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David Brophy

David Brophy

David Brophy studies the social and political history of China’s northwest, particularly the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and its connections with the Islamic and Russian/Soviet worlds. After finishing his PhD in 2011, he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World, at the Australian National University, before coming to the University of Sydney in 2013. His first book, Uyghur Nation (2016), is on the politics of Uyghur nationalism between China and the Soviet Union in the early twentieth century. He currently hold an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship, for a project entitled 'Empire and Religion in Early Modern Inner Asia', in which am exploring Inner Asian perspectives on the rise of the Qing in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

David Brophy reviews 'Island Off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of statecraft in Australian foreign policy' by Clinton Fernandes

November 2018, no. 406 25 October 2018
Marise Payne’s recent speech to the United Nations General Assembly touted Australia’s support for ‘rules’ and ‘international law’ in creating a global order that works ‘for the benefit of all nations and people’. But are these really the guiding principles of Australian foreign policy? Clinton Fernandes’s new book gives us reasons to be sceptical. ... (read more)

David Brophy reviews 'Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia' by Clive Hamilton

April 2018, no. 400 26 February 2018
Lawyers, media organisations, human rights NGOs, and unions have been lining up recently to warn us of a serious threat facing civil liberties in Australia. It comes in the form of Malcolm Turnbull’s new national security laws, which, in the name of combating foreign influence, would criminalise anyone who simply ‘receives or obtains’ information deemed harmful to the national interest. Yet ... (read more)

David Brophy reviews 'Without America: Australia in the New Asia' (Quarterly Essay 68) by Hugh White

March 2018, no. 399 21 February 2018
For upward of a decade, Hugh White has been sounding a warning: that Australia’s long-standing policy of relying on the United States as guarantor of our security in Asia was approaching its use-by date. As a conspicuous relic of European colonial expansion, Australia has always viewed with trepidation the idea that our region’s centre of political gravity might one day tilt back towards China ... (read more)

David Brophy reviews 'The Souls of China: The return of religion after Mao' by Ian Johnson

December 2017, no. 397 23 November 2017
In 1989, as the Chinese Communist Party came to terms with the ongoing significance of religion in post-Mao China, they needed a new formula to explain its survival. Religion was, they said, a long-term phenomenon. It had a mass base; it had national dimensions, in that some of China’s nationalities identified strongly with particular religions; but it also had international dimensions – relig ... (read more)