Eyes wide open, or a blinkered view? The Australia-China relationship in the Antarctic

The recent report ‘Eyes Wide Open: Managing the Australia-China Antarctic Relationship’ contains a lot of information about China’s activities in Antarctica and usefully sets out aspects of the Chinese-Australian relationship.
But are the report’s recommendations a disproportionate reaction to a manufactured crisis regarding China’s presence and activities in Antarctica?

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Traps, Trump and Thucydides: challenging Allison’s concept of a ‘Thucydides’ Trap’

In his book ‘Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap’? Harvard academic Graham Allison finds in Thucydides’ ‘The History of the Peloponnesian War’, some near universal law of international relations where war between established and rising great powers is close to inevitable – the ‘Thucydides’ Trap’. In this article, Mike argues that Thucydides may be read as exposing a different trap to the one that Allison finds.

The trap lies in the illusion that the contingent circumstances that enable one state to become a hegemon are a reflection of some inherent superiority of the nation and its people rather than being inadvertent and transitory. It is in the mistake of not realising that exercising power without moral underpinnings leads to disaster not victory. And crucially, the trap is in allowing emotion to override common sense because of flattering populist rhetoric and exhortations to nationalism and exceptionalism.

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