and foreign affairs columnist for the Australian Financial Review. His books include Campese: The last of the dream sellers (Scribe, 2021) and Australia's China Odyssey: From euphoria to fear (NewSouth, 2022).

‘AUKUS in the dock: Questions and challenges for the Albanese government’ by James Curran

June 2024, no. 465 22 May 2024
When the former Labor prime minister Paul Keating appeared at the National Press Club in March 2023 to savage the bipartisan commitment to acquire nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS agreement, he did so only days after Anthony Albanese had stood alongside his British counterpart Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden in San Diego to announce the ‘optimal pathway’ for the agreement. Flu ... (read more)

James Curran on Clare Wright and the Voice referendum

September 2023, no. 457 24 August 2023
Clare Wright’s letter in response to Bain Attwood (ABR, August 2023) should profoundly disturb and unsettle anyone in this country concerned about the survival of active, rigorous, and engaged historical scholarship. When historians in the future come to critically assess the public debate over this year’s constitutional referendum on the Voice, they will be confronted by its highs and lows, ... (read more)

James Curran on Australia's new, old foreign policy

April 2023, no. 452 27 March 2023
Nearly fifty years ago, when President Lyndon Johnson decided to begin scaling down Washington’s disastrous war in Vietnam, the Australian Minister for the Air, Peter Howson, confided to his diary that ‘to my mind it’s the first step of the Americans moving out of Southeast Asia and … within a few years, there’ll be no white faces on the Asian mainland’. Johnson’s decision, followed ... (read more)

'A long way to go: Australia’s fraught relations with China' by James Curran

September 2022, no. 446 25 August 2022
Australia’s fraught journey with China continues. The Albanese government now wrestles with the same harsh global and regional realities as its predecessors. The crisis brought about by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in early August now appears to have ruptured much of the initial attempts on both the Australian and Chinese sides to at least begin talking t ... (read more)

'Failures of strategic imagination: Revisiting the American alliance' by James Curran

October 2021, no. 436 22 September 2021
Surely it wasn’t meant to be like this. In early September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was set to attend a lavish ceremony in Washington to mark the seventieth anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty. On the same trip, he was due to sit down in person for the first time with his US, Indian, and Japanese counterparts, fellow members of the ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’, or ‘Qu ... (read more)