Human rights in Australian foreign policy, with specific reference to East Timor and Papua

Ganewati Wuryandari

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] This thesis focuses on human rights in Australia’s foreign policy from 1991 to 2004 taking East Timor and Papua as case studies. It encompasses the Paul Keating years (1991 to 1996) as well as John Howard’s three consecutive terms as Prime Minister (from 1996 to 2004). As a consequence of events unfolding in this period of time, the thesis does not consider Australian foreign policy towards East Timor beyond the 1999 referendum that resulted in the separation of East Timor from Indonesia and focuses on Papua until 2004. The primary empirical aim of this thesis is to compare and contrast the two administrations’ approaches and responses to human rights abuses in East Timor and Papua. Drawing upon a variety of theoretical concepts in human rights and foreign policy, this thesis shows that incorporating a concern for human rights in the foreign policy making process is problematic because the promotion of human rights often comes into conflict with other foreign policy objectives . . . The two case studies on human rights abuses in East Timor and Papua reflect the tensions between concepts of realism and idealism in Australian foreign policy. However, the situation of East Timor shows that public pressure is required to balance the disparity of national interest and human rights. The role of public pressure has been largely absent in debates on human rights and foreign policy. While this study focuses on East Timor and Papua as case studies, the discussion of the findings has far reaching implications for Australian foreign policy and international relations, especially concerning the scholarly debate over the place of human rights in foreign policy.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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