Thailand and Australia: Middle powers in an era of geopolitical change

Event details

Panel discussion

Date & time

Wednesday 21 September 2022


Hedley Bull Lecture Theatre 1




Bell School Marketing Team

Australia and Thailand are both middle powers and allies of the United States. Both are important players in the Indo-Pacific, with Thailand the second largest economy in ASEAN and Australia a founding member of the Quad. But there are also significant differences, including with respect to relations with China and respective political systems.

This panel session will explore divergences and convergences in Australian and Thai foreign policy, the worldviews underpinning those positions, and how and where the two countries can cooperate in an era of increasing strategic competition and increasing geopolitical uncertainty.


Susannah Patton is Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute and the Project Lead for the Asia Power Index. She has previously worked in various Southeast Asia-focused positions in the Australian government, including as a Senior Analyst in the Southeast Asia Branch at the Office of National Intelligence and as a diplomat in the Australian Embassy in Bangkok.

Jittipat Poonkham is Associate Professor of International Relations, Associate Dean for International Affairs and Director of International Studies Program in the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University. He is an author of A Genealogy Of Bamboo Diplomacy: The Politics of Thai Détente with Russia and China (ANU Press 2022) and a co-editor of International Relations as a Discipline in Thailand: Theory and Sub-fields (Routledge 2019).


Greg Raymond is a lecturer in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs researching Southeast Asian politics and foreign relations. He is the author of Thai Military Power: A Culture of Strategic Accommodation (NIAS Press 2018) and the lead author of The United States-Thai Alliance: History, Memory and Current Developments (Routledge, 2021).

View the report here.

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